Sometime last year, I saw a video where a beautiful little girl, 4 years old, was having her hair combed by a hairdresser, when she suddenly looked into the camera and then blurted out “I’m so ugly.”
The hairdresser firmly but gently told her never to say that about herself and quickly reassured her that she was beautiful. This caused the little girl to burst in tears. The hairdresser immediately embraced her and affirmed her by telling her again that she was beautiful and by highlighting things about her such as her hair, teeth, skin, smile and warm personality that showed her beauty.
Throughout our lives, we have all had moments where we felt as though we didn’t measure up to a particular standard, whether that standard was created by ourselves or by those around us. We tell ourselves that we are not smart enough, that we are not tall enough, that our nose is too big or too small, or that we are a loser, or a failure and we will go on and on about what we think is wrong with us.
We sometimes allow these negative self-talks to not only take root in our hearts but to also define how we see ourselves and we begin to believe that is how other people see us too.
This is dangerous because it can lead to depression, stress, anxiety and can even affect our health. It can also lead us to make decisions that we may later regret. Overcoming negative self-talk and thoughts can be hard, especially when its roots are deep and has been there for years, but with discipline, consistency and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome.
Find the root of your negative thought
Many of us know where our insecurities, negative self-talk and bad thoughts originated from. If we really think about it, we can pinpoint that person who did or said something to us or that thing or incident that happened, that caused us to feel a particular way about ourselves or something around us. And since then, we have held onto that thing, and it became the voice in our head that allows us to speak negatively about ourselves or holds us back from pursuing certain things.
Once we know where it started, we can know our triggers and be better able to guard against it. “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23)
Most of our battles start in the mind and if we can examine our thoughts before they get out of control then we are positioning ourselves for a good fight. The Apostle Paul told the Corinthian Church to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10 verse 5).
In other words, any thought, idea, teaching, or doctrine that operates contrary to the will and knowledge of God must be arrested and brought down. For this to happen we must:
1. Know the Lord
God’s will is revealed through His Word and the more we spend time in God’s word, the more we know about Him and what He says about who we are in Him. When we know God’s Word, we can identify the lies we tell ourselves and to replace it with God’s truth.
2. Obey God Word
We must walk in obedience to what God’s Word dictates. Not only does our obedience draw us closer to God but it also strengthens us and shapes us more into the image of Christ. When we walk in obedience to God’s Word, we walk in His will.
Listen to what God says about you
There is power in God’s Word and when we apply it to our lives and our situations and even to our negative thoughts, change will take place. When we start to replace the lies we feed ourselves with God’s truth, our minds will begin to be renewed and it will become harder to believe the lies.
Therefore, when you hear that negative voice in your head telling you a lie, search the Bible and replace that lie with what God says in His word. For example, if the negative thought has something to do with your body or the way you look, remind yourself of what God’s Word says.
● Negative thought: I hate my voice; I am ugly; my legs are too long etc.
● The Bible: Lord, help me to love my voice.
In the meantime, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. (Psalm chapter 139 verse 14)
It doesn’t matter what that negative voice says to us; once it does not align with God’s Word, reject it and apply God’s Word to your life and to your situation.
Address your negative thoughts quickly
In the story mentioned earlier, I love how quickly the hairdresser rebutted the little girl’s assertion that she was ugly. When it comes to negative thinking, it should be no different. We must address them quickly before they become our entire focus and impact our mood and attitude. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians chapter 3 verse 2)
Another thing that helps us to overcome negative thinking is when we focus on heavenly things. Each of us has a spiritual gift and a part to play in the advancement of God’s Kingdom.
When we use our gifts for God, we are encouraged and feel purposeful because those around us are edified and our spirits are uplifted. Whatever your struggle may be, remember the Word has a solution for every problem. Use it!
Rose-Ann Durant is a young Christian from Kingston, Jamaica, who is currently living in the island of Barbados. She is an ardent reader who enjoys going to the beach, river and spending time outdoors.