Keep your self-talk language encouraging and avoid imaging less-than-stellar scenarios, suggest a study in Frontiers in Psychology. Choose, "I ban beat my best race time" over "If I fall behind, I'll change my stride."
Take an Outside Perspective
Talking to yourself in the second person may be more motivating than using the first person, says a study in European Journal of Social Psychology. When undergrads were asked to encourage themselves to work out, the students who referred to themselves as "you" said they planned to do more exercise over the students who referred to themselves as "I." The "you" group also group also reported having a more positive attitude toward working out then the "I" group.
Drop Your Own Name
When researchers at the University of Michigan asked folks to give a speech with little time to prepare and no notes and to practice self-talk beforehand, the ones who used the second or third person and their own name. "You are prepared for this, Sarah," performed better and ruminated less about the speech afterward than those who used first person self-talk.
"You don't miss your deadlines" is far more empowering than "You can't miss your deadlines," research has shown. Saying "I don't" communicates that you have full command of your behavior, while saying "I can't" may undermine your sense of power and reinforces the idea that a restriction is being imposed on you.