Posted on September 20th, 2019
To Thine Own Self Be True: The Power of Positive Self-Talk
By Dr. Monty Burks
We all make mistakes – I know I do! But I am thankful that our greatest obstacles can become our biggest opportunities. When mistakes and mishaps happen, I look for what I can learn from them. One thing I’ve learned is that mishaps often expose blind spots, but I truly believe that turning mistakes into teaching moments and uncovering those blind spots can change everything. When we learn from our mistakes and give ourselves a break (and some grace through the process!), it gives us the opportunity to grow in wisdom and articulate that experience with others. How awesome that our “mess” can bless someone else! It can be easy to complain about the situation, but that doesn’t change anything and doesn’t help you – let alone anyone else. Even though you’ve made a mistake, don’t beat yourself up! I know that can be easy to do. Something that’s helped me tremendously is practicing positive self-talk. To reach victory, I tell myself: “Monty, you are not a victim! You are a survivor with a testimony that can help others!” We are all survivors! If you don’t already have a practice of positive self-talk as part of your routine, I encourage you to give it a try.
Here are some of my favorite tools and go-to web resources that tackle positive self-talk:
While you are developing strategies for dealing with life’s mishaps, remember …. it’s okay to be not okay! The minute you embrace perfection, you’ve lied to yourself, created unrealistic expectations, and added more stress to the situation.
Leaning on my Higher Power is vital for me in my recovery. I believe God created us all with a purpose, flaws and all. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, look at yourself in the mirror and accept the beauty of being flawed. Mistakes and mishaps are going to happen, but embracing vulnerability is a beautiful process. It encourages us not to judge, but instead, to just love people (and ourselves!) the way I believe God intended.
Dr. Monty Burks is the Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.