Our site uses cookies

I agree Our site saves small pieces of text information, called “cookies” on your device. Find out more in our privacy policy. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Sign in…
Forgotten password?

18 Positive self-talk tactics that work


I feel inspired by our talk with Kelly Lewis this week. If you missed it, you can watch it on our Facebook page or our YouTube Channel. There is power in every one of us. How we respond to difficult moments defines us.

What do you say to yourself when you feel down or stressed about things you need to get done? What is your positive self-talk tactic to shift your mindset and fly through your to-do list? What do you do to silence your inner critic or other negative voices that imply 'you can't possibly do this'?

Given the extent of the things we’ve had to deal with since the pandemic started, we’ve become experts in lifting our own spirits and keeping going when the clouds start to gather. Most of us have a little sentence, borrowed or our own invention, we say to ourselves to help us shift our mindset – and these phrases work.

“I tell myself, when I fall into a pity pot, I need to stop and focus on what I have to be grateful for.”

Barbara Weibel

The words we choose not only communicate how we feel, but also influence the way we feel. So the way we talk to ourselves influences our emotions. A simple change of wording could bring a whole new outlook.

We’ve gathered this list of simple but effective ways to switch your mindset from members of the Thelma & Louise community and some of our favourite wise women. You’ve got this!

Put things into perspective

  1. Rensina: ‘Stay in the moment.’
  2. Emma: ‘I ask myself if what is bothering me will really matter tomorrow, next month, next year or even on my deathbed. "Does this really matter in the grand scheme of things", I say to myself.’
  3. Gayle: ‘One of my daily affirmations.....All is well in my world and things always work out for me....for the highest good for myself and others.’
  4. Michelle Obama: ‘The times that force you to claw and scratch and fight just to get through the day; the moments when you get knocked down and you’re wondering whether it’s even worth it to get back up. Those are the times when you’ve got to ask yourself, who am I going to be? If you’re willing to dig deep, if you’re willing to pick yourself up when you fall, if you’re willing to work and work until your weaknesses become your strengths, then you’ll develop a set of skills that you can mould and apply to any situation you encounter, any job you might have, any crisis you might confront.’

Reframe and be grateful

  1. Barbara Weibel: ‘I tell myself, when I fall into a pity pot, I need to stop and focus on what I have to be grateful for.’
  2. Elizabeth Day:  'Saying 'I get to' instead of 'I have to' automatically makes me feel more grateful for the opportunity of doing it'. 
  3. Sally: ‘I want to do this.’

Exercise and the outdoors

  1. Cherryl: ‘Work out!’
  2. Marla: ‘Walk the dogs.’

Draw on the people around you

  1. Martine Wright MBE who lost both of her legs in the 7/7 London bombing and is now a Paralympic and motivational speaker, speaks of ‘Team Me’: ‘You cannot do this alone. My resilience came from my mum, my dad, my brother, my sister, my surgeon, the off-duty policewoman that saved my life, all the NHS professionals.’
  2. Brita Fernandez Schmidt, author of Fears to Fierce: ‘As I witness another woman’s rising, she gives me wings.’
  3. Marla: ‘You are not alone.’
  4. Abbie: ‘Call a friend, vent everything, have a laugh and move on.’
  5. Fearne Cotton: 'There’s a real liberation in just saying it and having this person who you assume is incredibly confident saying they feel the same. You realise we’re all in the same boat. It’s really lovely knowing that.'

Gather your courage

  1. American poet, Emily Dickinson: 'If your nerve deny you, go above your nerve.’
  2. Shari: ‘Breathe’
  3. Maria: ‘Let go of fear. Be brave and do the things you want to do without worry.’
  4. Psychologist Emma Kenny: ‘Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage.’


What do you say to yourself when you feel a bit down? We’d love to hear what works for you.