You were created for a purpose and are amazing, creative, valuable, and productive. YOU were born to shine!!
Do you believe that? Or do you struggle to believe that you were born to shine because instead you believe lies about yourself? Perhaps lies like you are stupid, unlovable, you will never amount to anything, you are ugly, or you are worthless.
If so, these lies are the result of believing negative things you have felt or that people have said about you. Many of us have done that and are now full of hurt and feel broken. So what do I mean when I say “lies”?
Lies are thoughts or the words and actions of others that cause us to behave in a self-defeating or destructive way. Lies are limiting because they create FEAR and hold us back.
I describe fear as Firmly Encouraging and Allowing Rubbish. When we listen to all that rubbish going on in our brain it’s impossible to be our real, true selves. Most likely we haven’t been taught about how thought processes work so we continue to believe rubbish about ourselves. It piles up over the years until we have a whole ton of garbage that weighs us down. My goal is to help you, in a simplified way, understand how our thoughts can work against us.
The lies we believe during our formative years set us up to believe lies as adults. By the time we become adults we are firmly entrenched in this belief system which affects how we consider ourselves.
Belief Determines Behavior
The lies we believe about ourselves become the building blocks of our behavior. Fortunately, when we change what we believe, we change our behavior. Sounds simple, but can be quite difficult to do.
The first step is to learn to identify the lies we listen to and how we come to believe them. The following are some of the ways in which lies become part of us:
* Sometimes lies are obvious. For example when people say cruel things such as: “You are stupid, you are ugly, I hate you (which, to us, means we are unlovable), or “You will never amount to anything”. When we hear these lies we often begin to believe them.
*Lies can be subtle and take self-discovery work to identify. Interestingly enough, we might even hear something while in the womb that leads us to draw a negative conclusion about ourselves, which was my case.
In The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, Thomas Verny, M.D. reported that after conducting clinical studies all over the world he found that prenatal experiences affect the formation of attitudes and personality traits.
It was recognizing my own limiting behaviors that led me to research the possible influence of prenatal experience. For most of my life I had striven to please people in order to be accepted and felt as if I had to work at being good enough to deserve love. In addition, I never wanted to be a problem and tried to keep the peace no matter what. My parents were loving and I experienced a secure and safe home life so these behaviors didn’t make sense.
After my mother died in 2004 I was given some letters she’d written to her mother. In one of them, written ten days before my birth, my mom was lamenting the fact of “not really having time to have this baby” because school was about to begin (she was a teacher) and my dad was often away working in the cotton gin because it was harvesting time in Arkansas.
I believe that while I was in the womb I incorrectly gathered information from conversations I heard and determined that I was a problem, in the way, and needed to hurry up and make my appearance so my parents could get on with life.
These prenatal experiences were not totally responsible for my dysfunctional behavior, but did become part of the “filter” through which I received information about myself.
*Another situation which causes children to believe lies is abuse. Degrading acts toward us lead to the conclusion that we are worthless and not valued. It doesn’t matter whether it’s physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; it changes us and affects how we feel about ourselves because abuse changes our emotional DNA.
*When parents are so busy they don’t have much time or energy for their children, the children might believe the lie that they are not worthwhile or important, which leads to feelings of abandonment and rejection.
*When our personality traits are criticized (being too loud, too shy, too stubborn) we take an emotional beating. People are basically telling us that how we are wired intrinsically is not good enough and usually bad. This leads to low self-esteem and feeling devalued. It is difficult to change our intrinsic personality, and suppressing who we are created to be can lead to depression, hopelessness and feelings of being stifled or closed up.
As children we determine our value based on other’s opinions and their behavior towards us. It’s how we receive our first self-knowledge. It’s through our perceptions of those first experiences that we develop “filters” which can skew the truth.
My “filters” caused me problems, as they often do with us. Throughout life, even if people didn’t mean to criticize me, I often perceived it as such and allowed it to become a negative thought I believed as truth.
In my search to understand how thoughts actually work, I discovered an amazing book called Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Dr. Daniel G. Amen. Here is some valuable information I learned from Dr. Amen.
*Every thought you have sends electrical signals throughout your brain.
*Thoughts have actual physical properties. They are real and have influence on every cell in your body.
*You can teach yourself to control and direct your thoughts in a positive way.
*Unless you think about your thoughts they are automatic, they “just happen”.
*Your automatic thoughts don’t always tell the truth and may even lie to you.
*You don’t have to believe every thought that goes through your head.
*It’s important to think about those thoughts concerning you in order to determine if they help you or hurt you.
*Unfortunately, if you never challenge your thoughts, you will just believe them as if they are true.
Pausing to consider the thoughts that run through our brain is one way to determine lies.
How can we succeed in our PURPOSE, PASSION, and PROMISE if we are bound by a false belief system? We continue the same damaging behavior over and over when we accept, believe, and act upon LIES! But imagine what can happen when we accept, believe, and act upon TRUTH!
We must consider what we hear, what others tell us, what we think about ourselves, and be diligent about whether these things are harmful to us or help us.
How do you know if it’s a lie? Ask yourself:
How do the thoughts, words, and behaviors affect me?
Do they build me up or tear me down?
Do I respond in destructive and limiting behavior?
Low self-esteem, addiction, hiding, depression, rage, sense of unworthiness, sexual carelessness, and compulsion to lie can all be signs that we’ve believed lies about ourselves.
Some of you have people in your lives that lie to you on a continual basis. In order to become healthy, you will need to change that.
1) Tell them that what they are saying or doing is a lie.
2) Warn them of diminished contact if it continues.
3) Remove and distance yourself, physically and emotionally.
4) It this isn’t possible, you must be militant about telling yourself that what they are saying is a lie. Do not believe it.
5) When in doubt, ask a trusted friend.
6) Get help if needed!
I must say it took me a while to understand this whole process. I’m just skimming the surface for you, hoping you will search further.Determining lies is NOT where it ends. We have to reprogram our brains by turning those negative thoughts into affirmations. I make it sound simple, but in reality believing truth about myself took some time and purposeful effort. The process was gradual and I’m giving you some steps to follow to help save you time. Hopefully you can learn from me because no one taught me these things and most likely many of you haven’t learned them either.
Because of the things I’d read, I realized I needed to replace the lies with truth. Removing the lies isn’t enough since that creates a vacuum waiting to be filled with more lies. But knowing truth and reprogramming our brain will change that.
I had to look at myself with new eyes and recognize the gifts, abilities, and positive traits I possessed. This was not easy. After years of believing lies, to even find truth is difficult. But I began paying attention to what I read, and I have a friend who was a valuable sounding board who helped with differentiating lies and truth.
In order to believe truth we must reframe our thinking and train our thoughts.
“I’m used up, I’m worthless and unlovable”, and “no one will want me”—
“I have valuable wisdom and life skills, I am worthy and lovable, I am capable,” and “I am enough”.
I began to speak truth to myself. At first it was like KEEPING CORKS UNDER WATER—lies kept popping up no matter what I did.
I began to tell myself things I’d never said before—out loud no less! Seriously? Jump back Jack—lightning’s gonna strike! How dare I “brag” about myself? I wonder why it is acceptable to speak negatively and degrade ourselves, but frowned upon to confess the great qualities we have? Our society is pretty unhealthy.
To reprogram our brains, we must think differently and confess truth instead of lies.
I’ll never________ (you fill in the blank)
I’m not __________
If you struggle with limiting belief and defeating behavior, I encourage you to pursue reframing your brain to know and believe the wonderful truth about yourself. You have purpose, ability, and value. It’s up to you to believe that.
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Mimi Matthews believes in the power of words to change lives. She calls herself “Passionista At Large” because she is always on the prowl to encourage and empower, inspire and ignite anyone she comes in contact with. Mimi’s life experiences have given her rich material and wisdom to help others learn truth. You can read her life stories and uplifting posts on her blog http://particularpassions.me/ and buy her encouraging and empowering words on unique cards and gifts on her ETSY SHOP HERE!