The Cause of Your Questioning
How many times have you allowed yourself to believe that terrible voice inside your head that runs through a list of lies: You’re not good enough. You will never overcome. You think you can actually achieve that? Why even try? And on and on and on it goes. I fall into the cycle of listening, entertaining, and even believing these lies, and I know that many of you reading do as well. I am here to tell both of us to STOP!
Several weeks ago, I was talking with a friend about the voice in her head that has been telling her she’ll never amount to anything worthwhile. That her glory days are in the past, and because she already had her dream job right out of college and chose to move on, that it only goes downhill from here.
She shared a specific instance where she was told by her boss that she needs to stop apologizing to clients when mistakes were made because it communicates that they were in the wrong. Rather than viewing this constructive criticism as a means of truth to improve her, she immediately viewed it as a negative reflection of her abilities, and allowed the lie of inadequacy to take root in her mindset. Believing that she just couldn’t get it right, she began showing up to work every day with anxiety that she might mess up again. She started operating from a mindset of fear, and if one thing is true about fear, it is that it paralyzes you.
I could immediately relate to the situation that she found herself in, and I told her that it was time for a perspective change. What if the conversation with her boss was more profound than she thought? What if her boss was right, and she really did need to stop apologizing to clients, but that the criticism was not a reflection of her abilities. What if that very conversation was meant for her to learn and grow, acting as a stepping stone towards her next role in the company, or better yet, a bigger opportunity somewhere else? If this was the case, she was missing out because the lie she was believing was holding her back.
The Mindset Shift
Instead of accepting the critique from her boss as a message of failure, the better–and mind you, harder–outlook would have been to view this as truth to help foster growth. There are two better reactions that could have been taken – asking for elaboration on how client situations could be handled better in the future; or seeing if her boss might have time to role play the situation so she could be better equipped for similar conversations in the future.
We need to stop allowing ourselves to play victim and believing lies that paralyze us. What would happen if you were to change your mindset to see life through a different lens? What if you started viewing those “negative” experiences as areas of opportunity to combat the lies that can otherwise easily creep in?
God uses individuals in our lives to communicate His messages, and to help teach us lessons. A lot of times these people and experiences don’t look anything like Jesus. In fact they often look like the furthest thing from anything “Christian” related, and they don’t always feel great in the moment, yet God uses them to benefit YOU! How cool is that? It’s important to keep in mind that these lessons and truths might not be fully understood or realized immediately in that moment; these can take weeks, months, or even years to understand–sometimes, you may never see the impact, but others will. Nonetheless, I am here to encourage us to start opening our eyes to what God is trying to tell us, lean into a truth based mindset, and stop believing the lies.