6 Tips for Overcoming Negative Self-Talk

by Crystal McDowell · Print Print · Email Email

Do you struggle with negative thoughts? If so, you know that it has a snowball effect of failure leading to poor choices and regrets. It’s difficult, but not impossible to overcome negative self-talk. Through time, effort, and a strong desire to be free—you will overcome through the power of Christ by following essential six tips:

Tip #1)  Renew your mind

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). 

Sometimes we entertain negative thoughts because of what others have said to us. We’ve been called stupid, ugly, or worse—and when we hit a low point of our lives, these are the very words we hear in our minds. However, God’s word affirms our value and worth in Jesus Christ. We were created for a divine purpose and God knows how to use our weakness to bring strength to the body of Christ. By memorizing and meditating on Scripture, we can renew our pattern of thinking to reflect what God says rather than what man has said. 

Tip #2)  Learn a new language

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).

In order to close the door on negative self-talk, it will be necessary to replace all negativity with words of hope and life from God’s word. Pray and search for selected passages of Scriptures that encourage your thoughts towards righteousness and truth. Proverbs 139 reveals how God knew you before you were born and has a purpose for your life. 1 Peter 2:9 affirms that you are chosen by God and 2 Corinthians 5:17 reveals how you are a new creature in Christ Jesus. Speak those scriptures out loud to yourself until it becomes your habit to speak truthful words instead of the lies.

Tip #3)  Change your Focus

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2).

The temptation to compare ourselves with other people can lead down the road towards negative self-talk. It’s important to shift your focus from looking at what God does for other people to what God is showing you about your life. The body of Christ is rich in diversity and spiritual gifts. Each child of God is gifted in some way to benefit and build up the church. By focusing on what is eternal (rather than what is earthly and temporary) your mind will be drawn towards hope, joy, and peace in Jesus Christ rather than your situation.

Tip #4)  Counter the Negative

“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

No one is going to show up and make you think differently. You are the one that has the responsibility of taking every thought captive and making it obey Christ. This will require diligence and effort by refusing every negative or sinful thought with scripture. As a believer, you have the power through the Holy Spirit to overcome the evil thoughts. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 is an especially effective verse to memorize when your thoughts wander off to the negative. This scripture will build up your confidence so that the stronghold weakens and eventually is demolished in your mind. 

Practice training your thoughts to what God's word says.

Practice training your thoughts to what God’s word says.

Tip #5)  Stay on your Guard

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Passivity is the enemy of your mind. Just as a soldier mustn’t fall asleep or allow himself to daydream while on guard duty—so it is with your mind. Satan can’t read your thoughts; however, he can influence your mind with evil thinking especially condemning words towards yourself. You must remember that “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The devil can’t handle the Word of God spoken in faith—this is the reason he had to depart from Jesus because He said “It is written…” Don’t be afraid to speak aloud to negative thoughts with what God’s word declares. 

Tip #6)  Stretch your Faith

“Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:3).

Many of us who’ve spent a lifetime with negative self-thinking can’t imagine doing things beyond our capabilities. Yet that is exactly where God wants you to be. It’s when we believe and trust God beyond our abilities that we come to understand who we really are in Christ. We are overcomers by our spiritual nature and born again to trample over demonic strongholds in building up the kingdom of God. Your faith will be strengthened as you embrace God’s word as truth and live your life honoring Him through obedience. Faith stretching is a necessary part of becoming new in your thought life.

What to think about? 

Paul instructed in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Practice training your thoughts towards what is listed above and you will find yourself becoming a stronger, more confident child of God.

More from Crystal: Is There Really Power in Positive Thinking?

Resource – New International Version Bible, The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblca, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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