Scripture and helpful tips to be your best by changing the conversations you have with yourself.
- Posted on Dec 2, 2011
In recent years scientists have learned that “self-talk”—those little inner conversations you have with yourself—plays a huge role in your faith, your happiness and your success. And even though we humans know we are “made in the image of God” (Genesis 1:27), we’re often quick to put ourselves down and, consequently, sabotage our efforts and relationships.
You already know that when you repeat an action consistently, it becomes easier. Brain studies show that repetition literally transforms the wiring of your brain. New things are hard to do because you’re linking combinations of neurons for the first time. It’s kind of like you’re hacking your way through a jungle. The more you travel down that trail, the smoother it becomes. If you’re consistent enough, you practically pave it into a superhighway.
My father took this process a step further. “Practice being who you want to be, and you’ll get there!” In his book The Power of Positive Thinking, he stressed the importance of paying attention to what you tell yourself. “The brain believes what it’s told—so be positive when you talk to yourself!” God himself wants to “encourage your heart and strengthen you in every good deed and word (2 Thessalonians 2:16). But your own negative self-talk can thwart even those efforts!
Listening in on your self-talk will give you a baseline of your existing thought patterns. Check your thoughts daily, to evaluate where you are. What do you hear? Is your inner chatter helpful and encouraging...or defeatist and discouraging?
If you find that your self-talk needs a boost, the good news is that just a little change can set you on the right path. Sometimes all it takes is a pivot in your thinking. Defeating thoughts can often be turned into positive ones with just a few extra words:
I can’t do that!
It’s too hard.
There’s no way that will work.
I’m no good at this.
I don’t have the resources.
It’ll never change.
I can’t do that without help.
It’s too hard if I do it alone.
There’s no way that will work unless I keep trying.
I’m no good at this yet.
I don’t have the resources so I’ll have to find them.
It’ll never change without God’s help—and my effort.
Scripture exhorts us to “encourage one another and build each other up...” (1Thessalonians 5:11). But it’s hard to encourage others if you aren’t good at encouraging yourself!
So talk to yourself. Tell yourself some good things today…and tomorrow.