Are you hard on yourself, often reminding yourself of previous mistakes or all the times you’ve fallen short of your extremely high expectations? If so, you’re certainly not alone.
Research shows that the average woman has between 35,000 – 51,000 self-thoughts per day, and 75% of those thoughts are negative and self-defeating. (Rothschild, 2007) No wonder we’re often overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the day.
Wouldn’t it feel great to stop mentally and emotionally beating yourself up? If that’s more than you can imagine let me assure you, the jump isn’t as big as you may think.
If you’re ready to leave your baggage behind and embark on a trip with newfound confidence, here are the 5 steps:
- Unpack your bags – Identify the heavy baggage you’ve been carrying from your past. Then declutter that baggage; get rid of anything that no longer serves you well – like the belief that who you are is somehow not good enough! (Hebrews 12:1)
- Carefully choose your wardrobe – Be intentional about the thoughts you choose to “wear” every day. (2 Corinthians 10:5) Don’t choose thoughts that produce guilt and shame. Instead, clothe yourself with grace-filled thoughts of compassion and forgiveness. Then, accessorize with a sign on your bathroom mirror that says, “Go get ‘em gorgeous!” – or something equally supportive and encouraging.
- Be sure to grab your ID – In other words, know who you are. The best place to find your God-given identity is to read what God says about who you are – not on the internet, but in the Bible. J (1st Corinthians 3:16, John 1:12)
- Bring your best friend with you – Scripture tells us we’re to love our neighbor AS ourselves, not INSTEAD OF. (Matthew 22:39) Learn to treat yourself like a friend; be kind, understanding and patient. Toss in some truthful, authentic words of affirmation and encouragement, and learn to have fun together.
- Don’t forget your cell phone – Okay, that isn’t essential but what is important is to make connections. Make wholehearted, authentic connections a priority; put your phone down and connect with yourself, with others, and with God. (Proverbs 4:23, Hebrews 10:24-25, John 15:5,)
Although I’ve spent decades directing my own guilt trips, in 2010 I became the Director of “Wholehearted Living.” In retrospect, I see that I couldn’t have embraced the position until I learned to declutter my own baggage – particularly my beliefs about who I am and what I’m capable of. I also canceled all guilt trips and instead, joined the trip of a lifetime (with God at the helm).
What about you? What are you waiting for? Just imagine the adventure God has for you if you’re not directing a guilt trip of your own!
Rothschild, J. (2007). What to say when you talk to yourself. Harvest House Publisher. Eugene, Oregon.