Posted by: melissajneal | December 16, 2011

Phrase Replacement

Whenever you experience a negative thought replace it with a positive one.

Stopping thoughts is one thing, but replacing negative with positive will create empowerment, motivation and focus.

Six Rules for Improved Performance: (

  • keep phrases short and specific
  • use first person and present tense
  • construct positive phrases
  • say your phrases with meaning and attention
  • speak kindly to yourself
  • repeat phrases often

EXAMPLE: Test Anxiety

Schutz & Davis (2000)

Negative emotion of self-blame:

“I am so stupid, I should have studied a lot longer for this test”

Positive Phrase Replacement:

“Well, I’ll make the best of it and get back to picking out the main idea of the questions”



  1. I have enjoyed reading the posts on self-talk in relation to SRL. As an educator, I often have students ask me for advice with text anxiety and related academic performance concerns. I like the ideas and approachability of these posts and will definitely use them as a resource with my students. I find many issues related to self-talk easier to digest and implement when not in a stressful or crisis situation, which is why I plan to introduce these concepts to my class as a preventative measure. I also see the link between the self-talk in relation to learning as it relates to self-esteem and self-worth issues. Remembering to speak kindly to ourselves and forgive ourselves is often harder than it seems.

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