Hope. It is one of the qualities that sets leaders apart. In the midst of difficult circumstances, unmet goals, or decreasing finances, a leader will inspire others with hope.
“This isn’t the end of the story.”
“We’re still making progress.”
“We have something valuable to offer others.”
“We have what it takes to overcome!”
“Watch your mouth!” We’ve all heard someone corrected for their use of profanity. (Perhaps, we were on the receiving end of the correction.) As people of influence, we must indeed watch our mouths. In the face of disappointment, we must speak words of hope and inspiration. Our words carry power to turn the tide of negativity.
“Watch your self-talk!” While this saying is not as common, it is even more important. We must cultivate the habit of hope in our own lives in order to pass it on to others. Self-talk is where it starts.
Life is not easy. There are times when we all face discouragement. The things that we tell ourselves will determine whether we will wallow where we are or whether we will move forward in faith. Our approach will impact the others around us.
When you’re feeling discouraged and hopeless, take time to examine your self-talk. What are you dwelling on? What messages are you believing? I recommend writing down what you discover.
If your self-talk is negative, ask the Lord to show you the source of your negativity. There are many areas that can affect your perspective, ranging from fatigue and physical health conditions to self-defeating patterns developed in childhood. Seek God’s direction for a remedy. It may mean making some changes to your lifestyle. It may mean enlisting the services of a coach or counselor.
Whatever the remedy may be, empowering self-talk is based on the truth of God’s Word. Next to the self-talk messages you listed, I recommend writing down what God says about His character and your identity in Him. What God says is the truth.
Listen to the self-talk of the psalmist in Psalm 42:5—
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God (NIV).
In the same way, we can talk to ourselves. Put your hope in God! As we establish our hope in Him, we pass on hope to others through our actions and words.
“Watch your mouth!” Yes. But first, “Watch your self-talk!”