According to a study at the University of Arizona in 2007 (Dr. Matthias Mehls), the average person speaks about 16,000 words a day. That is a significant number of words, even for a talkative person like me!
With so many words spoken daily, the quality of our speech is important. Are your words life-giving or are they discouraging? How you talk to yourself and others reveals much about your identity. Your daily language reveals who you choose to be.
Listen to Your Words and Get Feedback
To discover what you really think about yourself, listen to yourself speak and get feedback from those around you. For example, in my family we can be critical of one another and ourselves. Sometimes we have this driving need to be right. My husband offers (or perhaps lovingly threatens!) to use a tape recorder to record our language.
What does my language tell me? A critical heart may result from poor self-esteem. I default to old patterns when I am not seeing myself as God sees me. I choose to listen to old thoughts and act on old beliefs, rather than believing in who God says I am. Can you relate?
Identify Your Limiting Beliefs
Here is an excellent exercise to 1) identify the beliefs that cause you to speak words that harm you and others, and 2) to replace those beliefs with God’s truth. Your beliefs impact what you think about and what comes out of your mouth!
- God’s Word. Read through some of the bible verses found here describing who you are to God. He clearly defines how he sees you and all that is available to you when you know Jesus. Do you believe these?
- Limiting Beliefs: Create a list of limiting beliefs (lies) that you believe about yourself. These beliefs are called limiting because they often painful, fear-based, and keep us from our God-given potential. We form these beliefs, usually in childhood, to protect our hearts from unmet desires and prevent further hurt.
An example of a limiting belief would be: I am not good enough. I formed this belief in childhood when my gifts and strengths weren’t understood. I believed I had to be what others expected.
- New Life-giving Belief: Now replace your limiting belief with God’s truth. For each limiting belief that you identified, review the list of scriptures (identified above) or go through the bible on your own. Discover verses that identify what God states about you as a believer.
Is your limiting belief true? Most likely not! Write out the new WORDS that you are going to speak and believe about yourself based on God’s Word.
Here is how I replaced my limiting belief that I am not enough with a new belief. You can easily construct a similar table or download my free table here (in Word).
|God’s Truth||My New Belief|
|I am not enough||I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14); I am worthy and accepted (Romans 15:7); I am a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)|
God doesn’t make junk! Through Him, I am complete and more than enough.
Change Your Words
Romans 12:2 tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. This means that as your limiting beliefs arise daily, you have to capture those thoughts and replace them with the NEW beliefs you identified in your table. They may not feel right, but it’s not about your feelings. Feelings do not represent truth!
According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, you have to make a conscious decision to build new thoughts and beliefs. You make positive changes to the circuitry in your brain when you change your limiting or negative thoughts. You have definite control over what you think and speak…it’s a choice. But, it doesn’t happen overnight. It requires a consistent choice to think differently each and every day.
Choose to believe what God says about you and your new beliefs. THEN, what comes out of your mouth will reflect God’s truth and not faulty thinking or trashy talk!