The Power Of Positive Self-Talk

Words Matter

Words are powerful.  What we say matters.  Words have the power to tear down or build up.  Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death.”

Yes, words are important.  But did you know that this is also true of unspoken words, such as the things you tell yourself?  Let me ask you:  Is your mind full of anxious thoughts?  Do you speak kindly to yourself, or do you beat yourself up for every mistake you make? 

The fact is, whether you are aware of it or not, there is an inner dialogue going on in your mind every day.  Most of the time you’re not even conscious of it.  It’s like a tape that plays over and over, so often that you barely hear it.  But it’s there, and it has more control over you than you might think.

That dialogue is called self-talk.  It can be negative or positive.  It can be a pack of lies, or it can be the truth.  And it is immensely powerful.

I know about the power of words.  For years I was verbally abused and bullied.  Terrible things were said about me and to me.  When you hear such things repeated for years, they become a part of your thought patterns and you start to believe that what you’ve been told is true.  Those words had power, and they almost  destroyed my life.

It took me a long time to understand what was going on inside of me, and it took a long time to change it.

The Power of Positive Self-Talk

Self-talk is powerful because it affects your beliefs and your behavior.  The good news is that you can change that inner dialogue.  It isn’t easy, and it won’t happen overnight.   But change is possible!

Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).  Change will come as you get into God’s Word and God’s Word gets into you.  As you discover your real identity in Christ, the lies will subside and be replaced by the truth.  Your self-talk will become positive.

What are the effects of positive self-talk?  Here are the changes I experienced in my own life:

  • decreased depression
  • better self-image
  • greater self-esteem
  • increased confidence

But don’t take my word for it.  Science backs this up.  Experts at the Mayo Clinic have reported that positive self-talk leads to:

  • lower levels of anxiety and distress
  • lower rates of depression
  • better coping skills
  • improved cardiovascular health
  • increased lifespan
  • better physiological and psychological well-being

In other words, positive self-talk improves mental, emotional, and physical health.  It’s a scientific fact!

So how do you flip your self-talk from negative to positive?

The Process Of Negative To Positive

Awareness is the first step in the process.  You have to identify what your self-talk is saying to you.  Don’t be overwhelmed or discouraged by what you hear.  Remember that much of this has been subliminal, running in the background automatically.

You also need to understand that even though you hear your self-talk as your own voice, not all of your thoughts originate with you.  In his excellent article “Biblical Self-Talk,” Christian educator Dr. Stephen R. Cook explains, “Self-talk refers to our inner reflections, the mental dialogues we have with ourselves.  But self-talk is never neutral.  There’s always a bias, a desire to think a certain way.  Thoughts align with God’s Word, or our personal desires, or the fallen world around us.”

This is why we can’t just let our thoughts roam free.  In 2 Corinthians 10:5 the apostle Paul states, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  Negative self-talk has to be demolished.  Every thought has to be obedient to Christ.  If it doesn’t line up with what God says, it has to go.

The Bible tells us this over and over.  Colossians 3:2 instructs us to “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.”  And Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”  The New International Version (NIV) translates this as, “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”  I like that!

Jesus’ thoughts were constantly focused on His Father.  Jesus sought His Father’s will, and we must do the same by searching God’s Word.  We flip the switch on our self-talk with Scripture.  We are “to be made new in the attitude of your minds” (Ephesians 4:23).

By now I hope it’s obvious that in order to change your self-talk, you have to replace the lies with the truth.  Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will” (emphasis added).

As I said earlier, renewing your mind is a process.  It will take time and effort.  But focusing on God and His Word will bring results.

“Biblical self-talk is where we deliberately and consciously insert God and His Word into our thought processes,” says Dr. Stephen R. Cook.  “The purpose is to produce mental and emotional stability as we orient our thinking to divine viewpoint.”

Knowing who you are in Christ and what God, your Creator and heavenly Father, says about you will make all the difference in how you see yourself.  It will transform your self-talk from negative to positive.  It will give you an entirely new perspective on your life.

I am living proof of that.  I’ve discovered the power of positive self-talk.  You can, too!

 

 

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Related Posts:

“Negative Self-Talk, or How To Plant Weeds”

“Identity:  Who You Are In Christ”

“Hello, My Name Is…?”

 

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