Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Power Of Your Self Talk

Photo by Amelia Grace Photography
The Power Of Your Self Talk
As a counselor, I teach my clients that the things they say and think will impact their behavior. For example, if you say and think you are stupid, your actions will play that out. If you say and believe you have value and that you always give life your best, your actions will follow. I know this may sound dorky, like something comedian and writer Al Franken's famous Saturday Night Live character Stuart Smalley would say: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me," but our self-talk really does affect our lives. 
Before I studied counseling, I had no idea how much a list of affirmations posted on my bathroom mirror would impact my life for the better. I was a perpetual pleaser who became unnerved and hurt if anyone showed the least sign of being upset with me. Each day I read one or two affirmations aloud  (“I don’t have to make everyone happy today” or “It’s okay if I make a mistake”) and over time it made a huge impact.  In short, you brain believes what you tell it to believe.
Have you ever paid attention to what you are saying, even silently, to yourself? My pastor calls the mean messages you say silently to yourself, “manure-head messages.” One day I was driving and trying to look at my calendar at the same time. I hit a pipe with my brand new car. Immediately the manure-head messages started going: “You idiot. What’s wrong with you? You should have been paying attention!” But then I quickly took a bigger picture into account and began to ask,  “Gee, who put the swing-set in the middle of the road?”   I immediately relaxed and even chuckled.
The Bible is loaded with affirmations. To find them, just Google “scripture verses affirmation.” Write them down, post them on a mirror, and say them out loud:
I have faith in God.  I will not fear.  (Mark 4:40) God loves me so much that He gave His only Son for me.  I believe in Jesus, therefore I will not perish.  I have everlasting life.  (John 3:16) 
I have access by faith into the grace of God.  (Rom. 5:2) 
Jesus Christ has given all authority in heaven and on earth to me.  (Matt. 28:18) The Lord delivers me out of all my afflictions.  (Psalm 34:19) 

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