The Enemy Named Inner Me: Overcoming Negative Self-Talk

by Qiana Cressman

"Your faith can move mountains and your doubt can create them." -Unknown

No voice influences your demise or rise as quickly your own inner voice.

Overcoming negative “self-talk” means developing an accurate sense of identity (who you are) and living from that place. This internal resolution can be a matter of life and death. Why? Because every success or failure in life is first filtered through a sense of identity.

For example, refusing to allow your true-self to shine, shrinking back from aspirations in fear of the unknown or what the infamous "they" will think, derives from a faulty estimate of who you really are.

Whomever "they" are will rule your life if your identity is not established. We all have an inner ear perceiving the voice of our critics, supporters and doubters. Giving ear to negativity will open the flood gates to a steady stream of negative inward dialogue which hinders us from embracing our true-selves. You can’t be whole and speaking self-defeating dialogue simultaneously. The quest for identity must be resolved in order to live your purpose. 

Here are some clues that your 'inner me' is operating as an undercover 'enemy':

Self deprecating talk that steers you from pursing your dreams and purpose...The "I'm not_____enough." You fill in the blank of what you're telling yourself you're not enough of. Pretty? Intelligent? Experienced? Financially secure? Spiritual? Educated?

  • Comparing and belittling yourself to others, instead of valuing and learning from differences.

  • Panic-driven behavior.

  • A “poor” mentality. Passing Over Opportunities Repeatedly due to a lack of confidence in your natural gifts, talents and abilities.

  • Consistently underestimating yourself.

Who are you? Who were you created to be? What are you born to do? What path in life is an innately, natural flow to you?

As mentioned, everything in our lives is filtered through our understanding of identity.

Discover who you are and your purpose for being by seeking your Creator. The One who created you has the wisdom and insight you need. Knowing who you are makes you complete. Wholeness or being complete isn't derived from roles, status or elevated positions acquired in life. Life roles are ever-changing and evolving. If your self-worth and identity are tied to the ever-changing, you'll be unstable, confused, empty and subject to everything and everyone defining you. Your Creator made you, and gives your life meaning. He's the most stable and unchanging force in existence. When you embrace a personal relationship with Him, you carry His presence inside you.

Here are 5 ways overcome self-deprecating dialogue:

1. Renew your mind.

Your decisions will be made in peace and confidence, when you equip yourself with the right mental gear. “Do not allow this world to mold you into its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” -Romans 12:2 (Voice) Renewing your mind daily with God’s thoughts is the best place to start.


2. Create the right atmosphere – a “can do” environment.

Surround yourself with love, truth and affirming words. You’d be surprised, but sometimes your success and victory are only one sentence away.  “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words.” –Proverbs 18:21


3. Exalt divine wisdom over opinions.

I love this quote by Cornelius Lindsey, “If you don’t make people’s opinion the source of your joy – their opinions can never be a source of your pain.” Enough said.


4. Pursue excellence not perfection.

Don’t live like a hamster on a running wheel. That’s what a person who chases perfection looks like. Always busy, always exerting, but going nowhere. Give yourself and others space and freedom to grow, progress and develop. Guess what? Mistakes do happen in pursuit of excellence. We can either learn from mistakes and go higher, or stay on the insanity wheel going nowhere.


5. Journal your vision, thoughts and life-lessons.

Rejoice in the milestones and miracles along the journey. Sharing your stories will also help others overcome and realize they are not alone. There is healing in putting pen to paper, and expressing your thoughts regularly through journaling. I find it interesting that the root words of journal and journey are identical. Perhaps God was sending a gentle reminder to us that journaling inspires a healthy and successful life-journey.

Emerge Woman, and speak life today.

FaithQiana Cressman