Developing healthy self-talk is one of the keys to taking captive our thoughts in order to make them obedient to Christ. One of the essentials is to learn to preach the truth to yourself so that you will not be overcome by the Lie.
Another helpful habit regards our self-evaluation. Often, when it comes to evaluating our behavior or results, we slip into the habits of the old, false self that put so much priority on answering the question “what do you do?“.
When our identity is based, whether in whole or in part, on performance, then the evaluation phase will uncover our shame. When we do not get the value added to our identity that we expected, then our thoughts will be of the variety “I suck”, “I never do anything right” or “I am worthless”.
As we break free of the hold performance has over us, I want to recommend a way to evaluate our behaviors that will build us up and gives us the grace and opportunity to improve.
Seek the W.I.N.
W in the acronym is for WELL. Ask yourself the question “What did I do well?” There is almost always something. Even if it is the fact that you arrived on time or were enthusiastic, find the things that you did well. Then ask yourself this question multiple times. “What else did I do well?” Try to get at least two or three responses.
Starting with what you did well gives the foundation for the next questions.
I is for IMPROVE. As yourself the value neutral question “What do I need to improve?” It is important not to stand in self-condemnation because we do not stand condemned before Christ. Pick ONE thing that you did wrong or need to work on.
If our identity is centered in Christ rather than performance, then there is no fear in answering this question. We can be honest because our value will not be diminished in any way.
N is for NEXT. “What will I do different next time?” Make a plan for the next time you encounter this or a similar situation. That way you will be prepared. You might make a new mistake or you might be successful, but having asked the question you will know how to avoid what you did previously.
Taking captive our thoughts is an intentional process. It takes effort and practice to form new ways of thinking and to reject the lies to which we have been conditioned. Finding the W.I.N. can be one of the tools in your arsenal.
What recent event or situation could you use W.I.N. to change your self-talk?discipline | identity | performance