This is the first in a four part series. The next four blogs will address what does and does not define us. Or rather, what we feel defines us, and why we shouldn’t let those things determine our value.
For me, there are several things I let define me: my thoughts, my career and my relationships. Hence, the next four blogs. What should I let define me? Well, you will find out by the fourth post. So stay tuned!
I have this problem. Maybe you have it too? I think too much. WAY too much. Thinking isn’t a problem- God gives some people the gift to analyze situations and makes them very cognizant and empathetic people. But for every good trait there is a line that has to be drawn. Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing. Cliche, yes, but true? Also yes. It is in this realm that my “good thing” becomes a bad thing. I overthink situations, take too long to make decisions and ultimately dramatize everything in my mind. This has proved quite harmful to me, in that I am too quick to assume what people are feeling and thinking, especially when it concerns me. I also have a hard time not thinking the worst and thus belittling myself. You see, the problem with thoughts is that they are secret- they are our own. No one can know what we are thinking (unless we tell them of course). There is a sense of security in knowing that we can think something and get away with it. But this can be so dangerous. How do we know when thoughts have become destructive? Well, I may have a few ideas:
– You think about what’s wrong with you
-You dwell on the past
-You dwell on your mistakes
-You judge others
-You judge yourself
-You become tired of feeling
-You make excuses for yourself
-You talk bad about yourself
-You apologize for things that make you, you
You replay words in your mind and twist them to your own understanding
I realize this is a vague list. Intentionally so, because it doesn’t look the same for everyone. But, the general consensus is if you are apologizing for who you are, and consistently berating yourself in your mind then you may have destructive thoughts. Why do I bring this up? Because I want to tell you something I have to tell myself every day. Your thoughts do not define you. I don’t know what you’re going through, or if this even applies to you at all. But I think everyone, at one point or another in life, questions why they were created to be the way they are. What makes them, them. So it’s valid to think maybe you struggle too with how you feel about yourself? Mistakes you’ve made, failures you’ve run into, relationships lost, careers ended… We’re human. Life has a crazy way of shaping us. Just make sure it is shaping you in a positive way. That your thoughts about who you are as a- person- son, daughter, husband, wife, mom, dad, coworker, boss- whatever it is you are. That your thoughts are positive. That you don’t take for granted what life has taught you. Use your thoughts to shape you into a better version of yourself.
What benefit is there to thinking poorly of yourself? What benefit is there to worrying about what people think of you. What benefit is it to question the way you were created? I encourage you instead to remind yourself how unique you are. How beautiful you are. How talented you are. Go one step further and speak those things about yourself. Words have power. Thoughts have power. Tell yourself your thoughts do not define you.
I hope you take these words to heart and know that someone out there is rooting for you. Someone believes you have it in you. Be your best and don’t worry about the rest. Easier said than done, but take baby steps. Learn to love yourself the way you love others.