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Positive Self-Talk Strategies: S-WORDS

Self-Talk Strategies

Five ‘S’ Words You to Increase Your Commitment To Your Goals

Do you want to be firmer and have a conviction when you talk to yourself about yourself? Conviction is when you have a strong belief about something you care about. If you are talking about yourself like you matter, and you believe you matter, then the words you use to instruct and motivate yourself matter too. S-words can help us steady ourselves and position us for what has been, what is happening, and what is yet to come. If you want to face up to challenges, you might include these words in your self-talk statements because they equip you with the emotional steel you need to not yield to the pressure of competition.

I use these verbs to help athletes and coaches develop scripts that set their mindset for the focus they want for themselves.

Verbs are action words, and they promote positive athlete behaviors.

  1. Sustain: to endure harsh training and competition

  2. Succeed: to achieve the desired outcome

  3. Stabilize: to make overturning unlikely

  4. Strengthen: to withstand pressure

  5. Stand: to stay upright

Match a goal to your statement

When you choose a verb, you are selecting a behavior, and your actions are something you can measure. For example, if you use the word strengthen, you can set a training or competition goal to it so that you can answer the question ‘On a scale of one not at all, two somewhat, and three extremely, how much pressure can I handle in this match?’. Let’s assume you say ‘3’ (After all, who would not want to say 3?) But deep down sometimes we know maybe because of injury that 3 is our goal, but it might be a reality at the end of the competition) and then at the end of the match you were a ‘2’ then you can recommit to your goal, develop a plan, and way to achieve it.

Developing mental strength is like building muscle strength; you have to increase load tolerance against tasks and opposition that challenge you in different ways. Your window of tolerance must grow, and you should be aware mental strength is trainable. If you slide, you can find your footing and build it back.

Five self-talk formulas you might use to achieve your goals

Notice the strength of each statement listed below. If these statements are true of you, then you are stating a fact, your belief is reality based on evidence, and you know what you are saying is true. You know you’ve proven yourself to your ultimate critic, you. Notice I use the meaning of the words in the statement, you don’t have to use the exact verb, but I encourage you to use it when you can.

‘I sustain the intensity I compete with because I prepared for this.’

‘I succeed when I do the basics to the level I require to reach my goals.’

‘I stand up when things are not going my face.’

‘I stabilize myself in difficult moments when I breathe and clear my mind.’

‘I strengthen myself by training hard and facing challenges.’


  1. Use ‘I’ statements

  2. Use a phrase you can measure by setting a goal with it

  3. Select words that work for you

  4. Use phrases that are short and strong

  5. Choose words that encourage you to be the way you want to be

  6. Talk to yourself like what you do matters

For help crafting your positive self talk strategies contact

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