Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” PSALM 126:2 ESV
Living with presence comes through watching what you say. Words matter. What you say matters. Words are matter. Not scientifically. But in the sense that what you think and what you say impacts the life you live. Your words and thoughts (internal words) impact the experiences that come to surround you. Mind your words inside your mind (self-talk), and without. Science tells us we are what we eat. Scripture tells us we are what we think (Proverbs 23:7).
Slow down and examine what you say to yourself and to others. Negative self-talk damages more dreams than any obstacle ever could. As you pay greater attention to your internal dialogue, ask yourself a few questions: Would you say that to someone you love? Would you criticize how someone else looks, what they do, what they just said, especially if they were a child? This can help you realize if you are overly critical of yourself.
If your self-talk seems too harsh, degrading, or judgmental, and you would never say that to someone needing encouragement, then consider not saying it to yourself. As you adjust what’s within you (your self-talk), your mouth will follow suit. Soon, your mouth will be ﬁlled with laughter and your words with joy. Replacing judgment with grace and perfection with progress unleashes a life you’ll love. Let progress be good enough. Aim for okay. Perfection is highly overrated! Be okay with growing, and your self-talk will begin to reward you with compliments rather than complaints.
Everything truly is working together for your personal good. God develops you through the difﬁculties. He cultivates compassion in you through your missteps and mistakes. Since your highest goal while you’re here on earth is to learn to love from a pure heart, then anything that gets you closer to that goal is good. Even the mess-ups. Because it’s in the mess-ups that you have a greater opportunity to learn the values and virtues of grace, humility, empathy, and care.
Negative self-talk stems from a personally imposed standard of perfection. Let that go and learn to nurture your heart as you would a child you love. When you do, you’ll not only see your thoughts transform but also the world around you.
Jesus, replace my negative self-talk with affirming truths of who You say I am. Amen.