It’s Time to Eliminate Negative Self-Talk
by Rick Warren
“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” (Proverbs 4:23 TEV)
Long before psychology came around, God said your thoughts determine your feelings and your feelings determine your actions.
Our minds are really an amazing creation. It would take a computer the size of the Pentagon just to carry out the basic functions of your brain. Your brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells. Each individual cell is connected with 10 thousand other neurons.
You are constantly talking to yourself — all the time. You’re talking to yourself right now! Research indicates that most people speak at a rate of 150 to 200 words per minute, but the internal dialogue that you carry on with yourself (self-talk) you do at a rate of 1300 words per minute.
The problem is, in all that self-talk, a lot of people are like Job. In Job 9:20, he says, “Everything I say seems to condemn me” (TEV). If you’re typical, you are your own worst critic. Right? You’re always putting yourself down. You could walk into a room smiling, but inside you’re saying, “I’m fat. I’m dumb. I’m ugly. And I’m always late.” Most of it is unconscious.
God wants you to stop putting yourself down. When you put yourself down, who are you really putting down? You’re really pointing to the Creator who made you. When you say, “God, I’m worthless. I’m no good. I can’t do anything,” you’re saying, “God, you blew it with me.” That’s why God says it’s wrong to put yourself down.
How do you eliminate negative self-talk so you can become a more confident person? It’s the principle of replacement: “Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right. Think about all you can thank God for and be glad about it” (Philippians 4:8 TLB).
Focus on what you want to be, on what God wants to do in your life. I don’t know any better antidote to low self-esteem than to read God’s Word every day. Study it, memorize it, meditate on it, and learn it in your life. I can’t tell you a better thing to help you raise your confidence level than to get in the Bible and start believing what God says about you.
Talk About It
As you read through the Bible, chapter by chapter, find a verse that speaks to you, write it down on a card, memorize it, and start affirming it back to God: “I am valuable, I am significant, I am forgivable, and I am capable.” Let God remold your mind because “as [a man] thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).