Be careful how you speak to yourself

Some of the most powerful words you will ever hear spoken are your own words. These words will either edify you or tear you down. The bible speaks to this when it says “whatever is in your heart in abundance will come out of your mouth.”

Years ago I had no teaching or basis for understanding this cornerstone of life, but I just knew in my heart that I needed to be careful with the words of my mouth. Especially when I speak to myself. There have been many times when I embarrassed myself in a presentation or messed up a pitch or didn’t respond with the right words or in my case even say the words fluently. I was always tempted to get in my car and say things that would tear down my spirit. Somewhere in there, I just knew that I needed to be careful when I was alone with myself because I was my own worst critic.

One time in New York I was speaking to a group and I blundered, stumbled, stuttered and basically felt embarrassed when I finished. I felt that I have really blown the speech. The next day a friend of mine that I trusted came up to me and told me it was one of the most moving and timely speeches he had ever heard. When I told him how I thought I had messed up, he said to me, it was actually very powerful. What we often think people are saying about us, many times is not true at all.

The speech I gave was one evening and what the friend told me was the next morning. I had that whole night to think alone and potentially beat myself up. I will confess I did think about it all evening, but I refused to speak to myself wrongly.

I have heard people say things to themselves like “you’re stupid,” “you’re dumb and ignorant,” “you will never succeed,” “you will never make it,” “nobody wants to be your friend,” “you always make bad decisions,” “you have no friends,” “no one likes you,” “you always fail,” “you always lose,” “you are ugly, overweight, or whatever.” These are the kinds of things that people say to themselves when they are alone and no one is listening or watching.

Many actions and decisions we make in life can be wrong because we make those decisions on the spot. It would be far better if we decided ahead of time what our decisions would be before we had to make them. When the Navy Seals land in enemy territory, they don’t looked at each other and say “what do we do now?” No, they do exactly what they had already trained and planned ahead of time that they would do. This is how we need to look at some choices and decisions in our lives.

Make a decision today that you will only say edifying and uplifting things to yourself and that you will be careful how you speak to yourself. KT

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