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July 28, 2015

When to Stop Listening and Start Talking

I’ve got a lot of voices in my head. No, I’m not crazy. And if you’re honest, you’ll admit that you do too. You’ve got voices and thoughts and feelings and pressures. The majority of the time you can’t discern...

I’ve got a lot of voices in my head.

No, I’m not crazy. And if you’re honest, you’ll admit that you do too.

You’ve got voices and thoughts and feelings and pressures. The majority of the time you can’t discern what is right or wrong—what is you, what is God and what is peer pressure. And really, it’s all just a big swirly mess.

You have the birth of a dream, and just when your heart gets hopeful, another voice is already shooting it down telling you it will never work.

You get ready for the day, and despite your best efforts to feel good about how you look, you walk away from the mirror discouraged and thinking, “This will just have to do.”

You send an email, and before it has even left your outbox, you doubt your word choice and worry about how it will be received.

We all want to hope for the best, but in the same breath, we are scared to set ourselves up for disappointment. We want to be positive, but sometimes having a pity party is more appealing in the moment. We want to be confident enough to chase our dreams, but more often than not, fear of failure keeps us stuck.

And I don’t know about you, but for me, the thoughts of fear and failure almost always win. “But it will probably never happen.” It’s a black hole of doubt that sucks me in every time. And I’m not even a negative person!

Recently, when Jon Gordon spoke for our company devotional, he shared with us a story about six-time double Ironman triathlete, James Gills. When he asked James how he pushed through to accomplish such an incredible feat (one that no other person has ever achieved, by the way), he got this answer:

I’ve learned to talk to myself rather than listen to myself. When I listen to myself, all I hear is fear, doubt, lies and failure. But when I talk to myself, I can tell myself anything I want to. I can feed myself good thoughts of hope, confidence, truth and victory. When I learned to talk to myself rather than listen to myself, I realized that there was nothing I couldn’t do.”

Brilliant.

We know that we can’t achieve anything without believing in the possibility first. Henry Ford’s quote, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right” is 100 percent true. But many statements such as just be positive, believe you can, and hope for the best fall flat because we don’t know how.

But that’s how. We talk to ourselves.

You don’t have to wait to feel positive, hopeful or confident. You have the power right now today to tell yourself anything you want to. You can tell yourself that you can do it, you will change, you won’t always be broke, you will lose the weight, you can reach that goal, you will chase that dream. You can tell yourself anything you want to.

So the next time you’ve got 100 thoughts swirling around in your head, confusing you and keeping you stuck, remember that you don’t have to listen to them. You can talk to yourself instead.

As your words of hope and truth take hold in your heart, watch how your actions will follow. You may have a breakthrough right around the corner. All you have to do is talk yourself into it.

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  1. Debbie says:

    This is an AH-HA! moment for me about your article. I am working and interning for my Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health and this piece of advice to talk to yourself instead of listening is an awesome idea. We always try to change our attitudes and thoughts with positive ones, but to actually start talking to yourself is so simple yet so important. To guide patients / clients in my profession to be balanced positive people, this is a great tool to use…simple and yet outstanding! I will use it as well for myself! Thank you Christy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Ruth says:

    “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Ps. 19:14 So much yes to this article!! As a child, I often heard my dad talk to himself in his workshop. When he made a mistake, he would berate himself, disappointed that he had temporarily set himself back and created more work. That left an impression. I listened to myself and my siblings and realized we learned to do the same. As we have grown into adults and realized more and more of the Father’s grace towards us, I have seen this tendency of critical self-speaking fade … in my father, myself and my siblings! Yes, our thoughts turn into words … we need to see ourselves as the Father sees us, as beloved children, believers are always being sanctified, growing, maturing, stumbling and being raised up again. As a parent now, it is in my heart to hold myself to this standard, to have my husband and children hear truth from my self-speak and not damaging words ~ by the grace of God!