The Power of (re)Placement


I can embarrassingly say, I love this idea, the power of placement. I originally used to call it the power of replacement, but I think they’re pretty much the same.

The reason why I love it so much and really believe there is power in it is in its simplicity; that fact that where an object or thought is placed or replaced, can have a dramatic effect on your life.

Conscious Replacement

Self Talk

For replacement, this would work with replacing a negative thought with a positive one. One thought consciously replaced by another could easily be a life-changing result. This could be a thought you say to yourself or to another.

“Language provides us with this tool to gain distance from our own experiences when we’re reflecting on our lives. When we talk to ourselves we’re trying to see things more objectively, so it matters how you talk to yourself.” – Ethan Kross, Psychology Professor 

To take note of when and what you are saying to yourself, you can either start a journal and see what flows out, or, notice what’s going on in your head during times of escalated emotion. Feeling good…What are you thinking about? Notice you’re in a slump, what’s on your mind?

One simple exercise is to write down or just sit for one minute and see what thoughts arise. This isn’t meditating, just sit and notice what you’re saying to yourself.

Why talking to yourself sometimes doesn’t work

I believe this is tied to why some people have difficulty reaching goals or believing in themselves. The idea is that when you talk to yourself out loud – ‘where are my car keys?’- you’re more likely to find it quickly because you are familiar with it.

“The finding was that saying a name out loud helps, but only with objects they have familiarity with,” Mr. Lupyan said. Without that familiarity, talking to yourself out loud can slow you down, he added.

If you are trying to talk to yourself and convince yourself that, “I am beautiful.” But, you’re not familiar with relating to yourself in that way, it’s going to make the connection difficult. So, if you can’t quite bridge that statement yet, connect another one. Maybe you like a particular body part or your eyes? With that, you can tell yourself, “I have beautiful eyes.” Then, support yourself from that frame of reference.

When to use Self Talk

As with anything, talking to yourself is works better in certain situations. For external self-talk, try using in situations where agility or force are a factor. Saying what you need to do or accomplish out loud helps you stay focused.

Internal or instructional self-talk is helpful for situations requiring skill and attention – driving in poor conditions, reading a step-by-step procedure are examples.

Separating Yourself from Talking to Yourself

And if you’re wondering if you should use “I” or “You” or “your name”, this article will help.

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