Building a Growth Mindset Vocabulary

How positive self talk can break you out of negative thinking

Building a Growth Mindset Vocabulary

Do you talk to yourself? If so, you’re not alone. Research shows that most people talk to themselves and not only that, but self-directed talk can actually be good for you. But to reap the benefits, it’s important to remember that what you say to yourself matters.  

Your self-talk is about more than telling yourself “you can do it!”; it’s about building a growth mindset by leveraging the power of words to lead you down the path to real change. Many of us can point to someone who made a huge difference in our lives by believing in us and cheering us on; here are two tips from our executive functioning team on how you can be that person for yourself:

Flip the Script

Start by being mindful of how you already talk to yourself. Take note of any language that you commonly use to put yourself down and come up with an alternate statement that creates opportunities for both accountability and grace. This exercise is about digging deeper to find both an actionable item and a truth that reminds you of everything you are capable of. 

Use an Affirmation Statement

If you’re already thoughtful about how you talk to yourself, take the next step by celebrating your strengths and using them as a touchpoint when you are struggling. Start by listing some of your positive attributes, either tied to a specific area of your life or generally. Pick the three that resonate most with you and incorporate them into a statement that you can say to yourself when you need a boost. Here are a few examples that have helped our students find confidence when they need it:

      • When I take my time and reflect on the best approach, I always get it done. 
      • I invite good things by being kind, positive, and open to new ideas. 
      • I am a hard worker who knows what she wants and has a plan to get there.  

In academics, as in life, it’s important to focus on the process and on those things over which we have control. Moving toward the outcomes you want is within your abilities but anytime you allow a negative thought to take hold, you miss an opportunity for growth. Be kind to yourself and invite yourself to move through your struggles by taking action.  

Looking for help building positive self talk or holding yourself accountable? Reach out to our executive functioning team for personalized support.

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