Don't beat yourself down- lifting yourself up is SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to work

by Jordan Green

A few weeks ago at a country music concert, I learned a valuable lesson: If you want to improve some part of your life, start telling yourself it’ll happen.

No, that advice didn’t come from a sad old country song. It came, instead, from one of the band’s guitar players, whom I met after the show was over.

Dang good picker, I’ve got to say. He hails from western Oklahoma, and we struck up a conversation about the folks we know way out west.

Meeting new people is fun, but remembering their names has been my challenge. I can remember faces, but names have been a weakness.

Funny shortcoming to have for a newspaperman, but that’s why I have notebooks.

When I asked the man to repeat his name, I apologized for forgetting the first time and said: “I’m terrible with names.”

His reply enlightened me: “Don’t say that. Do you want to get better? Then say that you will.”

Like a bull in a pasture, I ruminated on that chunk of wisdom for a bit. Luckily, it wasn’t more than I could chew.

Turns out there’s a lot of truth to it, too. A week ago, a pastor told me that, from psychological research, it’s been discovered that every negative statement we make ourselves or others takes 17 positive affirmations to undo.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve said I’m terrible with names – or terrible with this and that and other tasks in life.

How many times have you told yourself those kinds of things? How many times have you cussed and cursed yourself by saying that you’re no good at any given task – or even at life as a whole?

I think it’s time we started thinking differently about our challenges in life – and especially how we talk about them.

Research from the National Science Foundation found that most people have between 12,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day, 80% of which are negative and 90% of which are recurring.

If you’re a believer in the old Latin phrase “I think; therefore, I am,” the above math implies that we’re all pretty negative people. And of those negative thoughts, what percentage are negative thoughts about ourselves that we end up speaking out loud? More than we’d ever care to think about.

I’m not here to talk so much about how to change your negative thoughts – I’m no expert, and I’m not about to dish out medical advice. After all, Folks, my advice is free (with the purchase of this newspaper), and you get what you pay for.

But what I have learned from my own experience is that we don’t have to give a voice to those negative thoughts every time we think them.

If we’ll quit speaking out loud how terrible we might think we are – and how terrible we think other people are – maybe those thoughts will begin to subside. Or at least lose some of their force in our lives over time.

If you stop talking poorly about yourself today, I can’t guarantee you’ll see any results quickly.

I might add that the process isn’t easy. You’ll probably still catch yourself mid-sentence for a while and feel the need to bite your tongue. Do it, and in time, you’ll gain power over your tongue.

Yes, we actually do need to learn to control it. All of us speak without thinking more than we … well … think we do.

So, this raises another logical question: If we quit saying we’re terrible at things we are genuinely bad at, what do we say instead?

Simply this: That we’re working on getting better.

I’m wild enough to believe that, if we affirm our desire to grow, we’ll get it done. The root of this hope extends from my belief in a man who taught us how to do that – and who forgives us when our growth is stunted. His name is Jesus. With Him, we can be filled with peace, love and a sound mind – and surely a tamer tongue, too. These kinds of thoughts are life-giving, and they deserve more space in our lives.

Speak life to yourselves and others today.