Skills Development

The Importance of Positive Self-Talk

Practicing positive self-talk is more important now than ever. After the events of recent years, it can be difficult to stay aware of the world while keeping a positive outlook. Amidst listening to the news, we forget to listen to what we’re saying to ourselves.

The question is, how can we listen to the news and practice our self-talk simultaneously?

Practicing positive self-talk can be difficult, so Guider is here to help you to master the skill…‍

What is Self-Talk?

Self-talk is the running dialogue inside our heads. Our inner monologue consists of the things we say to ourselves both consciously and subconsciously. Sometimes, we talk through something step by step in our head, and other times we say things that are more hurtful than helpful.

It is the voice that speaks without giving it much attention, and it can actually have a bigger impact on us that we realize. What we say to ourselves subconsciously can directly impact how we feel and respond to a current situation. This can lead us to be held back by limiting beliefs.

What are the Benefits of Positive Self-Talk?

Positive psychology studies how we individually flourish through building a life of meaning, purpose and optimism. Researchers have found that positive self-talk can help immensely with work performance, learning, self-awareness, and managing anxiety.

1. Reduces stress

  • Positive thinkers utilize better coping strategies when faced with challenges
  • Positive self-talk reframes the way we look at stressful situations and how we can approach them → Going from “this is too difficult” to “I can do this!”

2. Boosts confidence

  • Having positive self-talk boosts self confidence because it helps to believe we are capable of achieving goals and believing in ourselves

3. Helps to build better relationships

  • People look up to their coworkers who are optimistic, as it helps people to collaborate and cooperate more effectively

How Do I Distinguish Negative Self-Talk from Positive Self-Talk?

The way psychologists distinguish negative and positive self-talk is by the tone that our inner monologue speaks in. Our brains are hardwired to remember negative experiences over those that are positive. By showing yourself more understanding and self-compassion, our brains can be rewired to think more positively.

For example, say that your supervisor asks you to redo an assignment you handed in. In that moment, what would you say to yourself in your head? Would you say something that is negative and deterring, or positive and reassuring?

  • Negative self-talk would say: “I’m so embarrassed that I didn’t do the assignment correctly. I feel like a total failure.”
  • Positive self-talk would say: “I’ll learn from my mistakes this time, and do a better job next time.”

Do you hear the difference between the two? Think about any times you have said something a bit harsh to yourself that you could have said more positively.

Turning Negative Self-Talk into Positive Self-Talk:

Practising effective strategies to turn negative self-talk into positive self-talk has proven to be successful. Here are some to help you:

Don’t be too harsh on yourself when things go wrong

  • Instead, analyze the situation as if you were talking your coworker through something that went wrong for them
  • We tend to be biased toward and harsher on ourselves

Failure is not the end of the world

  • Failure allows us to experience, learn and grow
  • Embrace failure when it happens!

Focus on the positive too, not just the negative

  • There are negatives and positives in every situation, so don’t only focus on negatives!

A Three-Step Guide to Positive Self-Talk:

1. Listen to what your inner monologue is saying:

  • Is it mostly positive or negative?
  • Would your close friends, coworkers or mentor talk to you in this way?

2. Learn what thoughts seem to be recurring.

  • Is there a common theme in your self-talk?
  • Think about what this might say about yourself, and why these thoughts might be coming up.
  • Is this negative self-talk stopping you from achieving your goals?

3. Replace the negative with the positive.

  • Switch gears from negative to positive by changing statements to be kinder.
  • For example, change “I can’t finish before this deadline” to “I’ll do my best job to finish on time, but I can only do the best I can.”
  • Really imagine how you would speak to a friend — often we speak harshly to ourselves and more kindly toward our friends.

Try this out with your mentor as an exercise!

What is the Connection Between Mentoring and Positive Self-Talk?

Mentoring and positive self-talk are very connected. When we improve our self-talk strategies, we are better able to connect with our mentors. Mentees with positive self-talk are more likely to have positive mentoring relationships because they are willing to work on their desired areas while not falling into a negative mindset.

Positive self-talk allows there to be an open channel of communication between a mentee and their mentor, leading to more success within and outside of the workplace. Try working with your mentor on improving your positive self-talk the next time you meet!

Read now: How To Run A Productive Mentoring Session

When is the Best Time to Practice Positive Self-Talk?

Given that we have more free time on our hands than we did before, now is the perfect time to practice positive self-talk. Guider strongly recommends that we take care of ourselves during this unthinkable time, and work on the things we usually do not have time to work on.‍

Customer Stories

How Guider’s Partners Are Making A Difference During Covid-19

As Covid-19 leaves a quarter of the world’s population in lockdown, more and more businesses and individuals are taking action to support any way they can.

At Guider we’ve been delighted to hear of the positive strategies our partners are taking in order to make a difference during this uncertain and frightening time.


LVMH hit headlines last week due to the fact that they have directed all of their perfume factories to start producing hand sanitiser in a bid to tackle France’s shortage. LVMH’s Chairman and Chief Exec Bernard Arnault instructed the factories to switch production, and are supplying the sanitiser free of charge. LVMH have sworn that they will ‘continue to honor this commitment for as long as necessary’, in a statement given on March 15th.

A statement from LVMH published on Twitter

Not only this, the conglomerate also plans to order 40 million hygiene masks from China to supply to the French health service. Having already successfully ordered 10 million from a Chinese supplier, LVMH plans to make the same order every week for the next month. This initiative, costing a total of €5 million, will help the country as they suffer from shortages.

We’re incredibly proud to work with LVMH at this time, and admire their response to the current crisis. Guider began working with LVMH in October 2019 to support their women in leadership mentoring program as part of the EllesVMH gender diversity initiative.

LVMH women in leadership mentoring launch event with Guider.

Marks & Spencer

Marks & Spencer have responded equally quickly to the Coronavirus pandemic. As of last Friday, they began reserving the first hour of trading across 4 days of the week to the elderly, vulnerable and those working for the NHS / Emergency Services. With more and more people panic buying and store shelves left empty across the country, these are crucial measures to protect the most vulnerable people in our society.

Stores selling only Clothing and Home are now closed, however the C&H teams will be joining the Food teams to help with increased demand. M&S have also put social distancing measures in place across their stores, with many putting floor markings down near checkouts to ensure people are staying the recommended 2m away from one another, and sneeze guards being installed at till points.

As well as these measures, M&S is also kickstarting the Neighbourly Community Fund, to support those most impacted by COVID-19. It’s great to see how quickly M&S have adapted in times of crisis, and we’re glad that we can support them with mentoring during this period.

“Our primary focus in these uncertain times is on the mental and physical health of our people, which is why it’s been so important to keep our mentoring programme running as usual. Thanks to Guider’s platform and integrated video chat, this has been possible. Now, more than ever, people across M&S will be needing additional support, so having an active culture of mentoring is extremely beneficial.” – Suzie King, Talent Specialist at M&S.


Meanwhile, RB (Reckitt Benckiser) have been active in tackling Coronavirus on a global scale since January, having donated £5.5 million in cash and antibacterial products to combat the outbreak in China. Their cleaning and disinfectant products were used to help meet the cleaning and disinfection requirements in Wuhan’s hospitals.

More recently, Lysol has donated $2 million to the CDC Foundation’s new Coronavirus campaign, ‘All of Us: Combat Coronavirus’, helping to address fast emerging needs posed by the virus, with a preference toward supporting schools, students and children.

And their efforts are not slowing down, this week, RB has partnered with public health experts in a bid to tackle fake news during these unprecedented times. They launched as a source to help people find facts rather than myths while researching Coronavirus online.

As well as this, in India, RB are distributing 10 million Dettol soaps and 3.5 million N95 masks to the most vulnerable in society. This is part of their Fight for Access Fund which has seen £32 million being mobilised to help fight the spread of Covid-19.

RB have been a real inspiration in the speed and generosity of their support across the globe during this pandemic, and as always, we’re proud to work with them.

It’s been incredible to see these responses from Guider partners to the pandemic. We’re confident that with more companies and individuals doing what they can, we will have a united impact. Guider hope that we can continue to support our partners’ remote teams with mentoring during this time of uncertainty.