Recently, I was in the produce section at the grocery store, talking to myself about what type of lettuce I wanted to purchase. I was surprised when the Produce Manager asked if I need help finding something. I responded that I was just talking to myself and didn’t realize I was talking out loud. He said, “Oh no worries, I do that all the time.”
How we talk to ourselves, especially internally, is powerful. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Our thoughts often dictate our beliefs about ourselves and many thoughts come from our own self-talk.
How often have you found yourself thinking or even saying to yourself, “I’ll never be able to complete this project — I’m not smart enough” or “I’ll never get out of debt — I just can’t catch a break?”
Self-talk can be either constructive or destructive.
I’ve heard it said that negative thinking keeps us from believing God’s truth about ourselves. If we believe and think about ourselves in positive ways, our actions will surely follow. On the other hand, thinking that we cannot achieve our goals sets us on a course to fall short of God’s intended plan for our life. A person’s own thoughts and words are often the strongest influence in their life.
God tells us to renew our minds, to eliminate negative and self-destructing thoughts in order to focus on and pursue His will for our lives. Our thoughts become beliefs and our beliefs influence our actions.
“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.” Romans 12:2
Becoming aware of our self-talk is the first step to changing negative thoughts into thoughts that reflect what God’s Word says about us and who we are in Him. This won’t happen overnight but in time, if we practice thinking about what we’re thinking about AND replace our negative thoughts, our thinking and speaking will be transformed. Memorizing scriptures and asking for the Holy Spirit’s help is vital to changing our self-talk.
How do you talk to yourself?
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8