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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Boston chapter.

I think it’s a universal experience for young girls to be unhappy with themselves or experience low self-esteem whether that be based on appearance, intelligence, status, etc. I myself have fallen victim to this, constantly picking apart my looks or criticizing myself over not getting the grade I wanted, although I would still receive a good grade. It wasn’t until I noticed my younger sister, who is seven years my junior, starting to repeat similar phrases I often used — “My nose is so big,” “I look fat,” “I look awful in this bikini,” “I’m dumb” — that I realized how important self-talk is. No matter how many times I told her this was beyond untrue, she wouldn’t believe me. How could she, though? I was supposed to be her example. I knew I needed to do better both for myself and for her.

Negative self-talk can contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression. There are several advantages to positive self-talk; by consciously choosing to speak kindly about yourself you can foster a more positive mental state. Additionally, viewing challenges as opportunities for growth is a characteristic of a growth mindset. By talking nicely about yourself, you are promoting a mindset that embraces challenges as chances to learn and improve. Encouraging words can also be motivating. When you recognize your achievements and progress, it can inspire you to set and achieve new goals.

So how does one talk nicely about themselves? Well lucky for you, I’ve put together a list that can help get you started:

-Talk to yourself as if you were talking to a friend — you wouldn’t say that to them, so why are you saying it about yourself

-Rescript negative messages to include a positive spin. Instead of saying “I am not good at this,” say “I may not understand this now, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever understand it, I am fully capable.”

-Remember to set realistic expectations. No long-term goal is accomplished in a day. 

It is important to note that talking nicely about yourself doesn’t mean ignoring areas for improvement or pretending everything is perfect when it’s not. It involves acknowledging your strengths, celebrating your achievements, and recognizing your potential for growth in a constructive and compassionate manner. Moving forward, I plan on doing my absolute best to incorporate positive self-talk into my daily life to set an example for my little sister and to be better for myself too.

Kiera Symes

U Mass Boston '26

Kiera Symes is the Marketing and Publicity Director at the Her Campus at UMass Boston chapter. She oversees and guides all things to do with chapter promotion, working to market and publicize any and all events, giveaways, and PR. Beyond Her Campus, Kiera is a Public Relations major with a minor in Digital Marketing hoping to one day work for a mental health non-profit organization. In her free time, Kiera enjoys going on long walks, reading, hanging out with friends, listening to music and being by the beach. She has a passion and is an advocate for mental health and reducing the stigma surrounding it. She loves reading/watching beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content and plans to incorporate those hobbies into her writing.