Things I Refuse to Say to Myself

Whether we’re conscious of it or not, each of us has an inner dialogue running through our mind. Sometimes I find myself thinking on something and then realize I have no idea how I got there.

It catches me off guard.

A mind that constantly runs seems to be pretty normal, right? But what happens when we deviate from positive self-talk and run down a path of negative self talk about ourselves?

negative self talk for Christian women

How does negative self talk affect us?

Through years of ups and downs with depression and chronic illness, I experienced the detrimental effects of negative self-talk. And it wasn’t until I got serious about reframing my thoughts that I was able to start healing.

Now I consciously choose to think on things that align with scripture and encourage me in living out my identity as a daughter of God. This is a conscious choice I make daily, hourly, and sometimes by the minute.

With lies and negativity being shouted to the masses, it’s no wonder depression, anxiety, and overall discontentment are on the rise.

I’m convinced that many of the struggles we face with negative self talk and feelings of inadequacy stem from the things we feed ourselves. Both outside influences (like social media) and internal influences (the way we speak to ourselves) are feeding us food that either nourishes or depletes us.

Proverbs 15:14 says,

A discerning mind seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness. (CSB)

It clearly matters what we feed our minds. Talking to myself with words that aren’t just hurtful but are actually untrue makes me a fool.

So I know I shouldn’t do that anymore. I refuse to speak words, either vocally or internally, about myself that put me down or reinforce negative thought patterns.

And my life has changed drastically as a result.

Things I refuse to say to myself:

1. I’m fat, ugly, not pretty enough, etc.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of self-depreciation because of perceived appearance. Having dealt with acne and weight issues on and off since childhood, I’ve cried over my appearance more times than I care to discuss. At this point in my life, I know it’s not worth it to engage in negative talk about my body.

We were created in God’s image for the purpose of glorifying Him. This goes much beyond outer appearance. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV) Because of this truth, I choose to care for my body well without obsessing over my appearance.

2. My husband doesn’t love me.

This is one of the biggest lies that creeps into my life. I have an unjustified fear of abandonment that I must choose to release to God when it creeps in. I know that Jonathan loves me. And even so, I know my hope cannot be placed in the love of another person. It can only be placed in Christ.

Negative Self Talk

3. Things will ONLY be better if…

The grass is greener syndrome is a real struggle, isn’t it? This one is made worse when I become too laser-focused on what I believe is going to make everything better. Without that one thing, things can’t get better (or so I sometimes think). This is a lie. While there are tools and resources for my health and well-being that I believe God placed on my path at just the right time, the situation can become better (or I can feel better about it) if I choose to reframe my thoughts. I don’t have to wait for something to change.

4. I have to get my life together. I have to figure it out.

Sure, I make intentional choices each day because I want to live so that God would be known and glorified. But that doesn’t mean I have to put so much pressure on myself. Each day, I can faithfully take steps in the direction I plan to go, but I can do so without a heavy yoke.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

5. I’ll never be healthy, happy, better, etc.

I can’t live in “never-land.”  Why limit what God can do in the situations of life? I’ve come to realize that my perspective has a lot to do with how I feel about my happiness, health, and overall state of being.

6. I hate my life or I hate myself.

This one cannot enter my thought process. It just can’t. I do not hate my life. When something goes wrong and this lie starts to creep in, I have to squash it by replacing it with truth. Lately I’ve been praying that God would squash any lies that come across my path.

7. I’m so stupid.

I do not actually think I’m stupid. I believe I’m intelligent. But when I would get embarrassed about something, I too often, in the past, found myself engaging in an internal dialogue of negative self-talk that told me I was stupid. Telling myself I’m stupid is not speaking truth, and it’s harmful for my attitude.

So these are the words of negative self-talk I refuse to tell myself.

Do I perfectly draw the line? Honestly, no. There are times when these thoughts begin to creep into my mind. But in those moments, I have a choice. I can either engage in the thoughts or stop them in their tracks.

When I choose to stop the negative thinking patterns, I am happier, healthier, and more content.

There is immeasurable power in both positive and negative self talk.

It’s pretty cool how God designed our minds, huh?

I’m curious … have you found that speaking positive, truthful words to yourself is beneficial? Has negative self talk been harmful to you?

I’d love to know more! Please share in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “Things I Refuse to Say to Myself

    1. Hey Kathryn! I’m so glad you found it helpful to you at just the right time. Love how God works things like that out!

  1. Emily, such perfect timing. I was just having this conversation with myself. I went on vacation, and am now going through a herx. I initially started down “that road”, but chose to be thankful that I could actually go on a vacation. Self talk, and knowing who we are in Christ, does make all the difference. Thank you for the encouragement. Be blessed!!!

    1. Hey Tammy! I love how God gives us pieces of encouragement just when we need them! I do admit that I struggle a lot more when herxing, so I know what you mean! Praying praises with you that you were able to go on vacation!

  2. For me my Negative Self Talk began after years of dealing with Chronic Pain and Doctors telling me I was only going to get worse. In the beginning, I sought every Treatment prescribed to me and nothing seemed to cure the problem. I continued to get worse. The more Pain, the more Depressed. It’s been 4-5 years living in Chronic Pain that doctors still are telling me I am only going to get worse, and prescribed many medications that have Side Effects, but no cure. Recently, it was acknowledged that I have Compression of my Cervical Spinal Cord, among Many Other Multilevel Conditions. I use to be active, positive and ambitious before my injuries. I now spend most of my time in bed as Any Activity causes Higher Pain Levels that Sometimes reaches Level 9 of 10. A normal day for me is Pain Levels 4-9 Daily. I can’t do the things I use to. I have the word “Can’t”! I refused to use that word in my life until recently. I now struggle with that Fact that I Will Never Be The Same Again. I must accept it, just as I must accept help from others. I must focus on laying in bed and being able to respond to your blog and working on my Genealogy by Phone. Tiny Little Accomplishments that I can do. Although it was never like me to Sit or Lay around. I was always busy & active and I never needed to depend on anyone but myself before. I am SO THANKFUL that I have an understanding Partner that knows me & understands. I will try to remember to THINK POSITIVE. I am glad you are doing so much better.

    1. Sam, I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been through!! I can relate to becoming more depressed with more pain and having doctors telling me I probably wouldn’t see much improvement. That is really hard! I admire your attitude to still embrace the tiny accomplishments that are actually BIG accomplishments! I’m glad to hear you have a loving support system! 🙂

  3. I seem to keep revisiting the negative thoughts, I just think that I can do it, that God has a plan and a purpose and will use my brain tumour and brain surgery experience for good. Then I skip back into just seeing my dysfunction and the abilities and skills I have lost. Acceptance of this new version of me, some days is hard. I tell myself it could be worse, that I am loved and am making slow progress, I still have purpose. But there I am again, questioning God, why? I am dissatisfied, I try to be positive and am good at encouraging others, some days I can only listen to music to lift my spirit, it’s exhausting.

    1. Joanne, I resonate with what you shared… Yes. It sure can be exhausting! It takes so much intentionality to change the negative thoughts. I hear you, friend. It really can be challenging! But I admire how you want to see purpose in the pain! You know God is in control and you seek to trust Him. That means a lot!

  4. I often listen to Dr. Caroline Leaf’s podcasts and read her blogs. I also am reading her book, “Switch on your Brain.” What you said in this blog goes along with her teachings and scientific knowledge of the brain. She starts with the Bible as her foundation and proves out the theories she sees in God’s Word. Your mind can change your brain, which can have positive improvements in your health. You are right on Emily! Been in chronic pain 13 years but improving!!!

    1. Hi Dawn! I’m so glad you’ve gained the same understanding!! I’m familiar with Dr. Caroline Leaf’s work and want to dive into it more. It’s awesome to hear you’re improving!! God designed our brains so wonderfully!

  5. I think some of these are easier for certain people. For example, it’s easy for you to do #1 because you AREN’T fat or ugly. It’s harder for people who truly do struggle with those things.

    1. Hey Jill, I see what you mean. 🙂 I know it can be harder for some people than others. However, I’ve dealt with weight issues for most of my life, so it’s not a completely foreign concept for me. I was an obese child, thinned out a bit, but then became overweight during parts of early adulthood. I’ve kept weight off for several years now but it isn’t a natural thing for me. I had to make a lot of conscious choices to lose weight when my weight was negatively affecting my health.

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart, Emily. This was so convicting for me. I say almost all these things to myself nearly everyday. Even though I know what is true, so often it doesn’t feel true. I feel like negative self talk is so engrained in my thinking habits it’s going to take a long time to change. I believe that healing is possible because I’ve been in a much more positive place in other seasons of my life, thanks to the Lord. But as I’m sure you know life happens and the moment I let my guard down and take my eyes off Jesus those bad thoughts start creeping in. I almost don’t even realize it until I’m so weighed down by them that I feel hopeless.
    I’m clinging to Jesus and trying to replace those thoughts with truth. Taking every thought captive is so hard, but I know God can change my heart and my thinking.
    As I’m sure you know struggling with Chronic Illness can bring on depression and emotions that seem so heavy. Your blog has been a little ray of sunshine to me and always points me back to jesus. It really is a blessing to me and so many people. keep writing! <3

    1. Jana, I’m so thankful that God has used the blog to help point you back to Jesus! That’s my goal in all of the writing I do. 🙂 Yes – God can and WILL change your heart as you continually surrender to Him! Thanks for reading!!

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