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_Reinstate_Monica Nov 25 '13 at 1:27
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    Thanks, @Cerberus. I think "mantra" is pretty close and may be the best. – Ellen Spertus 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. – Ellen Spertus Nov 25 '13 at 17:10

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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