Growing up, I always dreaded piano recitals. No matter how much I practiced and how well I knew the music, nervousness and self-doubt always managed to take control. Sitting backstage, behind the curtains, staring at my fellow recitalists, waiting for my turn to walk out on stage, made my stomach twist with dread. Etched in my mind was the year I got hung up on a repeat and couldn’t figure out how to end. But one year, I discovered if I pretended to be at home in my own living room, I could block out the audience and focus on playing through the piece. That year, I stopped believing the voices in my head that said, “you’re not very good” and “you’ll always mess up.”
Many of us are our own worst enemies, believing lies others have told us or we have told ourselves. Following are untruths we believe and how to overcome them:
The Past Defines You
All of us live with regrets for decisions we made in the past or experiences we wish hadn’t happened, but allowing the past to have an impact on the present and shape the future is a mistake. Pushing the repeat button on the past places your focus backwards and limits forward motion. You can’t change what happened, but you can take positive steps to lessen the impact the past has on you by forgiving yourself and those who have hurt you. Resist the urge to replay old words and experiences and allow the past to remain in the rearview mirror.
Change is Too Hard
In recent years, I’ve made changes in my eating patterns and food choices that resulted in weight loss and improved health. Often, I’m asked what I did. When I recount the changes I made, the response is frequently, “Oh, I can’t do that. That’s too hard.”
Change isn’t easy. Change requires effort to erase old patterns and learn new methods. But what most people don’t like about change is the amount of discipline involved.
To be successful with change, start with small steps and increase incrementally. Set goals and reward yourself for achieving them. In time, those changes become a habit that you can maintain with less effort.
Stick with What You Know
Inherent in this mindset is don’t risk because you might fail. Fear is at the root of this line of thinking. Fear whispers you are incapable. If you feel incapable, determine why. Are feelings tied to lack of knowledge, past experiences, or comparing yourself to others?
The familiar is secure and comfortable, but often, if we refuse to move beyond the familiar, we miss opportunities. Don’t let fear of failure, lack of knowledge, past experiences, or comparisons to prevent forward motion.
Perfection is Required
As an only child, I felt I had to excel at everything. Not because my parents imposed impossible expectations on me, but because I challenged myself, always striving to be the best. I didn’t view myself as a perfectionist. I didn’t even know that word growing up, but later saw it in myself as a young mother.
Perfectionism is relentless. It demands and enslaves. Perfectionism thrives on praise. Releasing the grip of perfectionism requires allowing yourself to make mistakes, acknowledging your own imperfections, not demanding perfection of others, and loosening the desire to please everyone.
You are Not Enough
Many of us deal with not enough syndrome—not intelligent enough, pretty enough, thin enough, connected enough, or a host of other enoughs unique to each person’s perception. Not enough syndrome has the ability to prevent us from becoming all God intended us to be. Only by recognizing worth is not measured by physical appearance, financial success, good works, or social acclaim can we realize our true value. Don’t allow the untruths you believe about yourself to limit you now and in the future.
“What is the value of your soul to God? Could your worth be defined by an amount of money? God doesn’t abandon or forget even the small sparrow he has made. How then could he forget or abandon you? What about the seemingly minor issues of your life? Do they matter to God? Of course they do! So you never need to worry, for you are more valuable to God than anything else in this world.” Luke 12:6-7 TPT
Don’t allow the untruths you believe about yourself to limit you now and in the future.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving beyond difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include While You Wait: 7 Simple Truths for Seasons of Waiting (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
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Great article. I agree with your insights. Thank you for reminding us that with God we can move forward and reach our dreams and goals.
When we believe untruths about ourselves, we limit the blessings God has provided or us. Great message.