“I can’t believe I exploded like that!” I said to myself last weekend. I felt frustrated and trapped in a situation. Then when I got home, I blew my top at Tim. Afterward, I winced. “Yikes! Not again!”
We all have moments when the pressure cooker builds up so much, something needs to give. The not-so-good news is that anger is hurtful to ourselves and others.
But the good news is our self-dialogue can be changed. Our thoughts steer our emotions. Our emotions fuel our response to events. So it’s crucial the dialogues we hold with ourselves are affirming.
Here are some tips on self-talk:
Studies show when you call something “difficult,” “unfair,” or a “problem,” it becomes more stressful to deal with. Instead, say, “Now here is a challenge.” Your mind will perceive it as a positive effort lying ahead.
Tell yourself, “Here’s a reward for trying.” When I submit articles to periodicals, most are rejected. I just got my twentieth article accepted. But along the way were many “no’s.” I periodically treat myself to a muffin or a new book. “Hey, good job getting up the courage to send those stories in,” I say.
The ratio of positive to positive to negative comments needs to be 5:1 for a relationship to grow. That includes our relationship with ourselves. “I might have blown it, but here are five things I got right.”
Tell yourself, “I can do even this through Christ who gives me strength.” We obeyed. We took the next step. “God’s in charge of the outcome here.”
When dealing with an especially painful failure, say, “Though this has been tough, I refuse to judge myself. I forgive myself.” In the rich loam of affirmation, bitter root judgments can’t take hold.
The enemy hates the word “resilient.” Just when he thought you were discouraged, you bounce back! Determine to say, “I’m taking this one step at a time. Today I made a face plant. But with God in this, I declare I’m resilient!”
What self-declaration are you making today?