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What is a term for a motivational or inspirational phrase that one repeats to oneself? For example, in the movie Cars, Lightning McQueen psychs himself up by saying to himself: "I am speed...I eat losers for breakfast."

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A mantra? A maxim? A slogan? – Cerberus Nov 25 '13 at 1:27
Thanks, @Cerberus. I think "mantra" is pretty close and may be the best. – espertus Nov 25 '13 at 1:30
BTW, this came up after my three-year-old daughter innocently requested "losers" for breakfast. It's become our name for Cheerios. – espertus Nov 25 '13 at 17:10
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In general it is an affirmation, or a self-affirmation. This term would include other ways to affirm something other than repeatedly vocalising it, but that is a common form.

Colloquially, it might be called a mantra. In its original use, mantras would be objects of contemplation rather than affirmation, and repeated for a much longer time, but the colloquial use will immediately bring vocal repetition to mind.

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Thank you. That is the word I was looking for. – espertus Nov 25 '13 at 16:51

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