The Power of Self-Talk in Shaping Mindsets

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

Self Talk

If I am being honest, I have an 8-year-old daughter with the following negative mindsets:

  • Fixed mindset – She tends to see failure as a signal that she is a failure, thus she is rather unwilling to take on challenges
  • Closed mindset – She tends to think that what she knows is best and is often unwilling to explore others’ ideas and perspectives
  • Prevention mindset – She is much more focused on avoiding problems (not failing) than reaching goals (trying new and different things to get her where she wants to be)
  • Inward mindset – She tends to see herself as being more important than others, thus she can be inclined see and treat others (like her little brother) as objects or instruments to help her get what she wants and needs

Now, is she always negative? No.

Further, are her mindsets uncommon for an 8-year-old? No. In fact, her mindsets essentially resemble what I most commonly see in my college students.

Here are some results from a prior college class:

But, knowing what I know about mindsets, I can see how her mindsets are holding her back. Thus, I am always looking for ways to help her with her mindsets.

A Recent Powerful Message

My daughter is currently playing softball, and a few weeks ago, her softball league had their “opening day.” For this event, they brought in a former collegiate softball player who grew up in our city and now works for the Los Angeles Dodgers to speak to the girls.

She had an awesome and simple message for the girls. It was this:

You are strong!

You are beautiful!

You can do anything you put your mind to!

In fact, she started having the girls scream these mantras:

“I am strong!”

“I am beautiful!”

“I can do anything I put my mind to!”

It was a really powerful scene.

And, the mindset expert in me loved seeing my daughter scream these mantras.

Power of Self-Talk

Later that same day, my daughter was struggling with a portion of her homework. Rather than dig into it, she was getting frustrated and wanted to “give up.” Knowing she needed to complete her homework for her class in a couple of days and wouldn’t have any other time that weekend to work on it, I wanted to encourage her to stick with it.

So, I asked her what she learned at “opening day.” With a little prodding, I helped her recall that she learned that she was strong, she was beautiful, and that she could do anything she put her mind to.

In fact, I had her repeat the mantras a few times.

After doing so, she became reinvested in her homework. She had flipped her mindset in that moment and believed that she could persevere and accomplish her homework.

Over the next week or so, we repeated this scenario whenever she grew frustrated or was unwilling to try something new.

Every time, she rose to the challenge of the occasion.

What about you?

Do you see yourself as strong, beautiful, and that you can do anything you put your mind to?

You should!

How would your life be different if, every morning, you said to yourself:

“I am strong!

I am beautiful!

I can do anything I put my mind to!”

Would you think, learn, and behave differently than how you normally think, learn, and behave? Do you think you would start to create a brighter future for yourself day in and day out?

I think so!

Try it out!

In fact, if you want a case study in the power of mantras, check out this fantastic book:

I want to hear from you

What other mantras do you use or are you aware of that are powerful “mindset shifters?”

Please comment below. I would love to create a collection of mindset shifting mantras.

Thanks in advance.

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6 Responses

  1. When my children were young, I was the disciplinarian. We talked frequently about doing one thing to get in trouble did not make you a bad person. When we talked, I told them that they must always remember three things: “you’re good, you’re special and I love you” nothing would ever happen that would change those three things. I’m good, I’m special, and I am loved.

    1. I think that is critical: helping our children know that we love them regardless of what they do or say. It creates psychological safety for them that allows them to better think outside of themselves.

  2. Rain or shine, first thing in the morning, I look out the window with a smile and say “Thank you, it’s a beautiful day!” Sometimes I shout out “good morning world “. At the end of the day, I say out loud, “ I did great work today. “ Throughout the day I say “I am happy healthy and wealthy “. I don’t mean financially wealthy but working to get better situated for retirement and not worry too much. Staying positive. I often say “I love my life “.

    And once again, Ryan, I thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    Have a wonderful day!


    1. Thank you Nancy! Those are great ideas, and I am sure they make a big difference in your life.

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