Welcome back to Lesson 2, Communicate Your Strengths to Yourself and Others. You can join me for this lesson on audio, text, or both. If you are listening to the audio, you may want to hit pause when you come to the activities, and scroll down to 2.3 & 2.4.
In this lesson you will learn strategies for building supportive relationships through positive self-talk. You will practice using your strengths words to speak to yourself and others. You will build confidence showing your strengths rather than needing to just show your knowledge and competence.
2.1 Use positive self-talk for confidence and motivation
The way you speak to yourself will spill out to the way you talk with others and develop or maintain important relationships. It’s easy to get into cycles of negative self-talk. Maybe in the past you felt performance pressure from school, family, or friends. There is also a wealth of pressure from social media and videos to look or perform a certain way. When you don’t feel like you measure up in your home, life or career, negative words and phrases creep into your dialogue with yourself. Personality, experiences, and culture can affect the way you talk to, or at yourself.
You can change negative thinking to positive self-talk, but it takes practice. It’s worth the effort because there are so many benefits to positive self-talk. As you speak to yourself with positive words and phrases, you will feel more valued, more confident, and less stressed. When you feel better about yourself, you will attract more of the relationships you desire.
When you speak to yourself with “I” statements rather than at yourself with “you” phrases, you will find yourself in kinder more supportive conversations with yourself. When you learn to use “I” instead of “you,” then you will be better prepared to converse with others from your own perspective in a nonjudgmental positive way.
2.2 Speak to yourself in strengths words
You can use your strengths words to rephrase the way you speak to yourself when you are frustrated with something you did or said.
“I am a mess! I missed out on something that was important to me by reading the directions too quickly. I don’t know why I do things like that.”
Rephrase in your mind:
“I am a good communicator. Reading and writing are my strengths. I got in a hurry and missed something important. Sometimes I take on too many things at once. I will need to slow down so I can use my strengths and not miss out on something I want to do.”
“I am so stupid! I measured my work wrong. Now I will need to buy a new piece. Why can’t I ever get it right the first time?”
Rephrase in your mind:
“I measured the piece wrong. It will cost a little more, but I will buy the tool I need so my measurements will be more accurate next time.”
Get in touch with your conversations by noticing how you speak to yourself. When you hear negative words or phrases, rephrase your statement. It worked for me.
This three and half minute video, Positive Self-Talk, from Psych Hub gives examples of how important self-talk is for motivation, self-confidence, and building relationships.
2.3 Activity: Use your strengths with positive self-talk
Using your strengths words when you talk to yourself will help your confidence and your ability to build supportive relationships with others.
- Take a mindful moment to sit quietly and notice the thoughts that come into your mind.
- Did your thoughts bring you positive affirming feelings, criticisms, or a list of things to do?
- Take deep cleansing breaths and feel the air go in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe and bring to your mind a few of your many strengths. That made me smile. I hope you did too.
2.4 Describe yourself in a sentence using strengths words
One way we make connections and build supportive relationships is by sharing our strengths and interests. One of my strengths is writing. I love to connect with writers in writing groups both in person and social media. I follow writers and writing experts since I am always working on improving my writing.
Write a sentence or two to describe yourself or something you love to do with a friend using one or two strengths words. You can start by writing the sentence in your journal. For example, “I love to write and share my books at events. It’s fun to interact and listen to what interests the people I meet.”
- Was it easy to find strengths words to describe yourself or something you love to do?
- Do you feel like you have a stronger vocabulary of positive words to say to yourself after completing lesson one?
2.5 Challenges to sharing your strengths
The need for practice sharing your strengths to build relationships can be a challenge but developing communication skills is worth the effort. If you don’t practice speaking to yourself in strengths words you will have difficulty speaking to others using your strengths. Your positive dialogue with yourself will counteract questioning of your abilities. Seeing yourself as competent starts with you and spreads out to others.
Knowing you are worth the effort to be kind to yourself will overcome the challenges. When you are kind to yourself, you are more likely to develop supportive relationships.
2.6 Homework: Show yourself gratitude everyday
- Take a mindful moment a few times a day to meditate and clear your mind of negative thoughts. Let the thoughts run through your mind as you focus on your breathing. When the stream of thoughts begins to play out and your shoulders relax, you will be ready to move on with your next task.
- Smile, laugh, play, try something new and interesting, and thank yourself for doing it.
Next week Lesson 3 Use Empathy and Gratitude to Build Supportive Relationships
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Links can change, contact course creator, Nancy, with questions, comments, concerns, or if you need further discussion on relationships. This course is not in any way advice, coaching, or counseling.
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