How do you start your day?

With regret or rigor? Complaining or grateful? Some people get up on the wrong side of the bed or start off on the wrong foot.

There is a way to stop both of these.

The start of your day sets the tone for the day you experience.

Two quick tips:

  • Examine the first thought of your day
  • Be selective about the first words you speak out loud.

Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. (Proverbs 13:3, ESV)

Do not be an echo of the negative thoughts that permeate your thought life. It was once considered a negative to be an echo and not a voice. But to become an echo of God's voice is always a positive. Click To Tweet

Your self-talk is of top importance. Self-talk is talking to yourself either aloud or mentally. These messages are both good and bad.  Psychologists tell us that most of our self-talk is negative. Both good and bad self-talk has access to our mind and heart and forms our belief system. Your words affect your beliefs, behaviors, and your emotional well-being.

That is why I use verbal decrees. Verbal decrees set your mind, will, and shift negative emotions. My daily decree is, “this is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.” I finish my decree with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Review your inner thoughts

Your inner voice becomes your outer behavior. That is why you must choose your words carefully. What comes out of our month is either positive or negative.

The choice is up to you.

Your own words determine how you feel about yourself. It is critical to select your words with intention. Why? Because the words you speak are the thoughts you believe and, ultimately, the life, you live.

Your words can be constructive or destructive. If someone tells you that you are a loser and will never amount to anything, eventually, you believe it.

“You live the words you tell yourself in your mind.” — Dr. Magdalena Battles

Conversely, if we engage in positive self-talk, we begin to see the world positively and, ultimately, shift our self-paradigm.

The Bible says, “as a man thinks, so is he.”

Challenge your talk

Pay close attention to the dialogue going on in your heart and mind. Some days are more challenging than others. Things happen.

The hard days require resolve and greater discipline. A good practice is to let go of the nagging things and focus on being grateful.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29, KJV)

Change your talk

Whoever keeps his mouth, and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. (Proverbs 21:23, ESV) 

The first step toward change is to become more aware of the problem. 

 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. )Psalm 34:13–14, ESV)

You probably don’t realize how often you say negative things in your head or how much it affects your experience. The following strategies can help you become more conscious of your internal dialogue and its content.

Brené Brown, professor at the University of Houston Graduate College and motivational speaker, refers to the negative voices as her gremlins. 

Faith improves your self-talk

Research shows that people who regularly attend religious services are more optimistic than those who are not involved in religious activity. Having faith in a higher power and a spiritual mantra helps our self-talk. We can talk to God about our struggles and not just talk to ourselves.

We can also say what God says rather than what we think. Personal scriptures and positive affirmations provide a great resource to re-frame negative thoughts.

Back in the day, these kinds of verses were called refrigerator verses.

Here are a few:

I am more than a conqueror

Romans 8:31 — If God is for us, who can be against us? We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us)

I have everything I need 

2 Peter 1:3 — By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

I have a hope

Jeremiah 29:11 — For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

The scriptures have the inherent power to re-frame your thoughts and encourage your soul.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:8–10, NIV)

As we keep God’s words on our lips, we become an echo of God and not a voice of our selfish struggles.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalms 19:14, ESV)

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