: talk or thoughts directed at oneself
As we push through the pain during a race, it's natural to talk to ourselves. It's also natural to have an unpleasant conversation. Studies show that both negative and positive self-talk influence performance—you can guess which works best.Bicycling
… let's say a student said, "I'm having trouble learning these new techniques." The first thing I would do is probe into his self-talk. He's probably thinking, "I shouldn't be having so much trouble."Thomas J. Nardi
Neil Fiore, a motivational speaker … says the road to timely tax filing can be reached with a little positive self-talk.Kris Frieswick

Examples of self-talk in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Think about how your identity, relationships, career path, and self-talk are all impacting your future self during this transition—and recalibrate as necessary. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 1 Apr. 2024 Positive self-talk can stop catastrophic mind chatter that causes anxiety and keep you calm in stressful situations. Bryan Robinson, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2024 Research shows that positive self-talk can have beneficial effects on emotional and mental health, performance and relationships, while negative self-talk can damage a person’s self-esteem, self-worth and belief in their abilities. Kazuyoshi Hisano, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 By maintaining perspective and reframing negative thoughts with positive self-talk, my clients have been able to shift their focus toward solutions and possibilities. Manzar Bashir, Forbes, 16 Feb. 2024 Various studies suggest that self-talk can increase confidence, enhance focus, control emotions and initiate effective actions. Tom Siegfried, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024 Aquarius January 20 – February 18 Correcting unhelpful self-talk could improve your mindset today., Baltimore Sun, 9 Feb. 2024 There are a variety of strategies therapists use to help clients challenge negative self-talk and let go of regrets. Jenna Ryu, SELF, 2 Jan. 2024 Challenge negative self-talk and replace it with positive and affirming thoughts. Mark Travers, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-talk.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1737, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-talk was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near self-talk

Cite this Entry

“Self-talk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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