I remember the first time I heard about self-talk. I was trying to explain to a friend how I felt. She put her hand on my arm and said something that I’ll never forget. “Dee, your self-talk is very negative, and it’s dragging you down.” I had no idea what she was talking about.
She explained that self-talk is the inner dialogue we have with ourselves, both the true, positive talk and the negative lies. The problem with it is that most of us tell ourselves negatives and they are lies, but we accept them as truth. No matter who spoke the lie first, we latched on to it.
Zeke B., a friend from church, once said, “The road of life is loaded with potholes. We don’t need to make our relationships harder by filling the potholes with negative self-talk. He added that if we have too much negative self-talk, they can cause divisions between you and your loved ones the size of the Grand Canyon.
Zeke is right. Our self-talk does affect how we respond to others. For example: if a person believes the lie that they are not good enough but a failure; they’ll repeat it through their self-talk, until they expect to be rejected. They ‘read’ everything that others say or do through the lens of rejection.
The good news is that since negative self-talk is learned, it can also be unlearned. With awareness, preplanning and time, our negative self-talk will become the good, true, positive self-talk that we deserve.
Take a few moments to think about your own self-talk. If it’s mostly true, positive, and up-lifting, then you have a healthy self-perception. However, if the majority of your self-talk is negative, take an honest look at yourself, or ask a trusted friend these questions:
* What are my strengths?
* What lies do I believe?
* What is the truth?
Now replace the negative self-talk with true, positive thoughts. But remember, it took time to accept the lies, just as it’ll take time for the lies to become truth based positive self-talk. Bridge the Grand Canyon with what is true, honest, encouraging, and pure.
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