How to Have Positive Self-Talk Using Scripture
Do you have positive self-talk? C’mon, you know what I mean! Some of the things we tell ourselves are not kind.
Let me jog your memory. Perhaps you may have said something to yourself like the following: “You look so fat,” “No one loves you,” “You’re not pretty,” or “You are so stupid.” It’s that self-talk you do daily that no one knows about. Your dirty little secret.
I find it peculiar we would never say these horrible phrases to anyone else (well, I hope not), yet we say it to ourselves. That nasty tape running through our head day in and day out. Why would we want to do this to ourselves? Furthermore, why do we struggle giving ourselves love with positive self-talk?
In this post, we are going to talk about the lies we tell ourselves, and how to defeat them with positive self-talk. My goal is to help you break this stronghold and teach you how to tell yourself the truth with scripture.
Why Do We Struggle with Positive Self-Talk
Many women struggle with positive self-talk, yet as a society we love ourselves. In fact, we are probably the most self-absorbed culture to date.
We have self-service for gas and groceries, curriculum on self-esteem, self-help books, and don’t get me started on the “selfie” generation. For goodness sakes, we even have a magazine on the stands called Self.
Unfortunately, when it comes to positive self-talk, we go in the opposite direction. We internally bombard ourselves with destructive words, thinking it will make us different in the future.
Last I checked, trashing other people never made them change. So why would trashing ourselves improve our behavior? Terrible logic, in my opinion.
And that is my point. This is not logic at all. It’s emotional.
The Lies Started Early
Chances are the lies started early in your life and have kept snowballing as you have aged. Moreover, it probably started when you were rejected by others at home, school, on the field, or some other significant time in your life.
Perhaps it was your parents who didn’t have time for you, a sibling who hated you, or the kids at school who said cruel things without thought. I’m guessing it made it worse if what they said was somewhat true about you. In fact, you were a bit pudgy, your sibling didn’t always like you, you weren’t an “A” student, or you weren’t amazing at sports.
Sadly, you felt powerless to change your circumstances so you attached your value or worth to those hurtful words. It became truth to you but not the whole truth…which is actually a lie. Don’t beat yourself up. It happens a lot as a child.
As a result, you carried that mantra into adulthood. And now it is with you all the time. Consequently, you believe you are not loved, not valued, or ever going to be good enough or smart enough to do whatever.
You believed your value and worth were based on what others said about you instead of what God says about you. But the real truth is only God can define your identity because He is the only one who truly knows ALL of you.
Related: How to Pray for Your Children
The Lies We Tell Ourselves Are Entrenched in Our Brain
Unfortunately, those old lies are entrenched into your brain (neuropathways) for years now because you gave some misinformed person too much control over your life. Kind of maddening, huh? To think you actually gave that person the right to define who you are as a person when he didn’t know the whole truth.
Perhaps you know this and have already tried a thousand times to change your thinking only to fail miserably every single time. In fact, you’re sick and tired of trying to change your thought life and failing.
Furthermore, the failure reinforces the lies you already believe. It’s a vicious cycle. I know, I have been there.
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How to Have Positive Self-Talk Using Scripture
So how do we defeat the lies we tell ourselves and change?
In other words, how do you have positive self-talk and kick those other people out of your brain? Here is what I have done and it has worked very well. Perhaps it will help you too.
1. Acknowledge you are struggling with positive self-talk and commit to changing your behavior.
Realize you have hard-wired yourself into a self-defeating mantra that has been going on for probably decades. In order to stop it, you have to admit what you are doing doesn’t work. They are truly lies.
Furthermore, you need to commit to changing your behavior. No more wallowing, obsessing or stroking your pain points. You have grieved long enough.
2. Catch yourself and stop it immediately.
Next time you start with the lies and self-pity, stop yourself!
If you are like me, it may take a few minutes before you realize what you are doing because it is a habit. Once you catch yourself, visualize a big, red stop sign in your brain. The red color should trigger the thought, “Danger! Stop it. Now!.”
Once this happens, you have the choice to consciously continue with the lies or stop and replace it with positive self-talk. This is where a lot of people get tripped up. They don’t want to do the work and change their thought patterns. Or stop the self-soothing. They would rather keep on wallowing, obsessing, and stroking the lies. You see, it feels good. Really good. So stop it before you sink into a black hole.
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3. Choose to change your thoughts.
If you want to stop the lies, you are going to have to change your thoughts. This means paving new neuropathways in your brain that have never been there before. Don’t be fooled, this takes hard work, self-reflection, honesty, and a leap of faith.
You can not go back and change the past, but you can go back and tell yourself the truth about the past. Many of you have been living in lies for so long that you don’t even know the truth. This is where the reprogramming starts.
4. Write down the lies.
Write down every lie you have believed all these years. This is your chance to call the devil out and catch him in his dirty tricks. It’s actually kind of fun to do this.
It’s an opportunity to right all the wrongs in your life. It may take weeks to identify them all. That’s okay. You have been believing them for a lifetime so take your time.
5, Find a scripture to combat each lie with the truth.
Find a scripture to combat each lie. Write them down on notecards. And then read the truth (scripture) every day, several times a day, out loud if possible. This is how you rewire your thinking with positive self-talk.
Here is an example of my notecards:
You are creating new neuropathways in your brain and abandoning the old thought patterns you used to have. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t believe it at first. It’s totally normal. It took me a few months to start believing.
If you are a Christian and you are struggling with what God says about you, stand on the Word of God as Truth. This is your plumb line. That’s enough for now.
Trust that you are breaking strongholds in your life when you start speaking verses to yourself. You can even pray these verses and insert your name. This is the best way to start positive self-talk.
This next phase takes great faith. Simply believe God.
It is time to embrace the truth about who you are in Christ and start acting on it using positive self-talk. Believe you are loved, you are precious in God’s sight, He died for you or whatever else you need to internalize as the truth.
Along with believing the truth comes deep introspection. Repentance.
It may mean you need to make amends for how you acted toward others when you believed those lies. Lies are the root of sin. Abuse, addiction, lust, infidelity, greed, etc. may have manifested itself because of your belief system.
More than anything it means forgiveness. You may need to forgive others, God, and yourself. This is called sweeping your side of the street. Don’t skip this as it is part of the healing process.
John 8:32 NIV
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Lauren Daigle talks about believing God in this music video called “You Say.” Listen to the words.
Sliding Back to That Old Thought Life
In closing, there are days when you are going to want to slide back into believing the lies. It especially rears its ugly head when you are tired, upset with others, or feeling angry at yourself or God. You may jump into the lies and roll in the mud again. Perhaps you will be tempted to self-sabotage even though you know the truth.
Afterward, the guilt hits. When this happens, go back to positive self-talk using scripture. And then get back up and keep fighting. You may need an accountability partner to help you stay out of the lies. Or find a counselor if you are stuck.
My prayer is you find wholeness and start believing the positive self-talk with scripture. God wants you to give complete control to Him. Let Him define your identity instead of some person who doesn’t know who you really are as a child of God. Believe God’s word and act on it as the truth in your life.
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Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Parenting and Family. This is a place for moms with preschool-age kids or older to talk about their struggles with parenting, family life, education, or marriage. You will find biblically-based advice from other moms who want to raise godly kids.
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