“A simple man (woman) believes anything…” Proverbs 14:15.
I’m familiar with scaring myself. Are you?
• Blessed with a vivid imagination, I once sat and cried in fear. Why? Because my husband and son (the pilot!) were flying over mountains and forests in a small plane and I was convinced it would crash. It didn’t happen.
• When my daughter decided to go backpacking through Europe and would be traveling alone for a week, my fears put me in a panic. Springing into action, I eagerly offered to go with her. Me, who had never backpacked in my life! In this case, my scary thoughts had a positive outcome—I survived and grew!
• Several significant opportunities to speak into women’s lives reduced me to a quivering mass of tears. One was my first out-of-state invitation to a large conference in Michigan. Another was in Australia when I was convinced I’d be sent back to the USA after my first meeting. None of my fears materialized.
Do you wonder how to overcome the power of your scary thoughts? Here’s some help:
1. Realize you scare yourself by what you focus on.
2. Recognize that rehearsing your fears only increases their power over you.
3. Resist being held hostage by your scary thoughts.
4. Refuse to say NO to the blessings and growth God offers you.
Being a natural wimp, I’ve battled my scary self-talk for a long time. Here’s what has helped me:
4 Responses to Scary Self-Talk:
1. SPOT IT! As soon as you feel anxious, ask God to help you know what’s causing it. David cried out, “I sought the Lord and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears” Psalm 14:4. Keep praying and processing until you identify what you’re telling yourself that’s at the root of your concerns. Like watching out for spam or a virus on your computer, watch for thoughts that trigger stress, anxiety and fear.
2. STOP IT! Once you’ve identified your scary self-talk, tell yourself, STOP IT! You’re not a helpless victim of your thoughts or emotions. “God did not give you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-discipline” 2 Peter 1:7. In other words, stand up to your fears and say “this isn’t from God and I won’t let it control me.”
3. SWOP IT! From obsessing about your inadequacy, lack of experience, education, or whatever else bombards you, switch to words of faith: I am God’s beloved, I am precious to Him, He never abandons me, He is for me. Ask yourself, “Is this thought, fear, assumption coming from God, my Father? Is this how He wants me to respond?”
4. SPEAK IT! Reinforce the truth of who you are and how God sees you by repeating Scriptures out loud. Write down words, phrases, and verses that strengthen your trust. Repeat to yourself, “I am His, He will guide me, and He is my Strength for all that lies ahead.”
For more help, read “Does it Matter What I Think?” In my book, I’m Too Human to be Like Jesus.
I’d love to know what scary thoughts you battle with and what helps you.
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