Metacognitive Self-Talk

Using words like should, must, perfect, never, lazy, positive, and the word purpose can set you up for failure. Why?

Hear how it sounds.

should be doing this. Who says so? Why put unnecessary pressure on yourself? Do what you can achieve and embrace what you can do.

must get my homework done. Now, here’s a word that will stop you in your tracks. The minute you think you must, you can place yourself into overwhelm. How about I will try for a few minutes and see if I wish to continue?

never get things right. Is that true? Try to objectively look at your reality and recognize that you do get things done. Give yourself the credit you deserve.

I am too lazy to get my work done. How about I haven’t started my work…yet. By adding the word yet, you give yourself hope that you will get to your work.

Psychology is now teaching us to think of a positive thought to replace a negative thought. In my opinion, that is a difficult task to place on oneself. Instead, I recommend replacing a negative thought with a beneficial thought. What can you think of that will benefit you at the moment?

Trying to determine one’s purpose might be too lofty a goal. In lieu of a purpose, how about trying to reach a sense of fulfillment? Fill your life with moments of fulfillment and see how you feel.

Language is very important in our self-talk. What we choose to say to ourselves can help improve our self-confidence and self-esteem. Work on choosing words that will help your well-being in the short and long term.

To learn more about services for young adults 19 years+, book a free 15-minute consultation at

Scroll to Top