How to Stop Negative Self-Talk

Before we look at how to stop negative self-talk, let me describe my battle with it.

Years ago, a knowledgeable guide delighted our group of moms and kids on a fieldtrip to a local historical site. But I sensed her emptiness and wanted to talk to her about the Lord. My conversation didn’t go as I’d hoped.

Accusations pelted me as I drove away. Why did you say that? You really botched an opportunity. You’re a poor excuse for a Christian.

Before we talk about how to stop negative self-talk, let me describe my battle with it. #RefreshingFaith, #hope Share on X

That wasn’t the first time I’d felt those accusations. Negative thoughts and feelings seemed to pounce whenever I wanted to share my faith or after small group Bible study. “You talked too much,” they jeered. At the time I didn’t understand these attacks. Now I recognize them for what they are—spiritual warfare.

The Bible says, “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against…the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephes. 6:12 NIV).

We have an enemy who doesn’t want people to know the truth about God. He tries to stop us from growing closer to God and telling others about Jesus. Understanding this equips us to recognize and resist his attacks (1 Pet. 5:8-9).

The Apostle Paul wrote, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:3-5 NIV). Use the following filters to protect your thoughts.

1. Stop negative self-talk with truth.

Those trained to identify counterfeit money study real money. The better we know the truth the quicker we discern lies. God’s Word is truth.

Notice the difference between what Satan said to Jesus and what the Father said about Jesus.

Satan: If you are the Son of God…”

The Father: “This is my dearly loved Son.”

Do you know what the Father says about you? Do you know the truth of how He sees you? Know the truth and you’ll recognize the lies.

The better we know the truth the quicker we discern lies. God’s Word is #truth. #WordofGod Share on X

2. Stop negative self-talk by listening to your Shepherd.

It’s not enough to know what the Bible says. We must also know the Author and His character.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (Jn. 10:27 NIV).

Satan knows the Bible better than we do. He quoted Psalm 91 to tempt Jesus (Matt. 4:6). But Jesus successfully resisted the devil because He knew Scripture was never intended to tempt, harm, or condemn God’s children. God’s word corrects, comforts, instructs, and strengthens us.

The sum of Your word is truth” (Ps. 119:160 NASB).

Do you hear a harsh tone when you read the Bible? Do your thoughts condemn and accuse you? That may be an echo of a past authority figure. But it is not the Good Shepherd (Matt. 11:29; Rom. 8:1).

The better we know Jesus, the quicker we discern the source of our thoughts and stop our enemy.

We must filter every thought. We must take captive every idea that argues against the truth and doesn’t reflect our Shepherd. Now that I know the source of those accusations, instead of listening to them, I refute them (Is. 54:17). You can too!

Give Yourself a Break Online Small Group Study for Women

Discover the Secret to God’s Rest

Do you need help recognizing your Shepherd’s voice? Do anxious or condemning thoughts darken your mind? Join me on Tuesday evenings February 1 through April 12th as we go through Give Yourself a Break together. We’ll meet on zoom from 7 to 8:30 P.M EST. Space is limited.

If you’d like to sign up, please contact me. If you are ordering your book on Amazon, I recommend you order right away. There have been some delays.

Give Yourself a Break will help you experience God and find rest from ten common areas of struggle.

Give yourself a break from—

  • Unrealistic Expectations
  • Difficult People
  • Renegade Thoughts
  • Messy Emotions
  • Worry
  • Regret
  • Temptation
  • Spiritual Attacks
  • The Pressure to Perform
  • Work

What helps you stop negative self-talk? Click here to comment.



Photo by Abigail Keenan on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory and here #Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth,

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  1. Jan

    Oh, can I relate to this! After Bible study I often think why did I say that? Did I offend someone? But I love what you say about know the Author…cz in Jesus name those thoughts must flee! That’s my weapon!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen, Jan! The enemy uses the same dirty tricks. And greater is He who is in us.

  2. Yvonne Chase

    Amen to this: The better we know the truth the quicker we discern lies. God’s Word is truth. His word and what he says about me is the best way I know to stop negative self-talk. Thank you for this encouraging post.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Yvonne!

  3. Sarah Schwerin

    Thanks for the encouragement. I can definitely relate. Negative self talk is a struggle for me.

    • Debbie Wilson

      The enemy is busy, busy, busy. But God is faithful—always! Thanks Sarah.

  4. J.D. Wininger

    Amen Ms. Debbie. I fell into this very trap not long ago myself. Such a great reminder that when we start to get down on ourselves, we need to check our spirit. Then rebuke it with the truth of God’s word. Well done author! Well done indeed!

    • Debbie Wilson

      J.D., those negative thoughts can paralyze us and cause us to be self-absorbed. I’ve certainly wrestled with them too many times. Sometimes we need a friend to name them for what they are. Hopefully, this post will be that friend for someone today.

  5. Katherine Pasour

    Such a helpful and encouraging post, Debbie. I think most of us have chastised ourselves with negative thoughts that build barriers between us and God’s love and His promises. Of course, that’s what the devil wants. You’ve given us valuable interventions to get us back on track–back to our walk with Jesus. Thank you!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Katherine!

  6. Melissa Henderson

    Negative talk can ruin any moment. We must learn to give grace to ourselves and to others. Sometimes listening is better than talking. 🙂

    • Debbie Wilson

      Melissa, you’re right. It can ruin any moment we let it take root.

  7. Ann J Musico

    I can so easily relate to this Debbie. I hae gotten so much better but I still find myself falling into this trap now and then. Thank you for this wonderful and timely reminder.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Ann. I’ve much better but can still fall prey. Thankful for God’ grace.

  8. Nancy E. Head

    This message is much needed, more needed than we realize. Our inner voice is too often negative. And we tend not to share our negative feelings with others. We fail to bear one another’s burdens and let others see our own. Great job!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Nancy, you’re right. When we open up we allow light to come in and chase away the darkness. Thank you!

  9. Tammy Kennington

    Hi Debbie,
    It’s interesting that in not wanting to have too high a view of ourselves, many of us fall into the trap of self-abuse. I know I’ve veered into both areas before, though most often into a pattern of heaping hate speech upon myself.

    Thank you for sharing these wise words!


    • Debbie Wilson

      Tammy, isn’t that the truth. Blessings to you.

  10. Barbara Latta

    Spiritual disciplines are harder because we have to over come the negative defaults of the flesh. Renewing our minds is our key to positive self-talk and believing what God says. Thanks for your list of truthful ways to keep ourselves focused on the positive effects of God’s Word.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Barbara, it is a constant battle. Thankfully the power of the Holy Spirit fights for us.

  11. Annie Yorty

    You’ve addressed a struggle that most endure, Debbie. It sure helps to know the character of God and His word to identify the evil source of many of the words in our head. Thank you.

    • Debbie Wilson

      It sure does. Thank you, Annie.

  12. Lisa notes

    I’m really trying to be more careful in this area. I can say some pretty harsh things to myself, things I would never say to anyone else. It’s not helpful to me and it’s not glorifying to God. Thanks, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Lisa, you bring out a good point. If we wouldn’t talk to others that way, we should talk to ourselves that way either!

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