Mindset Recognizing and Revising Self-Talk Patterns

I seek motivation by reading quotes and graphics like these. It is important to always keep a positive mindset.

Identifying My Inner Voices

Inner critic- "I'm not good at it, that why I can't do it"

Inner Critic: Our inner critic conducts constant self-criticism to prepare us for potential outside criticism. The inner critic inside of us judges, blames, complains, and demeans us to help us avoid possible punishment and avoid being uncomfortable.

My Inner Critic Experience: In the past, I have definitely been my worst critic. I have blamed myself, complained about myself, and demeaned myself over my failures. I would be so hard on myself that I would hold myself back from doing certain things because I was so afraid of failure and the scrutiny that would come with it. Last semester, I failed my first statistics test and I was really hard on myself and I kept telling myself that I was going to keep failing tests. I continued to be my worst critic and I ended up failing my statistics course. At first sign of failure, I started to wonder if I was smart enough to make it at Clemson. I kept telling myself that I was not good/smart enough and eventually I began to believe it.

Revision to Inner Guide: In the future, when I experience failure I need to block out my inner critic as much as possible and I need to channel my inner guide. Channeling my inner guide will allow me to think more positively and move in the right direction of doing better the next time. Instead of telling myself that I am not good enough, I can tell myself that I am good enough and I will be successful if I put in the hard work necessary.

Inner defender- "I would've made an A if my professor could speak english!"

Inner Defender: Our inner defender is more about judging others with the intention of fending off criticism and punishment from powerful others. This voice comes from a scared and confused mindset.

My Inner Defender Experience: I have experienced the inner defender voice before by blaming my professors and blaming certain people in my personal life for my failures. I would tell myself that I was not at fault but the people around me were keeping me from being successful. I would use this mechanism to make myself feel better about not putting in the proper effort to be successful. A couple of semesters ago, for my statistics class I had a grad student that wasn't the best at teaching the curriculum. He was very knowledgable on the subject of statistics, but I thought he was horrible when it came to teaching it to my class. I was failing the course and my inner defender kicked in and I convinced myself that it was my teacher's fault for my failures. I told myself that his shortcoming's in teaching were holding me back from being successful when in fact I was not putting in the proper effort to succeed.

Revision to Inner Guide: Regardless of how bad a professor can be at teaching, I can never let that keep me from being successful again. I will have to change my mindset and channel my inner guide if this situation arises again. I will have to tell myself that nothing is going to keep me from being successful in this class. I will think more clearly and I will find tutors and study groups that can fill the void of having a lackluster professor. My inner guide will remind me that I am in control of my own success and nobody is going to keep me from accomplishing my goals.

inner guide- "I did this,so now I need to correct it."

Inner Guide: The inner guide offers an objective and wise perspective about ourselves and the people around us. The inner guide provides us with a more positive outlook, while working toward solutions. The inner guide tells the absolute truth, allowing us to be fully conscious of ourselves and the people surrounding us.

My Inner Guide Experience: I think that I have done a pretty good job so far this semester (Spring 2017) with using my inner guide to keep myself on track. I have told myself that I have to have a more positive mindset and to stay on track throughout the semester. I am being very truthful with myself and I am critiquing myself in a positive way. I now know that it is okay to fail but I need to learn from my failures and proceed in the right direction after failing. This semester in my statistics class I did really well on my first test, but I fell back a little bit on the second test. I was really honest with myself and I recognized that I did not put in the same effort studying for the second test. Moving forward, I now know the effort level that I have to put in to be successful in my studies.

Reflection on Inner Guide: Using my inner guide more this semester has resulted in me having a more positive behavior and has resulted in better success with my classes. This type of self-talk has allowed me to keep a more level head and it has allowed me to fix my mistakes without tearing myself apart mentally. Thinking with a more positive mindset keeps me from panicking when I make a mistake because I know that I will work to find the solution that points me back in the right direction.


Throughout my time at Clemson, I would have to say that my default setting would be a mix of the inner critic and the inner defender. I was not putting in the necessary effort to be successful and it resulted in me having a very negative mindset. My lack of effort resulted in failure and I did not handle my failures in the best way possible. My confidence took a big hit after experiencing multiple failures and I began to doubt my future here at Clemson. Going into this semester I knew that my mindset needed to change and I needed to do everything in my power to think more positively in every aspect of my life. I told myself that I had to go all in for the rest of my time at Clemson if I wanted to accomplish my dream of graduating from Clemson University. By putting in the proper effort and making the right decisions I now know what it takes to be successful. If I fail, I will evaluate my failure and find the best path forward to get back on track. Everything that I learned about mindset will be beneficial for me during the remainder of my time at Clemson and it will help me going into my professional career. Having a positive mindset will also benefit me in life because nothing holds you back more in life than having a negative mindset.


I was born with orange blood running through my veins and I was destined to be a Clemson tiger. My grandfather graduated from Clemson in 1958 and he spent his whole life telling me how special a place Clemson is and now I truly understand. I have wanted to graduate from Clemson University my whole life and I have to have the right mindset in order to accomplish that goal. I motivate myself each day because I know the happiness that will come into my life when I accomplish this goal. My family motivates me because I know the support they have given me and I know the sacrifices they have made to allow me to be in this position. I am not lacking motivation and it is up to me to accomplish this goal that I have wanted my whole life.

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