Posts Tagged ‘Overcome’
Freedom from insecurity is a lot of work. Probably more work than you’re willing to give. The easy thing is to stay insecure and never allow yourself to break out of the chains that bind you.
Here are 5 sure-fire ways to make sure you always stay insecure.
5. Be a self-centered person. Always think everything is about you.
4. Worry constantly about what others are thinking of you. (Afterall, since it’s all about you, they are always thinking about you.)
3. Put others down any chance you get. If you don’t feel secure, no one else should.
2. Never believe or speak positively about yourself–you wouldn’t want people thinking you are prideful.
And the number one way to always make sure you’re insecure:
1. Believe every lie that comes your way. If you’re thinking it, it must be true.
Follow these simple steps to ensure that you will never find freedom from insecurity.
Have you ever felt threatened by someone? I’m not talking about the feeling you might get if someone were to break into your house, or if someone got up in your face and acted like they were going to hit you. I’m talking about threatened in a more subtle sense. I’m talking about the kind of threatening that awakens our insecurities.
I was at a graduation party yesterday for a student leaving for college in August. All her friends were there celebrating around food, cake and punch. I sat on the couch visiting with some friends when a couple of high school girls walked into the room. These girls were gorgeous! Bleach blonde hair, tan, perfect bodies and they were dressed very stylish in the newest summer trends. These girls came to sit on the same couch and immediately I felt threatened. Why? Because my insecurities were awakened when I compared myself. In my eyes I didn’t measure up to these girls. I have 15 pounds on them! I was wearing a Wal-Mart dress! I couldn’t compete with such beauty. I felt threatened.
What about things other than beauty? I knew a man once who seemed to have the Midas Touch. Almost everything he did was successful. This man was a brilliant leader but many of his colleagues felt threatened by him. They didn’t understand the gift this person had been given and hated the fact that he was a better leader than they. Instead of learning from this person, they let the evil sin of comparison control their thinking and the feeling of being threatened overruled them keeping them bound by their own insecurities.
Feeling threatened is a sign of insecurity. But it’s what you do with that feeling that shows your true measure of freedom.
When you’re threatened you have two choices:
1. Dwell on the evil, self-degrading thoughts of comparison and plunge yourself deeper into the pit of insecurity, or
2. Take the focus off yourself and celebrate the differences, beauty, and success of other people, freeing yourself from the heavy chains of insecurity.
God made each one of us special. He gifted each of us according to His perfect will. Until you realize this for yourself, you will always feel threatened by someone. Someone will always be prettier, smarter, and more successful than you, as long as you compare yourself to others. It’s when we put down our measuring stick and realize our own uniqueness that we will truly be able to celebrate the uniqueness of others.
I’m sorry, but there’s a form of insecurity that just gets to me! Actually, I’m not sorry because this form can be so subtle that many people don’t think they are slaves to it.
Apologizing is an important social skill. Knowing how to properly apologize when you have wronged someone is good. But I’m not talking about your normal apologies. I’m talking about the sickening, self-focused, excessive apologizing that latches on to victims of sever insecurity.
Have you ever experienced this with someone? Have you ever been around someone who excessively apologizes for everything? What about a look in the mirror? Do you often find yourself apologizing for meaningless things?
What is the cause of this?
From my study of insecurity in people I’ve come to the conclusion that individuals who unreasonably apologize are looking for validation. They are looking for those who will reply to their apology with phrases like, “Oh, it’s okay.” “You’re fine.” “Don’t worry about it.”
When they can get this kind of response out of people it makes them feel less insecure about who they are or what they are doing. But this is a horrible and short-lived way to gain validation. In fact, I would go so far to say that overly apologizing to gain validation only causes a person to dive deeper into the deadly cycle of insecurity.
It’s time to Quit Apologizing! Find freedom from this form of insecurity by gaining your validation from what Christ says about you, not how others respond to your apologies.
Naturally, I am a feeler. Meaning, I base most, if not all, my decisions on how I feel about them and how they might effect others. The opposite side of the spectrum would be the thinkers. Those who base their decisions on logical thought, often taking emotions out of the process.
Both are valuable. Both have their faults. So let me tell you about the fault of the feeler. Basing my decisions on how I feel about them has brought some challenges to my world. For example:
- If I don’t feel like working out, chances are I’m not going to work out, because my feelings won out.
- If I don’t feel like writing a blog, I usually don’t do it because my feelings got the better of my decision making.
Most of the time, when I’m not actively doing something, I let my mind wander. But I’m not thinking. I’m feeling. As a feeler most, if not all, of my life sifts through the filter called: feelings. This is not a bad thing, necessarily, unless it keeps you from doing the things you know you need to do.
Recently, I asked a trusted friend, boss and mentor to teach me how to think. Being a natural thinker, he thought the request was interesting. He encouraged me to do a few things which have already helped me take back the control of my feelings instead of my feelings controlling me.
- Start a Thought Journal–I used to journal all the time. But my entries were all about what happened that day and how I felt about them. He encouraged me to start a thought journal instead of a feeling journal. In this journal I write down things I’m thinking, things I need to do, goals I want I’m going to reach.
- Think!–You can’t have a thought journal without actual thoughts coming out of your brain. He encouraged me to start thinking. This takes some intentionality since I am not naturally prone to thinking. So when I’m in my car, or find myself with some free time, I make myself think: What do I want to accomplish? What lessons have I learned today? What ideas do I need to expound upon to make them a reality?
- Plan in Quarters–Businesses plan their budgets in quarters: three month chunks four times a year. Why not take this model and apply it to ourselves? We talked about the goals I wanted to accomplish this quarter (the end of June.) Once I accomplish them I will move on to the next quarter. Picking one or two things to focus on in a shorter amount of time helps me not become overwhelmed with all I want to do.
What about you? Are you a Natural Thinker or Feeler? What are the pros or cons of being one or the other?
Anytime I meet with someone about overcoming insecurity my number one goal is to get to know them.
I’ll ask tons of questions about where they grew up, what was life like, how they are different now that their older… When I get to know a little bit of who they are I’m better able to encourage, lift up and speak truth into their lives.
But this principal also plays into the journey of overcoming our insecurities.
It is vital that we also know who we are.
To know thyself is to be self-aware. Self-awareness plays a huge part in helping us gain freedom from the insecurities that hold us back.
When you are self-aware, you are aware of:
- Your Strengths
- Your Weaknesses
- Where You Fit and
- How to Improve Yourself
Self-awareness can only be accomplished through knowing yourself. Here are a few suggestions on how to become more self-aware.
- Listen more than you talk
- Ask a trusted friend for insight into how you are perceived or taken (More on this later.)
- Ask God to reveal more of who you are to yourself
I could go on and on about all the ways to become more self-aware, but three things is fine for now. Knowing thyself is the first step in overcoming our insecurities.
Do you know thyself?
Food addiction can be a hard thing to overcome.
For many of us it is our numbing agent, that thing we go to when life has us down and we just want to escape. For others of us, it’s a reward system, bringing joy for a moment until we realize we’ve overdone it. Inevitably, we beat ourselves up and end up feeling worse, which takes us back to needing a numbing agent: food. It’s cyclical nature is hard to break for anyone struggling with this sin. But asking the question of why we overeat (In Monday’s post) can bring much light to this otherwise shameful addiction.
After I realized I had a food addiction I started to do some research. Always loving words, I decided to look up the little word: EAT. Here’s what I found out.
Eating simply means: to consume completely. It is the assimilation of energy. When you eat something it becomes a part of you. It is fuel for your body. Simply and only.
After realizing I had put food above God He taught me the same definition for food should be applied to Him. He should be the one who numbs my pain. He should be my escape. He is my reward.
I can “eat” of God by spending time with Him, reading His word, and allowing Him to renew my mind. It is the assimilation of His energy, making Him a part of me that fuels my body, mind and soul.
Here are some other practical tips when breaking the addiction to food:
- Try a one, or three day water only fast. (When you fast, pray that God will break the stronghold that food has on your life.)
- Listen to your body. Instead of eating everything on your plate, eat slowly and listen to your body. When it tells you you’re full, you’re full! Put down the fork, sista and push it away.
- Ask a friend to keep you accountable to only eat foods that God made for an entire week. You’re eyes will be opened to just how much junk we consume without even thinking.
- Ask yourself what needs aren’t being met in your life, or what thing are you running from that you are using the addiction to food to cover up.
- Remember, that even though food tastes good, it’s purpose is to bring fuel and nutrition to your body. That’s it’s only purpose.
Most people will tell you it’s hard to just quit an addiction. Instead they say to find something positive to replace the negative, destructive behavior. Our replacement for overeating, has to be God. There is no rule that says becoming addicted to Him is wrong. It is in Him and Him alone that true freedom is found.
Before we get to the post, check this out: Top 55 Pastor Bloggers I’m #48 under Women Pastors. Pretty cool! There are also lots of other awesome pastors who have great blogs. Check them out!
When overcoming any addiction the first step is always the same:
- Admit you have a problem
Simply admitting that food addiction is a stronghold in your life is one important step in overcoming it. Feel a little reluctant to admit? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
I received so much feedback on yesterday’s post, that I wanted to share a few stories of women just like you and just like me, who are also struggling with this addiction, and share with you some of the hope they have experienced.
I’ve spent my whole life battling food addiction. I was determined 2010 would be the year I break free from the bondage of food. I started Jan. 1 doing a Daniel fast and along with it, reading Fasting by Jentezen Franklin. Through reading his book I realized how serious my addiction for food really was. I let food consume my life and it affects every aspect of my life. My spritual life, my relationship with my husband, kids, family, and friends. He refers to it as “King Stomach”. Here is what he said that really spoke to me.
“We have an entire book of promises but some of them will never be realized as long as King Stomach rules your appetite and controls your life.”
One goal I had was to complete a one day no food fast, which I completed yesterday. It really showed me that food’s not that important because we have Jesus to sustain us. I’ve learned so much through this experience and I plan to make fasting something I practice throughout the whole year.
Another woman shares this story:
I have lost 10 lbs! You were right. The day finally came, and I decided that I am DONE with living in bondage. I haven’t had any sweets and nothing with flour in almost 3 weeks. Without even working out I lost the weight. I am growing closer to God because I can’t do this without Him even one day! This is my one thing…to be God addicted instead of food addicted!
These are just a couple of the stories I heard yesterday, which encourages me to know I’m not alone in this battle for freedom. Continue to share your stories and together we will discover how to break the addiction of food in our lives.
(Tomorrow’s post will include practical tips and guidelines on how to break the cycle of food addiction. Stay tuned, we’re not done yet!)
Hi, my name is Anna, and I’m a food-aoholic.
I hope I’m not the only one sitting around this circle, as I divulge my addiction to you all. The problem with a food addiction is that it is more socially accepted than drug, alcohol and even nicotine addictions. But it is an addiction, nevertheless, and should be treated as one.
Many of the women I meet with on the subject of food and weight-loss have a hard time admitting that food is an addition. Some of these women have even come from backgrounds of drug and alcohol abuse and can’t see that they have simply transfered their addictive behavior onto a more socially accepted vice.
I’ve heard that an addiction always serves a need. For women, it is often an emotional need of self-worth that is not being met. Addictions also often serve as diversions. Distractions that always defer action or delay the progress we want to see in our lives. Ask yourself:
- What need do I have that is not being met?
- What things am I running from and using my addiction to avoid?
For me, I had a self-worth problem and ate my way into a dungeon of insecurity. Time in God’s Word, and slowly finding my self-worth in Him is the only reason I’m free today. (More on this later.)
Being addicted to food is the reason that at age 18, I looked like this:
Yes, that’s me, under the weight, under the many layers of insecurity that kept me at that weight. That’s also my first car as well. I’m the one in teal.
I’ll have you all know, showing this picture is still a little embarrassing. Even though I’ve lost over 75 pounds, there are some days when I still feel like that fat girl. Why? Because I’m still addicted to food.
I think about food. I prepare food. I eat food, and think about preparing food while I’m eating it. Except now I’m thinking of healthy food, and how many calories I’ve consumed, and what I’ll need to do at the gym to work off the fat grams, carbohydrates and sugars.
I’m sorry to say, I don’t have the answers to overcoming this addiction, but my prayer is that we can start a dialogue, and share our journeys together. Over the next couple days I’ll continue this conversation in hopes that we can find some encouragement from each other. In the mean time, please feel free to send me an e-mail, or leave a comment below and share your experiences with all who might read.
Knowing I probably didn’t have the answers to quitting self-sabotage, I ask a very good friend and mentor who is not a self-sabotager, what his thoughts were on the subject. From our conversation, I gained two truths that are already helping me fight this battle.
More Irons in the Fire
You would think this is the exact opposite of what you’d want to do when you’re trying to accomplish something, or stay on task, but having more irons in the fire gives you more avenues to gain confidence. What does “Irons in the Fire” mean? It means having some other things to focus on in addition to just the ONE thing you’re trying to accomplish. Think of them as stepping stones toward your desired goal. Small wins that can give you the confidence and motivation to keep going and not give in to the battle of self-sabotage.
He gave me a football analogy saying that after a quarter back throws an interception (that’s when he throws the ball and the other team catches it. A big mistake!) when a quarterback throws an interception the coach will call for the next few plays to be easy, short passes, ones he knows he can make. This is done to build back the quarterbacks confidence after a failure.
What short, easy passes do you need to make in order for you to gain confidence in yourself and stop self-sabotaging?
Stay Ahead of Momentum
This is a great thought, because usually it’s momentum that carries us. But what happens when we reach a peak in our lives and we’ve done nothing to keep the momentum going? We fall into a pit, we quit trying, self-sabotaging our progress and then we’re back to where we started, but even more frustrated. We’ve got to find a way to stay ahead of momentum.
Here’s how I’m choosing to do this. When I’m in the middle of momentum (when things are going great, when I’m writing a lot, or we feel excited to go to the gym, or when eating healthy is easy for us, or when we’re at peace and content with our lives) that’s when it’s time to sit down and strategize on how to stay ahead of momentum.
Some questions to ask yourself as you strategize:
- How can I stay ahead of momentum?
- What things have happened to get me to where I’m at?
- What things do I need to have ready now, when I feel like momentum is slowing down?
- What things do I need to gain or acquire to help push me past the point of self-sabotage that I’m inevitably going to experience?
It’s time to wage war against our temptation to self-sabotage. Why continue to stay in the same place when there is a world of things to accomplish?
Confessions of a Self-Sabotager–Continued
I’ve come to realize the number of reasons why people sabotage their progress are as vast as the people this disease inflicts. Everyone is different, therefore, everyone will have a different reason, excuse, or cause for why we struggle with this menace.
I’ve realized a few reasons and I’ll share them below. See which one stands out most.
- We believe the lie we’re not worth it.
This is a common lie the enemy will use especially among women. Beware! Relational sabotage is wrapped up in this lie like a blanket swaddles a baby . This is the lie that tells you, “Go ahead, settle for what is less than best in your relationships. You’re damaged goods anyway.”
- We allow our feelings or emotions to dictate our actions.
How well most of us women know this. Many of our goals, dreams and visions are sabotaged when we allow this one to reign. “I really don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve had the worst day ever! I deserve a bowl of chocolate ice cream! It will make me feel better!” A little emotional, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, feelings and emotions are good things. It is the way God made us, but it will sabotage us if we don’t bring our feelings and emotions under our authority.
- Just plain laziness
Laziness is Sabotage’s middle name. Of course is easier to skip your Bible reading, not practice your sport, or sit down and write. Doing what you know you need to do is the harder thing. If it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worth it. Don’t allow laziness to sabotage something God is calling you to do. Beat it with stick.
- Fear of change
Often times it is the fear of change that keeps us taking one step forward and two steps back. We sabotage our progress because we fear what it is going to do to our lives. We fear failure, but also success. We keep ourselves in our comfort zones, even though we’re screaming to get out. We keep ourselves living a good life, when God has an unimaginable life waiting for us on the other side of change.
So, why do you self-sabotage?
Tomorrow I’ll share some insight from some trusted friends and mentors who are NOT self-sabotagers. I hope we can all learn from their wisdom.