Insignificant. Alone. Broken. Abandoned. Insecure. Afraid. Worthless. Crazy. Pathetic. Ugly. Unlovable. Stupid…
These words, along with countless others, are how I use to feel about myself. They screamed in my head and lived in my heart. I believed them with every ounce of my being. It seemed that if I already believed these things then it wouldn’t hurt so bad if other’s believed these of me. I already knew so you couldn’t hurt me when you thought these things. This was the wall I put up to keep the pain out, but the sad thing is that if I felt someone did feel this way about me, just one of these ways, the pain was still there. And oh did it still hurt!
I was not these things when I was born, nor did I just begin to feel this way overnight, or even within a few weeks or months. It took many, many years of hurt and trauma to get to this place. So in healing, it took many years to overcome these thoughts; each one easier then the one before.
I had to learn how to break this pattern of “stinking thinking” and begin to find and believe in my own value and worth. It was truly difficult. When someone would give me an honest, heartfelt compliment, I didn’t believe it. I wouldn’t because I couldn’t. How ironic that if you told me I was a piece of crap, I could believe that, but if you told me you thought I was wonderful, I couldn’t. What I didn’t realize was that in not accepting and believing what they were saying, I was actually, in some way, saying that their opinion was worthless.
Think about it. These were my friends and family who I loved and cherished. I would go to them for advice or support. I valued them and what they had to say. Each one bringing different value and meaning to my life…Except when it came to validating me. How can I value someone enough to seek their counsel, because I trust what they have to say, then basically call them a liar when they speak accolades or validation over me? It’s crazy!
Last year, I started back-sliding (which is easy to do when life gets tough) into some of these unhealthy thoughts again. However, when they started coming up, I fought! If you have ever fought a “battle of the mind” and I’m certain you have, you understand. So to help me win this battle, I did something in the “physical”. Just like when I’m stuck in my head and then I write, it physically gets it out of my mind and I am able to deal with it more clearly.
To help me battle these unhealthy lies (they are lies, you know), I decided to write down on a piece of paper every time someone gave me a compliment or said something encouraging. Ok, I wasn’t able to manage “every time” but I sure was able to capture a lot of them, but there were so many more than what is pictured. I taped them on the mirror in my office. Everyday, I look up at them and know that I am truly worthy and valued. I do not focus on the bad or hurtful things that some people may say and believe about me. Those people are so very few and truly don’t matter in my life anyway. I CHOOSE to believe all these other wonderful and encouraging things others say and believe about me and I CHOOSE to KNOW them for myself.
I am smart. I am beautiful (at first I wrote pretty but I am not just pretty, I AM beautiful). I am funny. I am awesome, amazing, talented… I AM!
So I want to throw out a challenge to my friends who are struggling with self-doubt, self-esteem, self-loathing (you get the picture) and believing the lies that have been placed in your head and heart over many, many year. God did not create you this way, nor does He see you this way…and neither does 99.9% of the world. Do not let those very few, define who you are and what you believe about yourself!!!
I challenge you…
- Say “Thank You” when you receive a compliment or some kind of validation. It can come from anyone, anywhere, ie. conversations, letters, comments on your blog, Facebook, etc.
- Don’t disagree with a compliment given because you are basically calling that person a liar when you do.
- Write it down on a post-it note or on a small piece of paper.
- Pick a place in your home that you look at every single day.
- Stick that piece of paper in that special place.
- Look at those papers every single day.
- Start ALLOWING yourself to believe these things. Yes, we have to allow ourselves to believe and we have to CHOOSE to believe.
- Post a picture in your blog and write something about it. (Below are the 2 pictures of when I first started and what my mirror looks like today. I like the mirror because when I look at it, I see me and I see all the wonderful things people believe about me.)
Are you up for the challenge?