What Did You Say?!…To Yourself?
Now and days there seems to be more of an appreciation for the connectivity between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. We now know that how we think effects how we feel, which impacts what we do, or don’t do for that matter. Thoughts, feelings and behaviors influence each other in reciprocal ways, however, we tend to target the thoughts in order to break negative patterns. Our thoughts govern what we believe about ourselves and essentially define us. They fuel the internal dialogue we have with ourselves which is also known as self-talk.
Often our speech is a reflection of our mindset. I like to think of mindsets as core beliefs that we develop over time that shape how we view ourselves and other people, and dictates how we operate in the world. In Luke 6:45 we read “ … out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (ESV).” The word “heart” here can be replaced with “mind” or “inner self (Louw, J.P & Nida, E.A., 1989 ).” So whatever we speak whether to ourselves or someone else, we believe in our mind.
While the most intuitive way to change negative self-talk would be to engage in more positive and affirming self-talk, this in and of itself is not enough. We need to change our minds, a change that requires time, practice and intention. This can be explored in more detail with a trained mental health professional if that is your need at this time (please see website for affiliate link in the individual therapy tab of this site). Ultimately, however, we have to uncover and connect with positive truths about ourselves and internalize them to the extent that they can replace the old self-defeating statements we tell ourselves. Consider the following strategy as you seek to incorporate more positive self-talk in your own life.
- Identify/Recall who you are:
- What gives you value? What motivates you daily?
- What makes you unique- What makes you you and distinguishes you from anyone else?
- What do you like most about yourself?
- Avoid Generalizing. Your circumstances or mistakes today don’t dictate your future or define you as a person. Qualify your statements as necessary, for example, “this is what is happening today, it doesn’t mean that this will always be the case.”
- Reflect on truth and those things which are praise worthy. Philippians 4:8 reads,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)
This serves as a great reminder of the things on which we should focus our minds.
Over the next few weeks I will be sending out faith based affirmations on social media to help get your year started with some positive self-talk so we can maintain our hope and victory in 2018!
Louw, J.P. & Nida, E.A. Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1989.
Logos Bible Study Software Program. Web. 23 December 2017