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Break Free from Negative Self-Talk: How to Speak Life into Your Heart

discouraged man with his hand over his face

What is Negative Self-Talk?

“I’m never going to get this done on time. I'm so dumb.”

“Everything is going wrong, and nothing wants to work my way.”

Have you ever said those things when Mondays come around, and the day-to-day activities are overwhelming? It seems like the weekend was exhausting, and you need a weekend to recover. Then comes Tuesday, and next thing you know, the whole week went by with hopeless thoughts and just feeling…meh. 

If you can relate, trust me, you are not alone.

I always thought that saying statements like this was just a stress relief. What’s the issue? Life is tough, this is how I can express myself. What's wrong with that?


Well, not really. There are words that give life to your heart, mind, and spirit. And there are words that do just the opposite. 

I remember I said those words aloud once while talking to my sister, “I am a failure. I will never reach what I have in mind.” She quickly replied, “What a death sentence you gave to yourself. I don’t think this is true and I don’t think that’s from God either”.

She was not wrong. I felt God was really tackling this part of me during that season. I kept hearing, seeing, and coming across sermons about the power of speaking life–that life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). God is humorous this way. He inundates me with a singular message, "Watch your self-talk", until I feel pushed into a corner to accept. I don’t know how God works with you, but God disciplines and corrects me in this way. 

How to Begin Countering Negative Self-Talk?

Woman thinking

God slowly taught me to capture my negative thoughts from the beginning (2 Corinthians 10:5) by assessing the thought and testing it before exiting my mouth.

My spiritual mother taught me that if it’s condemning, dark, and leads to despair, then it’s the enemy. If it’s uplifting, correcting, and leads to hope, then it’s the Holy Spirit.

"Is this from God? Or is this the enemy?”  

I began slowly to discern the voice of the enemy in my self-talk and I began to intentionally speak the opposite. So when I had thoughts of failure, I began quoting scripture. “For God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of sound mind, power, and love” (2 Timothy 1:7). I also took scripture and tailored it around myself (Genesis 39:2): “and the Lord was with [my name] so she will prosper”.

Speaking life can reshape your entire life. It can transform your relationship with God, people, and yourself and change your perspective.

How Speaking Life Impacted Me

I’ve experienced the power of speaking life-giving words. I was bitter towards my dad, but as soon as I began expressing love towards him in words, appreciating the little things he did, and being grateful that he’s still alive and in my life–all in words whether towards him or just talking to the Lord, my heart changed. It felt like those words created a different reality; now I am in that new reality. Words create. After all, God spoke creation into existence. He created us in His image. Our words are effective and have a ripple effect on our lives. 

So, friend, I encourage you to start speaking encouraging words over yourself. Speak life over your actions and your mistakes. Don’t sentence yourself to death because of a hiccup on your journey. Instead, say “Today has been a hard day and very long, I am proud of myself for enduring it.” When things are not going your way, shift your perspective – it could be God’s protection or redirection to something better. It must be. He knows the plans He has for us, they are to help us grow and prosper (Jeremiah 29:11). 



person journaling
  • We are all to some extent living on autopilot, but that doesn't negate the effect negative thoughts have on us. This exercise helps to break patterns and live more intentionally. For the next 3-5 days, set your alarm on your phone or watch to ring every hour to remind you to quickly jot down whatever you’re thinking and feeling at the time. At the end of the 3-5 days, look over what you’ve written and see if there’s a pattern. Is there anything you want to change, have more of, or have less of? Also, set aside time with Holy Spirit to talk about where these thoughts and emotions are coming from. Many of our negative thoughts are fear-based and God wants to help us out of fear-based thinking.

  • If we want to change the negative thought patterns we need to do more than just stop thinking them, we need to prepare to have something to replace them with. Begin creating a list of Bible verses that speak life over your heart and feel like hugs and kisses from the Father. And when you’re feeling the blues because of negative thoughts, grab the list and recite God’s Truth over yourself. (Click here to read Father God's love letter to find inspiration for your list)


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