A new Army field manual has tips for ‘productive self-talk.’ Here are some examples the service should add

Welcome to motivation station!

A recently released Army field manual gives some examples of “productive self-talk” soldiers should use when times are tough, and they’re, well, a very particular kind of special.

One type of productive self-talk that the Army encourages in Field Manual 7-22 — which expands upon the Army’s ongoing holistic health push — is “cognitive reframing,” which helps soldiers recognize “the positive in an otherwise suboptimal situation.” 

One of the examples provided by the Army? “Running up hills: hills are my friend. They only make me stronger.” 

Another example: “Hot weather training: this training is preparing me to be more lethal in the desert.” 

A new Army field manual has tips for ‘productive self-talk.’ Here are some examples the service should add

Productive self-talk “helps to maintain a focus on performing a task correctly” and “encourage[s] optimal performance,” the manual says. 

“Soldiers with positive attitudes are more able to cope with adversity and be successful with challenging tasks. Motivational self-talk can improve attitude and focus on the task.” 

So to help the Army out — we just want to help! — the Task & Purpose team came up with a few other examples of productive self-talk that soldiers should keep in mind: 

  • Living in a rat-infested hovel on base: This is preparing me for my deployment to [name a country].
  • Practicing the Army sprint-drag-carry: This is preparing me to drag my blacked-out buddy back to the barracks this weekend.
  • Looking up at mold coming through the vent in my barracks: This is preparing me for chemical warfare.
  • When your deployment gets extended: This is preparing me for even more crushing disappointment I’ll inevitably experience during my military career.
  • Being told to come into work despite someone probably having COVID-19: This is preparing me for a career in a medical MOS that I didn’t want and didn’t sign up for.
  • Almost hurling everywhere because you’re hungover at morning PT: This is preparing me for when that MRE just doesn’t sit right. 
  • Filling out meaningless hand receipts: This is preparing me to fill out bullshit paperwork at the VA.
  • Standing around in formation: This is preparing me to stand around in formation.
Haley Britzky

Haley Britzkyis the Army reporter for Task & Purpose, covering the daily happenings in the Army and how they impact soldiers and their families, as well as broader national security issues. Originally from Texas, Haley previously worked at Axios before joining Task & Purpose in January 2019. Contact the author here.

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