Who Do YOU Say You Are?
Weird question, right? I mean, don’t we usually concern ourselves with how others perceive us at any given time? I don’t really know a lot of people who go around asking themselves who they are. But maybe we should. Actually, we shouldn’t be asking – we should be telling ourselves who we are every chance we get. The power of positive thinking has more to do with positive self-talk than anything else.
Why Does Self-Talk Matter?
Self-talk is our own inner monologue. It’s how we process our actions, identity, and circumstances. Negative self-talk can damage our view of ourselves, degrade our confidence, and lead to hopelessness. It works the same way as someone else constantly criticizing you and putting you down – it destroys your self-esteem. Positive self-talk, on the other hand, builds you up. You can be your own cheerleader. Your confidence shouldn’t be tied to your feelings that you are good at something – it should be tied to you – personally.
My Experience With Confidence Loss
Before my concussion, I didn’t realize that much of my confidence was based on my ability to think. My brain, my smarts, my knowledge base, whatever you want to call it, was what gave me confidence. After, with everything jumbled up inside my head, I felt worthless. My confidence was shattered. My self-talk was filled with words like “stupid,” “idiot,” “brain-damaged,” and “dummy.” I felt hopeless to get out of my situation. I even began muttering these things out loud when I messed something up, was forgetful, or couldn’t figure something out.
It was my daughters who made me stop and think about what I was doing. “Don’t say that!” “How would you like that if someone said that about, us or we said that about ourselves?” They were right, of course. I didn’t allow them to down themselves out loud. So I stopped.
Let’s Be Real
I didn’t actually stop right away. I tried to, but it had become so ingrained in the way that I was thinking about myself that by the time I was saying it out loud, it had become a habit. First, I had to remember who I was. My confidence hadn’t always come from what I knew – when I was young, my confidence came from the knowledge that if I didn’t know something, I could figure it out or learn it. That attitude allowed me to take apart my car to replace the radio even though I had no instructions. That confidence allowed me to start projects and do jobs for which I had little or no experience but learned how to succeed as I went. I also had confidence in God. I knew with all my heart that even if I couldn’t figure a way out – He had my back.
Not A Back-Up Plan
Don’t get me wrong, God isn’t the backup plan – he’s the source of all things. There are stories throughout the Bible about people who had put their faith and confidence in Christ but had to self-talk themselves into remembering their faith. Whether it was the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:21 (For she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.”), the prodigal son in Luke 15:17-21, or David reminding himself to praise God still because God was in control and he did not need to be depressed, Psalm 42:11:
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
You Got This
So, instead of focusing on the struggles today, instead of doubting yourself or your God, instead of focusing on the negative, remember:
You are capable.
You can figure it out.
You got this.