Combating Negative Self-Talk
Hey girl, have you ever had someone talk badly about you? How about someone who said words that cut deep? Maybe those words were said 5 minutes ago, maybe 5 weeks ago, or maybe even 5 years ago; yet you still hear them, feeling their weight on your shoulders, pushing you down. Negative words leave marks on our head and on our heart. Would you treat a friend like this? Would you call up your best friend and trash them? Probably not, atleast I sure hope not.
Now, consider how you talk to yourself. You, just like me, can be your own biggest critique. We are never good enough, pretty enough, strong enough... We beat ourselves up for the smallest things and fill our minds with self-doubt and ridicule. I have been there. Trust me. I put myself down, I second guessed my purpose, I thought badly about my looks, feelings, life, goals. Why, though? Why is it so easy for us to treat ourselves with such disdain? Why do we allow ourselves to nit pick every single thing we do? Today, I'm determined to set us free. Free from negativity. Free from self-inflicted wounds. Free from doubt, shame, hurt. You ready? Let's do this.
Setting the stage
This week, my pastor shared a story about an elementary art show. A man saw a scultpure that basically craved laughter. It was all sorts of funny-looking. He brought his family over to see the figurine and share in his laughter. In that moment, a young girl standing behind the family walked up to the sculpture and presented her artwork, "This is my self-portrait." Her face covered in tears, looking sadly at the ground. You can just imagine how badly the family felt for making fun of the sculpture. Not only was it her artwork, but it was made to look like her. This is so similar to how the Father feels when we trash ourselves. He crafted us so carefully and perfectly, yet we hate on his design. Even more, we are made in His image–we are made to look like Him and reflect Him. Who are we to treat ourselves like this? If we are made in his image, everytime we speak negatively to ourselves, we are speaking negatively to and about God as well. Hmm, makes you think, huh?
Step 1: REALIZE
We must come to the realization that our negative self-talk is harmful to our future. It hurts and cuts and represses. It prevents us from achieving our true potential. So, the first step to combating negative self talk is to understand its harmful effects. Refuse to accept the judgement we inflict on ourselves.
Step 2: STOP
Realizing we are making harmful remarks isn't enough. We must stop them in their tracks. Stop thinking and talking. Go no further; do not let yourself to continue the thoughts. This step sounds easy, but it is harder than it seems. Stopping the thoughts in their tracks requires a strong mind, one that desires a change. Train your mind right now, to stop when you hear negative thoughts. In order to stop we must have a plan of what to replace our talk.
Step 3: RENEW
A renewal fills your cup. Fill your mind with positive thoughts. Fill your mind with truth. As soon as you hear negative thoughts creep into your head, stop, and rehearse words of truth instead. Be strong and know you are worth changing the way to talk to yourself. Replace your negativity with positivity. You deserve it. Here is a list of some of the lies we tell ourselves and their truth counterpart.
LIE: "I'm ugly"
TRUTH: "My image is godly and I am perfectly crafted"
"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." -Genesis 1:27
"1 praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." -Psalm 139:14
LIE: "I'm too afraid of ____"
TRUTH: My God will strengthen me in times of trouble"
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” -Isaiah 41:10
LIE: "No one cares about me"
TRUTH: God knows everything about me
"I know the number of hairs on your head, and before a word is on your tongue I know it" -Matthew 10:30
LIE: "I'm not good enough"
TRUTH: "I am free from my past."
"For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." -Romans 8:2
LIE: "I can't go on"
TRUTH: "I have strength to run without fainting"
"But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." -Isaiah 40:31
LIE:"I have no purpose, I can't go on"
TRUTH: "My future is planned and filled with hope."
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11
LIE: "I'm not worth it"
TRUTH: "I am worth everything in Christ. I am a son/daughter of the King"
"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." -1 Peter 2:9
LIE: "I'm too shy"
TRUTH: "I am bold in the Lord"
"In whom we have boldness and confident access to God because of Christ's faithfulness" -Ephesians 3:12
LIE: "I'm not strong enough"
TRUTH: "I have strength given to me whenever I need it."
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." -Isaiah 40:29
LIE: "I don't have enough"
TRUTH: "I have everything I will ever need"
"And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus" -Philippians 4:19
LIE: "I'm unlovable"
TRUTH: "I am loved unconditionally"
"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him." -1 John 3:1 "
We know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you." -1 Thessalonians 1:4
LIE: "I'm so alone"
TRUTH: "I am never alone"
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." -Joshua 1:9
Do you know that you are a work of art? So before we fall into the same patterns of negativity, we must first change our minds. We have to stop before we start. We must fill our hearts and minds with truth instead of lies. When we treat ourselves with respect our lives will surely change for the better.
Photo cred: @youknowitsallgood
Listen to the sermon that gave me inspiration to write this blog here.