One of the most valuable and helpful things I learned in 2016 was the value of positive productive self talk. Some of you might be thinking “I don’t talk to myself.” If that’s you, you just did. Everyone carries on some kind of internal dialogue throughout the day. I know for me, it used to be primarily negative. I would say things to and about myself that I would NEVER say about anyone else. I wouldn’t even let someone say those things about me. But there I go saying them about myself. Think about it for a sec. Would you let someone say to you the things that you say about yourself?
I made it a daily practice of mine to say positive things about myself out loud in front of a mirror at least once per day. This is still a weird and awkward thing to do but it has made profound differences in the way I behave throughout the day. For instance, there have been several times where I felt like not going the extra mile in my work and instead doing just a good job. But what came into my head was the words that I had been telling myself. I have convinced myself that I am a hard worker and that I do go the extra mile. Once my mind was convinced, my actions followed suit. Another time I remember I was about to get furious at ANOTHER terrible Arizona driver but I distinctly thought “I used to be that person, but I’m not anymore. Calm yourself.” This is because I have been regularly convincing myself that I’m not someone who reacts in anger anymore.
This is an especially important practice for Christians. I know that it helps us to become more Christlike through our co-operation with the Holy Spirit to conform us more and more into His likeness. Here’s a good place to start:
Stand alone in front of a mirror and say the following based from Galatians 5:22-23:
I (input your name here) am a loving, joyful, peaceful and peace bringing, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled person.
This will take you less than 30 seconds. It’s so easy. But what if you know that you are definitely NOT self-controlled or kind or any of the above qualities? Wouldn’t that be lying? Nope, and here’s why: Every Christian is indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the moment of their conversion (Acts 2:38). The above qualities are all listed by Paul as fruits of the Holy Spirit. Thus, it seems to follow that as a Christian you have at the very least the seeds of all of these qualities. With the Holy Spirit’s help and your hard work, all of these qualities will be manifested in you.
So do it for a week. It will make a difference. Once you convince yourself that because of God’s work in your life that you really do have all of these qualities, you will start to act like you do.
PS- here’s a link to get the self-talk protocol that I use- it’s more detailed and takes longer but it’s legit.