One of the biggest things I learned from the Making Things Happen Conference last week was that I have been feeding myself a lot of negative mental junk lately. I’ve been telling myself I can’t write this book. I will fail. I am not a good writer. So, I am fighting to re-write that dialogue in my head and in my heart.
You see, we do this to ourselves. This self-sabatoge is what holds us back from greatness. At our cores we are more afraid of — are you ready for this? — success than we are of failure. Why? Because realizing our fullest potential means we may have to shake things up. We may be seen or noticed. We might have to live up to a higher expectation. We might fail. We might actually do the things we’ve been put on this earth to do and… then what? We might have to do more. These are the things that swim in our heads and make us tell ourselves that we aren’t enough.
You are enough.
You were meant to do great things for God.
You were meant to shine.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson
Dear self (and everyone everywhere ever): your playing small and feeding yourself negative thoughts is not serving the world.
One thing we had attendees to at the MTH Conference (full recap coming soon) is to rewrite these negative statements that hold us back. This board is being LIVED – in tiny baby steps and giant leaps – be these alum now. (I am so proud of you all and inspired by the leaps you are taking!) Rewriting negative thoughts is a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment fight, but a fight that is worth it. A fight that yields good fruit. Mine “I AM statement” is right in the middle in black: I am NOT OVERWHELMED. I am an author and a mother of more and a missionary.
My friend and MTH Conference attendee, Cheyenne, shared this yesterday that really resonated with me and many others:
One of my takeaways from the Making Things Happen conference was the idea of “rewriting my feelings”…flipping my negative feelings around to create positive ones. I have found it to be quite empowering and helpful in regaining hope and confidence: I am working hard and doing GREAT at making steady progress. There IS enough time and it WILL all get done. I am a great wife, a great mama and a great business owner. I AM worthy to come to God and worship Him. I dare you to try it if you are feeling down or stressed or doubting yourself. But, you have to say it like you mean it. Despite the crazy workload, tonight I chose what really matters: my sweet little family.
Yes! Say it like you mean it and DO something about it.
I have been constantly saying to myself and Ari that I “have no idea what I’m doing. I am not equipped to write a book!” These statement, I’m learning, are excuses. Ways to let myself fail. Ari said to me, “Babe, you sound like Moses saying you are not equipped!” I am no Moses(!), but that hit my heart like lightning. My first post blog post this year was inspired by me reading Exodus for the first time where Moses feels unprepared to do God’s work.
And that post was read by the lady standing to my left in this photo above (love you Katie!), who sent the link to the lady to her left, who sent the post to the lady on my right — the acquisitions editor at Thomas Nelson — who sent me an email asking me if I would consider writing a book with Thomas Nelson. A few weeks ago, they came to Indianapolis where I was speaking at the Influence Conference (recap coming soon — lots of blogging in the wings!) to encourage me and guide me in this journey. And I am singing Moses’ words through my whole being… words God gave him to say… ‘The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.’ (Exodus 14:14)
This is not a post about how great it is that I’m writing a book. What IS great is that God takes us lowly beings — simple imperfect humans — and He does crazy things with our lives for His glory when we say YES. Things we may not feel capable of, but He can make the impossible possible. I am not perfectly equipped, but I know the good news. And that, I am learning, is enough.
I am a writer.
God has given me a story to tell.
I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.
Sending my book contract off last week.
Fight the lies in your head that tell you that you are not good enough. Fight the distractions and the no’s and the false belief that you are not ready. Something Shauna Niequist said at the Influence Conference that struck me: “An opportunity dropped in my lap and so I decided to rise to the occasion for God.” Note to self: fight the fear and choose that. I am praying the same for all of you too!
What is the negative dialogue you’ve been feeding yourself? Let me know in the comments and rewrite it with your own “I AM” statement here too!