Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Changing The Story You Tell Yourself


Practical steps to changing your negative self talk.

~~ Watch the Video ~~


  • Introduction

  • Defining Wholeness

  • The Story You Tell Yourself Review

    • Our Inner Critic

    • The Story You Tell Yourself

    • The Dependence Story

    • The Unworthy/Defective Story

    • The Disconnection Story

    • The Mistrust Story

    • The Failure Story

  • The Abandonment Story

  • Practical Steps to Healing

  • Relinquish Identify Inner vows

  • Observe the thoughts

  • R.A.I.N.

  • Coping Statements

  • The Practice of Gratitude

  • Focus on Strengths

  • Journaling

  • Envisioning Activity

  • Conscious Community 


  • Romans 12:2

  • Psalms 118:8

  • Luke 12:6-7

  • Proverbs 18:1

  • 1 Corinthians 13:7

  • Isaiah 41:10

  • Deuteronomy 31:6

  • 2 Corinthians 10:5

  • 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 


How many people judge yourself too much?

Romans 12:2

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

The thoughts we think and the stories we tell ourselves are influenced by 

  • Our past experiences

  • Past relationships

These stories impact how we view

  • Ourselves

  • Others

  • God

Example: my mother didn’t call me back

  • She’s so forgetful

  • She’s might have had a heart attack

  • She never pays her bills

  • She must be busy.  She’ll call me when she’s free.

  • Oh no she was kidnapped!

  • Maybe she was abducted by aliens

  • She never liked me. She always liked my sister more.

When you feel stressed or anxious there’s usually a combination of emotion and thoughts associated with the negative emotions.  

  • Even though the emotions is valid, the thought can be distorted in some way

In this lesson we will look at how to change the thoughts we use to process the emotions we feel

Defining Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

Wholeness is about being _______ healthy

  • spiritually

  • emotionally

  • mentally

Dealing with life’s current stresses and also being healed from past experiences/wounds 

Traits of Wholeness

  1. Authenticity 

  2. Honesty

  3. Kindness

  4. Not seeking external approval / validation 

  5. Living by values and principles 

  6. Setting Boundaries

  7. Living with Purpose and Passion

  8. Optimism 

  9. Confidence

  10. Healthy relationships with both genders

  11. Not losing control of your emotions

  12. Free from addictions

  13. Addressing Conflict

  14. Vulnerability 

  15. Non Judgmental 

  16. Not jealous

    1. Genuinely applaud the success of others

  17. Forgive those who have wronged you in the past

  18. Accept that God loves you as you are

  19. Not afraid to fail

  20. Free from irrational fear, worry, and anxiety 

  21. Selfless encounters with others

    1. You don’t give to get

  22. Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions

    1. Guilt tripping

    2. Omitting information

  23. Empathetic

    1. You genuinely care about how others feel

We want to focus on understanding where we are today

  • Not by focusing on what we are not but should be

“We get more change by becoming deeply aware of who we are rather than  striving to become someone we are not.”

The Story You Tell Yourself Review


Jacob and Esau

Genesis 25:21-28

  • Rebecca favored Jacob

  • Isaac favored Esau

Favoritism causes Sibling rivalry

The way your parents perceived you and treated you can have impacts that last for your entire life

A man who has been the indisputable favorite of his mother keeps for life the feeling of a conqueror, that confidence of success that often induces real success.

—Sigmund Freud

Our Inner Critic

The negative criticism you tell yourself is often the voice of someone from your past

Self talk:  

  • Nobody wants me

  • I’m stupid

  • I’m ugly

  • I will never get married

  • It’s not safe to trust anyone

  • I’m powerless

  • I am helpless

  • There is no future for me

These are often The words of

  • Parents

  • Teacher

  • Sports coach

  • religious leader

  • Boss

  • trusted friend

  • Mean kids

Your belief about other people and relationships was formed largely based on your interaction with your caregivers

A child believes that everything that happens is because of them

Many times your view of yourself is caused by your early childhood experiences

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Who's voice do you hear when you say these things to yourself?

  • What scenario do you envision when you hear yourself feeling this way?

The Story You Tell Yourself

If you have low self-worth criticism becomes damaging rather than just being feedback.

When you have a negative opinion of yourself like If you feel unworthy it doesn’t matter what someone says or doesn’t say you feel that way at baseline.

That feeling of inadequacy shapes

  • The company you keep

  • The opportunities that you make yourself available for

  • The decisions that you make

These stories we tell ourselves create:

  • anxiety 

  • Self-doubt


  • Self worth

  • Self confidence

  • How you view yourself

  • Perception of the world

The Dependence story

  • I can’t cope with being alone

  • I can’t trust my own judgment

  • I need someone to take care of me and make me happy

  • Life is too overwhelming to cope with on my own

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How can you gradually take on more responsibilities?

  • What are some small ways that you can challenge yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone?

  • What can you  do to enjoy your solitude more?


You need to learn to be comfortable with yourself so you can be able to soothe yourself and break away from this pattern of being too dependent on someone else to meet your needs


Psalms 118:8

8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD

Than to trust in man.

The Unworthy/Defective Story

  • I’m flawed

  • I’m unlovable

  • I am damaged

  • I am less than 

  • If people knew me they would reject me

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • How will you know when you are accepted/acceptable?

  • Who in your past made you feel defective?

    • Are there alternate explanations?

    • How can you silence those old tapes?

      • That’s not me anymore

      • It doesn’t really matter

  • Who in your past has been accepting and supportive?

  • Who in your present is accepting and supportive?

    • Maybe it is acceptance in one area of your life and not across-the-board

  • How can you start accepting yourself?

  • Ask yourself what about you is lovable?


  • Understand that nobody is perfect

  • Do you believe the people can see your human imperfections and still love you?

  • How would you be different if you knew the people that cared about you would never leave you or stop loving you no matter what?


Luke 12:6-7

6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.

7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

The Disconnection Story

  • No one understands me

  • I rarely feel close to people

  • I feel like there’s an invisible barrier between me and other people

  • I don’t get the love I need

  • Nobody cares about me or even tries to meet my needs

Ask Yourself 

  • Does not interacting with people help you from being hurt by others?

  • What can you do to feel connected?

  • Do you discount similarities?

    • Focus on differences 

  • What does it look like when someone understands you and meets your needs?

  • Who in the past failed to meet your needs emotionally, and how can you deal with that now?

  • Who in your past has understood you?

  • Who in your present understands and cares about you?

  • How can you start better understanding yourself and taking care of you?

    • What are you doing in your relationships that isn’t productive and is overwhelming you?

  • What can you do to start getting your needs met?

    • The first step is recognizing what your needs are

    • Story: Keith wife -  introverts need alone time


  • What small steps can you take to be more connected to people?

  • Are  you pushing people away by magnifying differences and making them deal breakers?

  • How can you improve the quality of your conversations


Proverbs 18:1

One who separates himself seeks his own desire;

He quarrels against all sound wisdom.

The Mistrust story

  • Most people will use, hurt or take advantage me

  • I need to stay on guard to protect myself

  • People only do or think nice things when they want to get something out of me

  • People will reject me

  • People will not be there when I need them

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Is this pessimistic thinking?

    • Pessimistic as when your mind focuses on the negative and ignores the positive

  • How have people shown they are trustworthy?

    • Following through on something they said they would do

    • Showing up on time

  • Are you reacting to a present situation as if you were in the past?

    • You are not judging the current person on the merits of their behavior

  • What does it look like when someone is trustworthy and safe?

  • Who in your past was untrustworthy or unsafe?

    • What did they do that taught you people were untrustworthy or dangerous?

    • What are alternate explanations?

  • Who in your past has been trustworthy and safe?

  • Who in your present is available and trustworthy?

  • Are you more afraid of being hurt than you are of being alone?

  • What do you do to yourself that is unsafe or dishonest?

  • Do you lie to yourself and say you don’t need anybody?

  • How does your distrust impact your current relationships?

  • What could you do differently?


  • Earn your own trust

    • When you don’t trust yourself that means you can’t trust your own internal cues.

  • Surround yourself with a couple of trustworthy people


1 Corinthians 13:7

7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The Failure Story

  • I don’t measure up

  • I am not able to succeed

  • There’s no point in trying because I’m just going to fail

  • I never seem to get things right

  • What if people realize I’m not as good as they think I am

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • What would you say to a friend if they were in your situation?

  • What does it look like to be successful?

  • What in your past made you feel like a failure?

    • What are alternate explanations/ways of viewing it?

  • What have you succeeded at in the past?

  • What are you good at in the present?

    • Pay attention to minimization

  • What does being successful mean in terms of your relationship with others?

  • Who are three successful people you know? 

    • What makes them successful?

  • Does success = happiness?

  • What do your kids need to do to be successful?

    • Are you holding yourself to a higher standard than you are holding everyone else?


  • Trust that God will work it to your best

  • Learn to think positively

  • Examine the worst case scenario

  • Have a back up plan

Register it as testing - not failure

Example: Kevin Hart went to a comedy club to try a new routine

  • Tried impressions 

  • He bombed

  • Is he a failure?

    • No, he is winning

    • He’s just testing

Mentally break down the task into smaller pieces


Isaiah 41:10

10 Do not fear, for I am with you;

Do not be afraid, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you, I will also help you,

I will also uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

The Abandonment story


  • People don’t really care about me

  • No matter how good things seem it will never last

  • I am destined to end up alone

  • I worry about people I care about leaving or dying

  • Everybody leaves

  • I knew they weren’t going to stay anyway.  

    • It was just a matter of time


Early Childhood

Caused early experiences with caregivers who were cold, distant or critical

In infancy and childhood if early caregivers were

  • Away for long periods (work, military, jail, choice, death)

  • Inconsistency or unpredictability physically or emotionally

    • Emotional distress

    • Addiction

    • Ill equipped to deal with a child

Felt Unwanted

Babies can feel rejection in the womb if their parents didn’t want to have them

  • The enemy will come in and tell you that nobody wants you

  • This can be the source of abandonment issues

Reasons could be

  • Was the child planned?

  • Was the child to sex that the parents wanted?

  • Were the parents married?

  • Did the parents plan to continue to be in a relationship with each other?

  • If your mother tried to abort you

    • There were some people who tried to commit suicide the same time every year. The study found that their mother had tried to have an abortion at that time

Later childhood

  • Bad fit in family/Black Sheep 

  • Trauma that ruptures the relationship with the primary caregiver

  • Introduction of new, less emotionally or physically safe caregiver

Ask Yourself

  • Do you have unrealistic expectations of what a relationship should be?

  • In what ways could you practice being vulnerable so that you can open yourself up to experiencing more joy in a relationship?

  • How can you focus on developing more trust in a relationship?

  • What does it look like to be available - not abandon?

  • Who in your past left you or was unavailable emotionally?

    • What did they do to make you feel rejected/abandoned?

    • What are alternate explanations?

  • Who in your past has been available to you emotionally?

  • Who in your present is available to you emotionally?

  • What do you do in your current relationship that causes people to leave?

  • Did you Push them away? How? Alternatives?

  • Are you clingy? How? Alternatives?? 

    • Are you high maintenance?

    • Example: Text 50 times per day

    • What does that mean if they don’t do it?  They don’t want you?

    • What would be a reasonable step down that will make you feel safe and not be overwhelming to the other person 


Your defensive reaction is to close down so that you don’t get hurt. 

In order to counter this you have to become more emotionally vulnerable.

When triggered ask: 

  • What am I feeling?

  • What is triggering it?

  • Am I safe emotionally and physically right now?

    •  If not, what do I need to do?

  • Is this bringing up something from the past?

    • How is this situation different?

    • How am I different?

    • How can I silence the inner critic?

  • What would be a helpful reaction that…

    • Move you towards your goals

    • Moves toward a positive emotional experience


Deuteronomy 31:6

6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”

Practical Steps to Healing

2 Corinthians 10:5

5We are destroying arguments and all arrogance raised against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ

  • We all have negative thoughts

  • We know they aren’t from Christ

  • How do we take them captive and put them to obedience?

Relinquish Identify Inner vows 

What vows did you make as a child?

  • I am never going to let anyone see me cry

  • I will never neglect my children

  • I’ll never be like my dad

  • I’ll never be taken advantage of again

Are they still appropriate at this age?

Are you putting yourself in charge instead of God?

Observe the thoughts

This will defuse the intensity of the thought

Thoughts are Someone Else

Imagine your thoughts are in your mind being said by another person

  • funny character 

  • an opera singer

Projecting your thoughts out of your head helps you reframe them

This trivialize is the thought by acknowledging that is not something you believe in your soul to be true

You can then thank your mind for telling you

Throw the Thoughts Away

Imagine yourself writing your thoughts on a piece of paper, bawling it up, and throwing it into a trash bin to gets dumped

If you have trouble visualizing it you can carry it out


  1. Identify the negative self talk

  2. Pause

  3. Examine the thought


The first step is to learn to pause when you get caught in the self talk

Between the stimulus and response is a space...in that space is our power and our freedom


The experience to be just what it is

Stay with the painful experience


Pay attention to what’s going on

  • What’s going on in my body and my heart right now

  • Recognize how painful it is

  • Recognize how long you’ve been feeling that you are not enough

Allow the Experience


Nurture with self-compassion.

Ask Jesus to comfort you

View the Critic With Compassion

story: dog behind a tree

  • Leg is caught in a trap

  • Our judgment comes from some pain

Conviction vs Shame

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 

9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us.

10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

  • If the thought causes you to repent from sin then agree with it

  • If it’s convicting view it as good

  • If it’s condemning don’t come into agreement with it

Coping Statements

Distract Yourself From The thoughts

Replace the thoughts with coping statements. 

These are premade thoughts that you can use

  • Create the statements when you are not in a state of distress or negative thinking 

  • They need to sound like your own voice


  • My emotions do not reflect reality

  • I’m allowed to struggle It’s OK not to be OK

  • I don’t have the answer, but I can tolerate uncertainty

  • I accept who I am while I continue to improve myself

  • I am enough just as I am

  • God loves me just as I am

  • My past doesn’t define me

  • Whatever happens I will handle it

The Practice of Gratitude

We can spend so much time ruminating over the past or catastrophizing over the future that the present just goes right by us

  • Count your blessings before you go to sleep

  • Pay attention to the good things that are happening to you throughout the day

Practicing gratitude can give you

  • Greater self acceptance

  • Greater self-worth

  • Resilience

  • Optimism

  • Happiness

  • Reduced anxiety

  • Reduced envy

  • Reduce depression

Gratitude helps us restrict our story from having less than enough to having more than enough

Conscious Community 

We discussed in a previous lesson that self consciousness and fear were two things that came into the world with the fall of Adam and Eve.

Self Consciousness 

Our society feeds the sense of:

  •  “I should be more“

  • “ I should be better“.  

If we were content the economy would come to a halt.

We have a negative bias when we focus on what’s bad and we have a tendency to say...I’m bad

Most people don’t live a life as themselves and therefore will never experience what it is to live life as who they really are

We constantly have the feeling …  “something is wrong with me“ 

People feel like… If someone got to know me they would reject me


Our culture is

  • Fear based

  • Overconsuming

The media is used to keep us in fear

When we are afraid we are in fight/flight our frontal cortex disconnects from the parts of our brain that have compassion. So we are separated from the part that allows us to be happy and free.  

Conscious Community

Healthy relationships serve as a buffer against stress

  • This includes the relationship with yourself as well as other people

If you can’t support yourself emotionally then you will always be looking to others to fill an emotional need 

We need to address the beliefs that were formed because of negative relationships

Conscious community can help

A group that:

  • Share our vulnerabilities

  • Mirror back to each other our goodness and appreciation 

  • Face inevitable conflict to deepen understanding 

  • Listen deeply

  • Bring a presence to your communication

The sense of belonging to each other wakes up our compassion networks

It makes us more capable of

  • Empathy

  • Forgiving 

  • Embracing ourselves and each other

More Impactful than Self Awareness

12 Step programs are the most effective recovery technique

  • Alcoholics Anonymous

Story: Alcoholics Anonymous

  • David Tian couldn’t understand

  • A different persona

  • “Literally anything but yourself”

Spiritual growth

Self awareness is going deep within yourself.  A conscious community does this in a group.

Benefit of a group:

  • You get to discuss your shame

    • Shame is based on keeping something hidden

  • You get other people’s feedback 

    • Shared experience

    • Support

One of the most effective steps to healing would be to join a conscious community 

A good start is coming here


6 Negative Stories You Tell Yourself And How To Change Them 

Dr. Tracey Marks

Love me don’t leave me: addressing fears of abandonment 

Don Ellis Snipes

Steps to manage negative thoughts

Dr. Tracie marks



Waking up from the trauma of unworthiness 

w/ Tara Brach


Toure Roberts

Fighting With Power

Unchained Disciples : Fighting With Power

The Story You Tell Yourself

Unchained Disciples : The Story You Tell Yourself


Fear - T. D. Jakes


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