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Do you know how to stop negative self-talk? C’mon, you know what I mean! Some of the things we tell ourselves are not kind.

Let me jog your memory. Here are some negative self-talk examples: “You look so fat,” “No one loves you,” “You’re not pretty,” “You are so dumb,” or “No one cares about you.” It’s that negative self-talk you do daily that no one knows about—your dirty little secret.

That nasty tape running through our heads day in and day out tells us we are nothing or that we shouldn’t even exist.

Why would we want to do this to ourselves? Furthermore, why do we struggle with giving ourselves positive self-talk?

In this post, we will discuss the lies we tell ourselves and how to stop negative self-talk using scriptures. The Word of God is a great way to break strongholds and permanently rewire your mind away from negative self-talk.

What is Negative Self-Talk?

Negative self-talk can be defined as a self-defeating negative tape running through your brain. Over time, it may limit your ability to believe in yourself and reach your potential. It is a type of self-hate.

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 logical at all. It’s emotional.

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When Did the Negative Self-Talk Start?

If you are dealing with negative self-talk, chances are the lies started early in your life and have kept snowballing as you have aged.

Moreover, it probably started when others rejected you at home, at school, on the field, or at 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.

Maybe you were a bit overweight, your sibling didn’t always like you, you weren’t an “A” student, or you weren’t amazing at sports.

As a result, you carried those mantras into adulthood, and now they are with you all the time. Consequently, you believe you are not loved, valued, or will ever be good enough or intelligent 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 that only God can define your identity because He is the only one who knows ALL of you. If you want to learn how to stop negative self-talk, it is time to start believing what God says.

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How Does Negative Self-Talk Affect Us?

Negative self-talk can affect us in many ways in the long term. Chances are those old lies entrenched into your brain (neuropathways) for years are causing you harm. Sadly, you may have given some misinformed person too much control over your life.

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Amazingly, you gave the person who rejected you 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.

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 many times. It is frustrating. 

Don’t worry. There is hope if you want to know how to stop negative self-talk.

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How to Stop Negative Self-Talk Using Scripture

If you want to know how to stop negative self-talk, then check out these six tips.

It is time to kick those other people out of your brain and start thinking about how God feels about you. Here is what I have done, and it has worked very well. Perhaps it will help you too.

1. Acknowledge the lies

Realize you have hard-wired yourself into a self-defeating mantra that has probably been going on for decades. To stop it, you have to admit your actions don’t work. They are genuinely lies.

Furthermore, you need to commit to changing your behavior. No more wallowing, obsessing, or stroking your pain points. You have grieved long enough. 

This is the first step to learning how to stop negative self-talk.

RELATED: How to Deal with Shame and Guilt: Letting Go of the Past

2. Catch yourself and stop

Next time you start thinking about the lies, stop yourself!

If you are like me, it may take a few minutes to realize what you are doing because it is an old habit. Once you can 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 can consciously continue with the lies and self-pity or stop and replace them with positive self-talk.

Many people get tripped up here. They don’t want to do the work of changing their thought patterns or stopping self-soothing because they are in so much emotional pain.

They would rather keep on wallowing, obsessing, and stroking the lies. You see, it feels good. Really good. 

If you want to know how to stop negative self-talk, stop yourself before you sink into a black hole.

RELATED: How to Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself: 5 Ways to Move On

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3. Change your thoughts

If you want to know how to stop negative self-talk, you will have to change your thoughts. This means paving new neuropathways in your brain that have never existed before. Don’t be fooled; this takes hard work, self-reflection, honesty, and a leap of faith.

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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 lived in lies for so long that you don’t know the truth. This is where the reprogramming starts.

4. Write down the lies

Create a negative self-talk worksheet. Write down every lie you believe on the page’s left side. 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 scripture to combat lies with truth

On the right side of your negative self-talk worksheet, write down scripture to combat each lie. Then, write the scriptures down on notecards.

Read the truth (scripture) every day, several times a day, out loud if possible. Using these daily affirmations of positive self-talk will rewire your brain.

Here is an example of my notecards:

negative self-talk

You are creating new neuropathways in your brain and abandoning the old thought patterns you used to have.  This is how you stop negative self-talk in your head.

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 these positive self-talk affirmations. 

If you are a Christian 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.

If you want to know how to stop negative self-talk, keep doing this every day. You can also add mantras such as: “God loves me,” “I am a child of God,” “I am enough.”

RELATED: War Room Prayer Strategy: 7 Tips to Pray Powerful Prayers

6. Believe the truth

This next phase takes great faith. Simply believe God.

It is time to embrace the truth about who you are in Christ and act on it using positive self-talk. Believe you are loved and 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 must 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 themselves 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.

” Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32 NIV).

7. Practice telling the truth

Learning to think positively takes practice. Take time to tell yourself the truth every day and reinforce your new thinking. Continue to cut off and stop any negative thinking. You can code your word with “red,” “yellow,” or “green.”

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Make all your self-talk “green” in nature. This will help you retrench your thoughts with the truth.

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how to stop negative self-talk How Do I Improve My Self-Talk?

If you want to improve your self-talk, then give yourself grace. There will be days when you want to slide back into believing lies. Self-talk especially rears its ugly head when you are tired, upset with others, or 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. Then get back up and keep fighting. You may need an accountability partner to help you stay out of the lies. If you are stuck, find a counselor.

I pray you find wholeness and start believing the positive self-talk with scripture.

God wants you to give Him complete control. Let Him define your identity instead of some person who doesn’t know who you really are as a child of God. Believe in God’s word and act on it as truth.

Did you learn how to stop negative self-talk? What do you do? Comment below.

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Author

Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.

12 Comments

    • Rachel, thanks for your comment. I am glad it was helpful. I have found self-talk to be a difficult thing to conquer, but having scriptures in front of me to remind me of the truth really helps.

  1. Great stuff! This topic is a big passion of mine too! I will add to your great points that taking captive our thoughts is a spiritual battle, not just will power. We have to reject the bad thoughts in Jesus’ name. Sometimes it’s helpful to ask God why we are thinking those negative thoughts too. He might remind us of a time in our past where we started believing these lies about ourselves… then He can go in and heal that wound. Blessings!

    • Heather, this is so true. It is a spiritual battle. Many times those lies start early in our lives before we understand who we are in Christ or have a chance to even understand the truth. It is important to go back and figure out where and when it started so we can defeat the original lies.

    • Hard to do sometimes too. I may go for an hour or two before I catch what I am doing. Sometimes a couple of days. Eventually, my stubborn brain starts conforming to the word of God. It is hard to give up old habits and have positive self-talk! Thanks for your comments.

  2. I love this! In order for us to have positive self thoughts, we must first change our how and what we think about ourselves! So true!

    • Anitra, I found this to be what has changed my thinking. Positive self-talk based on scripture is always going to be true. I knew I could count on that since my thinking was so skewed.

  3. 5, Find a scripture to combat each lie with the truth. <- i do this a lot and it really helps. I also make a journal of my own thoughts/faith and it helps a lot to look back and read what my struggles were..

    • Peejay, really great idea. I just found an old journal from about ten years ago. It is fun to see how God brought me through those difficult periods. I was struggling with a health issue and I couldn’t figure out the problem. It was nice to go back and read it knowing the answer. I also read it knowing the answer to my spiritual problem. Positive self-talk using scripture is so helpful to rid the mind of doubt.

  4. #1,2 and 3, I practice regularly. #4 I have not tired. I LOVE #5! Great post! I shared in on my page.

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