We keep a constant, running dialog with ourselves. We don't do it out loud. This conversation takes place in our minds.
Our inner voice (or self-talk) explains what's going on around us. This inner voice has a style and personality, too. Your explanatory style is either positive or negative.
The way you explain things to yourself determines if you're an optimist or a pessimist.
Here's the self-talk of an optimist when something bad happens -
- "Don't worry, this won't last long."
- "This sucks, but it doesn't make everything else suck!"
- "This doesn't mean I'm bad. This is just bad luck."
Optimists view setbacks as temporary, isolated and external.
Here's the self-talk of a pessimist when something bad happens -
- "I'm stuck with this forever".
- "Nothing's going right! I'm totally screwed."
- "I can't get anything right. This is all my fault."
Pessimists view setbacks as permanent, pervasive and internal.