Changing Negative Self-Talk: Can I Hear Me Now?

Changing perspective from stressed or depressed  to blessed can be affected by changing negative self-talk.

 Excerpt from: Too Blessed to be Stressed (2011, Barbour Publishing).

donkey

Don’t be an Eeyore, with gloomy words and thoughts that continually bring you down!

 By Debora M. Coty:

“I just cannot learn this new system.”

“I’m dumber than a rock.”

“No way I’ll ever get along with her.”

Sound like anything you’ve muttered to yourself lately?

In the children’s story Winnie-the-Pooh,  Eeyore the donkey has mopey, self-depreciating words and thoughts.  Thoughts like that wear us down and wear us out before we even realize the source of erosion.

The trouble is that we often don’t recognize we’re engaging in negative self-talk. Negativity is habit-forming. We unconsciously develop a compromised view of ourselves when we consistently think things like, “I’m such a loser,” “It’s too hard,” or “Why even try?”

The worst part of negative self-talk is that we’re not only limiting ourselves, we’re limiting our God. The Creator of the Universe. The One who is ready to fill us with expectancy, hope, and potential and wants us to instead tell ourselves, I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need (Philippians 4:13).

So how do we reboot ourselves with a fresh perspective and in the process, significantly reduce the strain and drain that negative self-talk produces? Here are 6 thought-tweaking downloads that can help:

Cut and paste. Train yourself to recognize negative inner chatter the minute it starts and delete immediately. Shake the mental Etch-A-Sketch. Get out the attitude chainsaw. But don’t stop there. Replace those negative thoughts with a positive spin. Let’s revisit the beginning of this article.

“What can I do to learn this new system?”

“How can I break this gargantuan task down into small, do-able steps?”

“I’ve learned to get along with my crazy sister; I can learn to get along with  anybody.”

Tweak your tone. You know how your doctor says, “This may pinch a little” as he jams the needle into your arm? Borrow his technique. “Impossible” is a brick wall compared to “this may take some work.” Wouldn’t you rather tackle a project that’s “challenging,” rather than “unmanageable”?

Be your own BFF. Intentionally over-dub that Eeyore voice droning inside with your BFF voice. Speak to yourself like you would your very best friend. Be:

Encouraging

Uplifting

Affirming

Light and humorous (you’ll listen better!)

Avoid comparisons. Everyone has a different skill set. You are unique. The way you do things may differ from the techniques of others, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Unless you’re the reigning world champion, there will always be someone better at a specific skill than you. So what? You don’t need another trophy.

Memorize Philippians 4:13. Repeat frequently. Trust God and act on it!

Tack on hope. Add “yet,” that magical three-letter word that transforms “I can’t” thoughts into “I can with a little more time”:

“I can’t make this work…yet.

“I’m not smart enough to figure this out…yet.”

“I can’t handle this…yet.”

We believe and internalize what we tell ourselves. Words are powerful. They have the ability to change our perception of our own abilities from limited to limitless.

God’s Love Thwarts a Suicide Attempt

Instead of a suicide attempt, seek and find God’s love and new life — as this one young woman did.

 

Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image: anekoho / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

A group of lively young women—none of them over twenty years of age––sat at attention in a chapel service, ready to talk about their past and how God had rescued them from a life of ruin before they died by suicide or from an overdose of meth or heroine.

As a woman old enough to be their grandmother, I was shocked at what I heard.

“I started drinking and drugging when I was ten,” said one. “And I continued for seven years. I’m nineteen now and have been clean and sober for two years thanks to the love and guidance of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.”

She went on to say that just three years prior to that evening, she had attempted to take her own life by overdosing and drinking. She had passed out and nearly died.

I suddenly felt sick to my stomach imagining a beautiful young woman with practically her whole life ahead of her even thinking about suicide. But she had. Now, however, she referred to herself as “a new creation in Christ.” She went on to share how God had shown up in her life through a Bible study she attended at the invitation of a friend who saw how much trouble she was in.

Psalm 23:1-4 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 121:7-8   The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. 8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

These and other Bible verses spoke to her in a way that no human being ever could. If God’s Word in the Bible could call out to this young woman who had been in bondage for a decade, he can do the same for you.

Take a look at this incredible YouTube video, “God’s Love Letter” based on Scripture from the Bible. It is not only inspiring–but also true.

When Someone in Debt Says: “I’ll Kill Myself”

By Karen O’Connor:

“If My Debt Overwhelms Me I’ll Just Kill Myself!”

 

Image from Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image from Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

I sat across from a pretty dark-haired young woman who appeared to be in her mid-twenties. She and I and others were in a financial planning seminar seated horseshoe fashion in front of the instructor. We were asked to go around the table introducing ourselves and sharing one thing about our financial circumstances that brought us into the room.

When it came to Melody (not her real name) she made the startling declaration that she was up to her waist in debt. Then she laughed and added, “But if my debt overwhelms me I’ll just kill myself.” I was stunned by how casual she was about the possibility of committing suicide. Her declaration shook me to the core. I couldn’t imagine money, of all things, having such a profound effect on a person that she’d give up her life rather than clean up her debt no matter how long it took.

If you’re in debt and ever had such a thought I hope you will consider the serious consequences you’d be leaving to those you love. Not only would they miss you but also they’d be stuck with your bills.

But more important, as the Bible says, “the love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow.”

At this time of year when gift giving has become an overrated commercial enterprise, people throw themselves into debt in order to purchase toys and presents for those they love. One grandmother I spoke with recently told me the amount of money she’d spend on gifts for her grandkids the year before.

“I didn’t have it at the time so I put it all on my credit card, planning to pay it off by this year. But here I am still in debt and it’s time to give all over again.”

We talked for a while and I suggested she consider giving homemade presents from her kitchen—jam or jelly or cookies or home-baked bread—talents she was known for. Somehow she had sold herself short when it came to creating gifts with her own hands. But the more we talked the more excited she got about doing something simple, easy, and within her budget.

I wish I had been able to speak with the young woman at the financial planning meeting but she rushed off afterwards and I never saw her again. Suicide is never the answer to anything. God is the answer to everything!

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” [Proverbs 3: 5-6 in the Bible].

It is never too late to start over, to turn to God in humility and repentance, asking for courage and guidance and wisdom. He will not fail you. He will call you his own.

Enjoy this inspiring YouTube video on how God helps us in times of trouble.