Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Positive Self Talk


How to speak to yourself in a way that positively impacts your emotions, beliefs and behaviour.  

~~ Watch the Video ~~

Psalms 42 (Worship)


  • Introduction
  • Traits of Wholeness
  • Review Negative Self-Talk
  • Psalms 42 Intro
  • Acknowledge the Problem
  • Harmful Beliefs About Anxiety and Depression
  • When Critics/Haters Question Your Faith
  • Longing For The Good Old Days
  • Benefits of Self Talk
  • Deep calls to deep
  • Reasons for spiritual depression
  • Steps For Self-Talk
  • Problems With Alter Egos
  • Focus on the Future Instead of the Past
  • Focus on Your Potential
  • Say What God Says
  • Focus on God Instead of Yourself
  • Summary


  • 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • 1 Kings 19:11-13
  • Psalms 42:1-4
  • 2 Chronicles 20:19
  • Psalms 42:5
  • Psalms 42:6-10
  • Proverbs 13:12
  • Psalms 42:11
  • Psalms 43:1-4
  • Psalms 43:5

2 Corinthians 10:5

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

Conversations in our mind are called… Self talk

These internal dialogues can

  • shape beliefs
  • influence emotions
  • Influence behavior

They can influence what we consider facts

You can use positive self talk as a way to

  • guide your decisions
  • tackle every day challenges

We need to talk to ourselves as if we

  • Like ourselves
  • See ourselves
  • Know ourselves
  • Believe in ourselves

And as if God is for on our side rooting for us

Traits of Wholeness

We are in our series called Seeking Wholeness

How can we be  _______ healthy

  • spiritually
  • emotionally
  • mentally

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

We’re not just supposed to have eternal life

  • We’re supposed to have: joy, peace, patience, and self control here on earth

What are some of the traits of wholeness?

Traits of Wholeness

  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Not seeking external approval / validation
  • Living by values and principles
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Taking ownership of your responsibilities
  • Living with purpose and passion
  • Optimism
  • Confidence
  • Healthy relationships with others
  • Not losing control of your emotions
  • Free from addictions
  • Addressing Conflict
  • Vulnerability
  • Not critical or Judgemental
  • Not jealous
  • Genuinely applaud the success of others
  • Forgive those who have wronged you in the past
  • Know that you’re worthy of receiving love
  • Not afraid to fail
  • Able to manage irrational fear, worry, and anxiety
  • Selfless encounters with others
  • Not manipulating others trying to control their actions/reactions
  • You care about how others feel
  • Patient
  • Don’t give into peer/social pressure
  • Can communicate directly
  • Don’t take responsibility for other people's emotions
  • Take responsibility for your own emotions
  • Being led by the Spirit

Review Negative Self-Talk


The voices of our surrounding environment and our past are powerful.

  • I’m a mistake
  • I’m a burden
  • i’m stupid
  • I am worthless
  • I am not allowed to make mistakes
  • “If these people would only like me…then I’d be OK”
  • I don’t have the right to experience joy or pleasure
  • I don’t have the right to assert myself and say what I think and feel
  • I don’t have a right to feel
  • I'm too fat
  • I'm too thin
  • I'm too short
  • I always say the wrong thing
  • They won't like me if they know I _____
  • If only I was ____ life would be easier
  • I don't have the right to speak up
  • I don't have the right to feel this way
  • I’m only valued based on
    • my intelligence
    • what I do
    • My appearance
  • … Not for who I am

These are often negative beliefs that we may have learned from our family of origin or our culture growing up.

Emotionally Healthy Christianity

 It switches you from judging yourself based on

  • Comparison
  • Opinions of others

To being based on a loving God

Emotional health allows us to experience love for others and ourselves

Types of negative thinking


You see yourself as the cause of all the bad things happening in your life


When you focus on the negative information and ignore positive information

Elijah Defeated 850 Prophets

  • The Isrealites had began worshiping other gods (Baal and Asherah)
  • King Ahab had ordered that all of the prophets of Israel be killed
  • Elijah challenged the prophets of those gods
  • Whichever god consumed the offering was the true God
  • If he won Israel agreed to worship God
  • God consumed the offering with fire
  • Elijah killed the prophets of Baal
  • Elijah Made it Rain

Elijah was focused on accomplishing God’s will

Elijah Gets Scared

The kings wife said she would kill Elijah

1 Kings 19: 3-4

3And he was afraid, and got up and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah; and he left his servant there.  4But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked for himself to die, and said, “Enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

  • Elijah had become afraid and discouraged
  • He started talking negatively
  • He said he wanted to die

Elijah Started Focusing on His Problems

Elijah said “ they have killed all of the prophets of God and I am the only one left“

  • That wasn’t a new realization
  • But he wasn’t focused on that before

They had been trying to kill him the whole time

What was different now that made Elijah scared?

Your problem is bigger because you’re closer to it

Elijah‘s view changed when he got close to God

Inner Critic

We all have scripts that we rehearse in our minds that make us feel trapped.

We tell ourselves…

  • I don’t look like a model… There’s nothing attractive about me
  • I never went to college… I’m stupid
  • I gave in to that temptation again… I am a terrible person
  • …God hates me
  • I’m not married… I’m  incomplete
  • I can’t rebuild an engine … I’m not a real man

Whatever your parents, caregiver or authority figures said to you… You begin to say to yourself.  

Self Judgment

You need to separate what you did from who you are

You are not

  • your past
  • what you do
  • What you have
  • What you can control
  • What others think of you

You are what God thinks you are

God sees you with the finished product in mind

Should Christians Have High Self-Esteem?

Comparison is the thief of joy

  • – – Theodore Roosevelt

Still Small Voice

1 Kings 19:11-13

11 So He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and powerful wind was tearing out the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.

12 And after the earthquake, a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire, a sound of a gentle blowing.

13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

God showed up as Earth, Wind and Fire

  • Do you remember the 21st night of September?
  • Reasons
  • Boogie Wonderland

It’s a problem when you have negative thoughts.  It’s a bigger problem when your negative thoughts prevent you from doing the right thing.

  –Michael Leadon

Elijah Brought His Problems to God

Elijah wasn’t moved by

  • The powerful wind
  • The earthquake
  • The fire

He knew that the gentle blowing signified the presence of God

Elijah got emboldened because

  • He came in the presence of God
  • He got a word from God
  • God laid out the plan to Elijah

We want to get to the point that we are not moved by

  • the opinions of others
  • our own negative self talk

We want to get to a point where we only move when we hear…the still small voice of God

Psalms 42 Intro

The Psalms were used as corporate worship in ancient Israel

Psalms 42 & 43 make a song

  • It has 3 verses and a chorus
  • Chorus repeats after each verse

It is the cry of a man far removed from the outward ordinances and worship of God, sighing for the long loved house of his God; and at the same time it is the voice of a spiritual believer, under depressions, longing for the renewal of the divine presence, struggling with doubts and fears, but yet holding his ground by faith in the living God.

— C.H. Spurgeon Commentaries

Verse 1

Psalms 42:1-4

1 For the music director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 I remember these things and pour out my soul within me. For I used to go over with the multitude and walk them to the house of God, With a voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude celebrating a festival.

The author goes from

  • Seeking to draw closer to God
  • Sadness
  • Worried about the haters
  • Remembering the good old days

This emotional back-and-forth is part of self talk

Sons of Korah

1 For the music director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah.

Maskil - poem, song or poem of contemplation

Most of the Psalms were written by David, but some are attributed to:

  • Aesop
  • Solomon
  • Sons of Korah

Does anyone know who the sons of Korah are?

2 Chronicles 20:19

The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and from the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice.

The sons of Korah were Levites who led worship in the temple

In Numbers 16 Korah led a rebellion against Moses

  • God killed Korah and his leaders
  • But his sons remained

Acknowledge the Problem

What does it mean?:

 3 My tears have been my food day and night,

The writer is acknowledging the negative things going on around him

In churches we hear

  • “ speak things that are not… As if they are“
  • “Blessed and highly favored”

This isn’t triumphalism… Where we only speak about positive things and never acknowledge the negative

Not Denying Reality

we shouldn’t use self talk as a way of denial

  • My problems don’t matter
  • My pain is irrelevant

Name Your Problem

The writer doesn’t just jump right to positive self talk.

  • He acknowledges the pain and expresses it.  

Psychologists recommend…

  • Name the thing that we fear
  • Name the thing that is making us anxious or sad

But after you admit it, you have to move on from there

Don’t let the problem become your identity

Story: The Journey: telling same story about her abusive marriage

  • Identity

Harmful Beliefs About Anxiety and Depression

It’s all in your head

It’s all in your imagination

9% of adults are struggling with feelings of

  • hopelessness
  • despondency
  • guilt

that generate a diagnosis of depression

3% of adults have major depression

You can be depressed because of a chemical imbalance

To deny the existence of clinical depression is wrong and unhealthy

Christians should never be depressed

That is not what you see in the book of Psalms

Some people paint a picture that if you come to Jesus all your life problems will be automatically solved

If you are depressed it means you’re not spiritual or spiritually immature

We just saw Elijah in the cave asking God to kill him because he was discouraged

  • If Elijah wasn’t spiritually mature than no one is

In Psalm 6 David says I make my bed swim with tears

God said Job was a righteous man

  • Job cursed the day of his birth

Charles Spurgeon says that he has gone to depths that he hopes none of his congregation has to go

Mother Theresa complained of not hearing from God

When Critics/Haters Question Your Faith

3 … While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

People are asking him “where is your God”

Why were they asking him “where is your God”?

This is not the taunt saying your God does not exist.

  • It is the taunt saying “where is your God”… He has abandoned you

A Christian person can be surrounded by unbelievers:

  • Family
  • Coworkers
  • Friends

… saying “where is your God“ when you’re going through bad times

Has anyone experienced something like this?

This is really challenging when you are going through your own struggles

Their ignorant assumption is that if your God existed and he loved you that you wouldn’t have any problems.

~ Job

Longing For The Good Old Days

4 I remember these things and pour out my soul within me. For I used to go over with the multitude and walk them to the house of God, With a voice of joy and thanksgiving, a multitude celebrating a festival.

The author missed the good old days of worshiping in the temple

Back then the location you worship was of great importance.

  • Israel was of great importance.
  • Being able to worship in the temple was important.

Now we are at the temple of God.

We Can Miss the Good of the Present

Sometimes we’re so focused on the past that we can’t see the new thing that God is doing in the present

Many people only remember the good things of the past and not the negative

Christianity Is Not Declining


65% in 2019 down 12% since 2009

Atheism  now at 26%, up from 17% in 2009

76% boomers

49% millennials

258,645,000 in USA
2.2 billion worldwide

Worldwide Growth

The number of Christians is projected to rise by 34%, slightly faster than the global population overall.

This means Christianity is at its all time height and will continue to be every year

– According to Pew Research

Remembering the Past in the Wrong Way

This author has memories of better days

If you think it will always be this way because it has always been that way… You set yourself up for disappointment

The past will either become a rudder to guide you or an anchor to hold you back

— Skip Heitzig

Many people are attracted to “the good all days“. We forget the bad things that happened back then.  

The Old Men Cried


Psalms 42:5

5 Why are you in despair, my soul? And why are you restless within me? Wait for God, for I will again praise Him For the help of His presence, my God.

He didn’t surrender to his feelings of spiritual discouragement.

  • He challenged those feelings and brought them before God.  

He didn’t say “my soul is cast down and there is nothing I can do about it“.  

He demanded that his soul gave him an answer

The Psalmist admitted that he had reasons to be down, but that they weren’t good enough when compared to the goodness of God.  

Book: Spiritual Depression

“ We must talk to ourselves instead of letting ourselves talk to us. Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself“

Benefits of Self Talk

Studies have shown the following results from self talk…

Improves cognitive performance

  • Such as concentration and visual processing.
  • Rather than making you crazy, self-talk can make you intellectually more competent.

More Confidence

  • Those who engage in self-talk display more confidence

Less Anxiety

  • Those who engage in self-talk experience less anxiety

Psychological distance

  • Allows you to Make decisions more objectively while staying rooted in your true self

Emotional regulation

  • Widens your perspective and helps you see opportunities
  • Speaking of yourself in the third person can help you manage negative emotions by creating distance.

Increases your focus and motivation

  • It gives you your own coach

Positive worldview

  • Change the world from hostile to hospitable


Reading Aloud

Research shows that self-talk may help the brain perform better. In experiments designed to measure cognitive performance, participants read instructions and then do the task. Some participants read their instructions silently, others out loud. Results generally show that reading aloud helps us sustain concentration and improves our performance.

Boost Sports Performance

Research shows that self-talk may help the brain perform better.

Researchers have found that encouraging self-talk boosts performance across a range of athletics, from tennis to surfing and more.

Calming Down

Research shows that talking to yourself in the third-person can be a particularly effective way to calm yourself down.


Try talking to yourself on video or in a mirror

Verse 2

Psalms 42:6-10

6 My soul is in despair within me; Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls; All Your breakers and Your waves have passed over me. 8 The LORD will send His goodness in the daytime; And His song will be with me in the night, A prayer to the God of my life. 9 I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” 10 As a shattering of my bones, my adversaries taunt me, While they say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

deep calls to deep

 7 Deep calls to deep at the sound of Your waterfalls;

Accumulated Struggles

The Hebrew word translated here as “deep” refers to the deepest depths of the sea. The sons of Korah exiled with David had lost all footing, and they felt as if recurring waves of trouble had plunged their souls into a bottomless ocean of sorrow and despair.

Story: Hawaii almost washed away

Have you ever been in a situation where it feels like trouble comes in waves?

Life Change Units

Book: The Executive Stress Manual

Tried to determine why people had nervous breakdown and deep depression.   If people had 200 - 300 “life change units” in A years Time they are set up for a breakdown or deep depression

  • 100 - death of a spouse
  • 73 - divorce
  • 65 - marital separation
  • 63 - detention in jail
  • 63 - death of close family member
  • 53 - major personal injury or illness
  • 50 - marriage
  • 47 - being fired
  • 45 - retirement from work
  • 40 - pregnancy
  • 13 - vacation
  • 12 - Christmas

Deep needs call for deep fullness

“The deep of man’s need calleth unto the deep of God’s fullness; and the deep of God’s fullness calleth unto the deep of man’s need. Between our emptiness and His all-sufficiency there is a great gulf. . . . Deep calleth unto deep. The deep mercy of God needs our emptiness, into which it might pour itself. . . . Nothing can fully meet the depth of our need but the depth of His Almighty fulness”

 (Handfuls on Purpose for Christian Workers and Bible Students by James Smith and Robert Lee)

v9 - God… Why have you forgotten me?

“Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”

He’s doubting God

He’s taking it to God

Reasons for spiritual depression

We start to ask

  • What use am I?
  • What is my purpose?
  • Is God real?
  • Is Christianity worth it?

Spiritual Rest Deficit

Unrealistic Expectation

When you expect something to happen that doesn’t happen

Proverbs 13:12

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

The more unrealistic your expectations are, the more severe your depression will be

Study of Pentecostals

Pentecostals are 3 times more likely than any other Christian group to experience major depression.

Pentecostals known for

  • Health and wealth
  • Name it and claim it

They studied 2800 people over 6 months.  

The rate of depression among the control group was 1.7% whereas the rate of depression among Pentecostals was 5.4%.

Their theory was that depressed people  are more attracted to the Pentecostals' promises of physical and spiritual healing and materialism

— based on the Vanderbilt university study

My theory is that the prosperity doctrine is also attractive to those who:

  • Want to be in control of their lives
    • (you don’t have to wait on God)
  • Self worth is in their accomplishments and material possessions

When you live with those expectations, and they don’t happen… You come crashing down


Psalms 42:11

11 Why are you in despair, my soul? And why are you restless within me? Wait for God, for I will again praise Him For the help of His presence, my God.

talking to his soul

“I Will yet praise the Lord”

Steps For Self-Talk

Acknowledge/Recognize What Needs to Change

Acknowledge the problem, but don’t stop there

But if you recognize it and don’t take action it could be harmful.  

Don’t just say

  • “I really should…“
  •  “I really need to…“.  
  • With no accompanied action

Negative acceptance is when you say negative things and accept them as true.  

Speak in 3rd Person


  • your own name
  • the pronoun “you“
  • “My soul”

when talking to yourself

This activate the self distance mechanism

Studies show that this increases performance and lowers shame

Present a Solution (“I will…”)

“ I will again praise Him For the help of His presence”

We need to present a solution in our words as well. “I will…“.  

If you want to really get results you have to change your language to “I am“

  • I will again praise Him For the help of His presence
  • I am a winner
  • I am loved by God
  • I have always come up with a good solution

Your self talk has to be believable by you

Don’t say: “ I am a 6 foot four millionaire supermodel with 6 pack abs“

Just because you say it doesn’t mean that you believe it

Problems With Alter Egos

Self talk is taking the inside out approach rather than an outside in.  

It is not

  • fake it until you make it
  • copycat someone you idolize

Sasha Fierce

Who knows who ”Sasha Fierce” is?

  • Beyoncé‘s alter ego

Who knows Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

Bruce Banner?

Some people try to motivate or encourage themselves by

  • Imagining someone they want to be like
  • Summoning an alter ego
  • Channeling their alter ego (e.g. The Hulk, Beyonce’s Sasha Fierce)
  • Playing superhero

These techniques doesn’t value who you truly are

How can we truly be ourselves if we are constantly chasing someone else’s persona

You experience imposter syndrome


Some branches of psychology talk about being composed of different personaes

  • Manager part - socially acceptable
  • Firefighter part - not socially acceptable
  • Exiled self - when you break down
  • True self

Thinking of themselves as a group of separate personas (IFS Therapy)

Viewing Yourself Separately

“Whenever we have a sense of separateness, a sense of separate ego as who we are, we will feel unworthy or disconnected

If we focus on the fact that my being here and what I’m experiencing is not all that I am then there comes with that a sense of being less than”

– Tara Brach

One of the responses of trauma is to mentally disconnect from yourself and view the activity and the world in third person

So although we may talk to ourselves in third person, we don’t want to actually view ourselves as separate entities

Verse 3

Psalms 43:1-4

 1 Vindicate me, God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; Save me from the deceitful and unjust person! 2 For You are the God of my strength; why have You rejected me? Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? 3 Send out Your light and Your truth, they shall lead me; They shall bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And I will praise You on the lyre, God, my God.

Is he still talking to himself?

Here he has switched from talking to himself to talking to God

He starts off complaining

  • But ends up praising

Take Your Thoughts Captive

  1. Focus on the Future Instead of the Past
  2. Focus on Your Potential
  3. Say What God Says
  4. Focus on God Instead of Yourself

Focus on the Future Instead of the Past

 3 Send out Your light and Your truth, they shall lead me; They shall bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places. 4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And I will praise You on the lyre, God, my God.

Your future is ruling with Jesus in the Kingdom to come

Focus on Your Potential

I’m always late for everything… I’m so disorganized

  • If I set reminders and alerts regularly I can really make my day run smoother

This should be something realistic

Say What God Says

Whatever God says about us, we can say about ourselves with confidence, boldness and courage of God said it

God Says

I Can Say

I love you with an everlasting love

I am loved deeply

I have removed your sins as far as the east is from the west

I am completely forgiven for my sins

I welcome you into my family…

1 Peter 2:10

I am totally accepted by God

Focus on God Instead of Yourself

It’s human nature to be self-absorbed when you are suffering

The writer is now talking to the Lord

He’s now focusing from inward to upward

Look around and be distressed

Look within and be depressed

Look to Jesus and be at rest

— Corrie ten Boom

The author is focused on the fact that God can do it…not himself


Example:  12 step programs (AA) has higher success rate than psychotherapy

  • The researchers found that the effectiveness of AA was more than that of psychotherapy when it comes to achieving abstinence (from alcohol).

AA you need to ask help from “literally anything outside of yourself”

How different would the story be if you ask the source instead of asking yourself


Psalms 43:5

5 Why are you in despair, my soul? And why are you restless within me? Wait for God, for I will again praise Him For the help of His presence, my God.


  1. Acknowledge the Problem
  2. Speak to Yourself in 3rd person
  3. Present a Solution
  4. Focus on the Future Instead of the Past
  5. Focus on Your Potential
  6. Say What God Says
  7. Focus on God Instead of Yourself


  • I have done hard things before
  • God hasn’t let me down yet

Instructor:  Michael Leadon


Psalms 42 - My Soul Thirsts for God

Second Calvary Chapel Ontario

Radioactive – Psalms 42 to 43

Skip Heitzig

Positive self talk


Psalms 42 - honest prayer from a discouraged saint

David Gusick

What does it mean that deep calls to deep


Full sermon “the power of self talk“

Family faith church Shiloh

Why Should You Talk to Yourself? | Psychology Today

Psychology Today 2021 (Tara Well PhD)

The power of self talk

Mark codon | Tedx Ocala


Negative Self Talk Review

Inner Speech / Monolog

Inner speech is when a person speaks their thoughts without moving their lips or any part of their body

Not everyone has an internal monolog

Meaning, some people's thoughts are like sentences they ‘hear', and some people just have abstract non-verbal thoughts, and have to consciously verbalize them.  Most don’t know that the other type of thinking exists.

Self Regulation

The concept of your inner speech is often about “self regulation“

  • Planning
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • motivation

Negative Inner Speech

Much of the time, our inner speech consists of:

  • negative things about ourselves
  • our negative emotions
  • us trying to decide if we are good enough

People who have more depressive tendencies tend to experience more depressive self talk

And we know that people who are more anxious tend to engage in more self critical inner speech


John 4:20-21

20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and yet you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one must worship.” 21Jesus *said to her, “Believe Me, woman, that a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.

Romans 8:28

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

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