Negative self-talk destroys and paralyzes dreams. Period. That is all it accomplishes.
Have you ever credited daily guilt and shame with pushing you to success? Not likely! Most of us can probably remember a time when those negative thoughts held us back. I fueled self-doubt and fear for decades by using words born out of shame.
Shame can keep us from creating or achieving. Dreams die on the altar of negative self-focus. I’ve heard the theory “fear of success” used to describe why a person with skills may not pursue higher goals. How many of us fear moving forward due to shame?
It seems a type of dependence on people’s approval was actually a perceived need for permission to accomplish anything despite the shame I felt. Anger was the superficial emotion, fear lay under that, and shame was apparently the real culprit. It whispered each night, “You do not deserve anything good.”
I met a plumber who noticed a symbol of Jesus in my house. He asked about it, and when I explained Jesus’ loving plan for humankind he said, “I was a sniper in the Army. And good at it. There’s no forgiveness for me.” Guessing by his age, he may have been in Vietnam.
Self-inflicted wounds were bleeding this veteran dry of hope. I said, “The ground is even at the foot of the cross.” I meant that not one of us deserves forgiveness from Jesus and he does not ask us to become worthy of it. His grace is a free gift. God looks beyond our false guilt and true guilt to embrace the person who comes in faith to him in the present.
The plumber said with a sigh, “Yeah, that’s what my son keeps trying to tell me.” Then he left.
Did you catch that?
Read his last statement again. The only reason his son had to try to convince his dad of the best news of his life is that the truth disagreed with the man’s negative self-talk. Years earlier he had bought the lie that his actions made him unworthy.
What we believe and whisper to ourselves is a strong chain when negative. As long as we are bound we are not free to enjoy relationships or pursue dreams. We will not get over the past. Today’s troubles will only add to painful memories and disappointments.
Is that what you want? If not, do you need an independence day of your own?
Independence Day is here for America. I want freedom too! Fear of success, aka shame, has been holding me back again. It’s time to challenge negative self-talk and march forward.
Today’s Helpful Word
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!