Updated: Aug 20, 2019
Great Tuesday My Brothers and Sisters,
Our past experiences, even the things we don't usually think about, are all alive and active in our daily life in the form of an inner voice. Although most people do not "hear" this voice, in the same way, they would a spoken one, in many ways, it acts similarly, constantly repeating those original messages to us.
For people with healthy self-esteem, the messages of the inner voice are positive and reassuring. For people with low self-esteem, the inner voice becomes a harsh inner critic, constantly criticizing, punishing, and belittling their accomplishments.
Do you ever find yourself berating yourself for something that you've done? Have you ever found yourself struggling with something that you know you should do but keep talking yourself out of? That’s your inner voice.
Your inner voice will say things like, “You can’t do this,” “There’s no way you can succeed,” and “Why bother trying, you’ll just fail.” Your inner voice is your harshest critic and the one who will lower your self-esteem the quickest. You need to change that inner voice from a negative influence to a positive one.
We all have an inner voice. You should talk back to it. Combat it. Let it know that YOU are the one in control-- through your faith, not it-- through negative self-doubt or anything negative that would go against your morals or values! Let’s look at some of the dialogue the inner voice will tell you and healthy ways to rebut what it is saying.
When the inner voice is unfairly harsh: "People said they liked my presentation, but it was nowhere near as good as it should have been. I can't believe no-one noticed all the places I messed up. I'm such an impostor."
Counteract by being reassuring yourself: "Wow, they liked it! Maybe it wasn't perfect, but I worked hard on that presentation and did a good job. I'm proud of myself. This was a great success."
If the inner voice is unrealistically generalizing as in: "I got an F on the test. I don't understand anything in this class. I'm such an idiot. Who am I fooling? I shouldn't be taking this class. I'm stupid, and I don't belong in college."
Tell that inner voice something specific: "I did poorly on this one test, but I've done O.K. on all the homework. There are some things here that I don't understand as well as I thought I did, but I can do the material-I've done fine in other classes that were just as tough.”
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
- Philippians 4:13
One way to do this is through positive affirmations. Speak words of life to yourself and not words of defeat (death). I am sure you've heard this before; it’s merely a way for you to infuse positive self-talk into your life and calm that negative inner voice.
Utilizing positive affirmations can be a potent tool for transforming what a person thinks about him/herself and as a result improve the individual’s self-esteem. Consistent use of positive statements will change the negative beliefs about who a person thinks he or she is into positive ones, will begin to alter the basis and structure of one's self-talk or inner voice and produce a transformation from poor self-esteem to positive self-esteem.
The key to the effective use of positive affirmation in this or any other type of intervention is consistency. The self-image and the negative thoughts about who a person thinks he or she is that generates his or her experience of poor or negative self-esteem is well established in his or her belief system. In many cases, the development of a negative self-image took years to create and has been reinforced through constant behavioral validation.
Because positive self-affirmations are key in developing healthy self-esteem, in the next few weeks, we will go into more depths.
Greatness is upon you! Believe it. Behave it. Become it.
Anthony J. Davis