What is self talk?  According to the Psychology Dictionary (2013), self talk is the inner dialogue we have with ourselves that can confirm as well as reinforce both positive and negative beliefs.  Self talk also known as self speak is a powerful tool we all need to learn and utilize wisely.  Sadly, some of us have learned self talk from loved ones, “so called” friends, or bullies who may have spoken unkind, harsh words to us as children.  Therefore we developed a very negative self talk.  Negative self talk can lead to a low self- esteem, depression and anxiety. This in-turn develops into one doubting one’s abilities, putting one’s self down constantly, internalizing negative comments people may throw one’s way, as well as never expecting good things to happen in one’s life.  If nothing else, negative self talk can lead to one accepting anything given; believing that one does not deserve anything more, even if something greater is truly warranted; e.g. a bonus or promotion for exceptional work on the job; a loving spouse, caring friends etc.

How do we overcome negative self talk so we can go on to accomplish great things as well as inspire others? We must fight back, flip the script and start speaking positive things over ourselves!  In their book, Telling Yourself the Truth, Backus and Chapian (2000) explain that it is not one’s circumstances that affect happiness, it is how that person chooses to think about and interpret the circumstances.  Backus and Chapian lay out three steps to become a happy person: locate one’s misbeliefs, remove that misbelief, and replace misbelief with our Creator’s Truth (pp. 15).   Fellow readers, it is only our Creator’s Truth that is worth listening to, thus validating our real self-worth.  How do we know our Creator loves and thinks highly of all those who truly love and obey Him? “For thou has possessed my reins: thou has covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knows right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O Elohim! How great is the sum of them!” Psalms 139:13-17 (KJV).

We should not let negative comments of persons past or present, nor allow the standards laid out by society define our self-worth.  We are told in Ephesians 4:22 to be kind to one another.  How can we be kind to others if we are not first and foremost kind to ourselves? Think positive as “Heaviness in the heart of man makes it stoop: but a good word makes it glad,” Proverbs 12:25. We cannot and will not let the spirit of anxiety and depression rule over us. We must resist it and speak good things over ourselves. In a crowd of hundreds the only positive word that may come to us may be that in which we speak over ourselves.  If that is the case, then so be it! This isn’t to say that if someone gives us positive criticism even if we don’t want to hear it, that we should disregard it. Positive criticism is healthy and necessary to grow in all aspects of life. We must take it, merge it with patience and positive self talk and forge ahead to greatness.

Backus, W. & Chapian, M. (2000).  Telling yourself the truth.  Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers.

N., Sam M.S., “SELF-TALK,” in PsychologyDictionary.org, April 13, 2013, https://psychologydictionary.org/self-talk/ (accessed December 13, 2021).

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