You know when you have told yourself something over and over again that you start to believe it? This is where I found myself a little over a year ago. The lie I was constantly feeding myself was, “You are not smart enough.” This traced back to middle and high school. School was never something that came easy for me. I was the student who had to spend hours studying for a simple quiz. I would get so frustrated and sometimes, I would quit. My time in college was great but I would still find myself feeding this lie that I wasn’t smart enough. I wasn’t only thinking about it but I would voice it to different friends. I would brush it off as a joke and move on. The thing with negative self-talk and a negative mindset is that we really start to believe the things we say.
This hasn’t been an easy journey for me. I’m not sure when these lies first started but I do believe it affected areas of my life that could have been avoided. I believed I wasn’t enough because I struggled in school and studying. I believed that I would never be able to pursue the things I loved because I wouldn’t be able to learn and retain the information. It was in these moments that people who knew me and loved me spoke TRUTH over me.
My husband was one of those people. Something I will never forget was when he told me I will always bet on you, Claudia! He wasn’t insinuating that I would never fail or struggle but he saw gifts in me that I couldn’t see in myself at the time. Some of my best friends would speak truth over me as well. They pointed out topics that interested me and shared how they could see me thrive in certain roles. One of my best friends once told me, “Claudia, it wasn’t that you weren’t smart; your learning style is just different.” The affirmations from family and friends and what they saw in me was vital as I worked to fight this feeling of inadequacy.
Now, it is a gift for me to talk with clients about mindset and how to fight those feelings of negative self-talk on a regular basis. We live in a world where comparison is everywhere. We are constantly shown how to do things bigger and better. Instead of letting those things push us to be better leaders, parents, or spouses, we allow them to question the purpose of why the Lord created us.This is where we see those feelings of inadequacy creep in and we begin to feed our minds with negative self-talk.
So, how do we fight this? How do we stop this cycle of believing that we are not enough? You can personally fill in that blank. We all feel it to some extent. Here are two things that I am constantly coming back to when these thoughts try to creep in my mind. Hopefully, they will encourage you.
- Fix our eyes on truth that only comes from Jesus. Psalm 139:13-16 tells us that before a single day of our life began, the Lord had written all of them. That He knit us together and we are fearfully and wonderfully made. This is a passage that I come back to regularly when I start to feel the negative thoughts creep in that I’m not smart or good enough. He has created us for this time and this season for a purpose. Be confident in who He says you are and step into the abundance that is waiting for you.
- Speak positive affirmations over yourself, family, and friends. It’s amazing how far these words of truth go when we take time to voice them out loud. I know you might feel awkward at first but it’s powerful. Some phrases that I speak often are: YOU ARE WORTH IT. (YOU ARE WORTHY) YOU ARE SMART. YOU ARE SEEN. YOU ARE LOVED. YOU BRING VALUE. YOU ARE STRONG. YOUR WORK MATTERS. Give this a try and let me know how it starts to shift the way you view yourself.
I wish that I had this topic all figured out but I don’t. This is something that I am working on constantly. It’s a fight that is worth fighting when it comes to how we view ourselves in the light of what Christ has done for us. Let’s walk in confidence knowing who created us and the gifts He has given each of us. I’m standing with you, friends and declaring freedom for all of us in your particular season.