Hi, I am Stephanie, and I am my own worst enemy.
I am harsh, demanding, and critical of myself. I will put myself down and call myself horrible names.
My mood changes rapidly, depending on how I think someone thinks about me.
I am easily offended. On any given day, I can rotate between feelings of shame, unworthiness, and loneliness.
I care what people think of me. I care so much what people think of me that I do my best to live up to certain expectations but fall short EVERY TIME.
Sweet friends, please tell me I am not alone in this thinking!
So what can we do to stop this vicious cycle?
Realize your identity in Christ and how He sees you.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knit you together with a special plan and purpose in mind for your life.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
– Psalm 139:13-14
You are His masterpiece; He makes no mistakes. Every time you put yourself down, it is like putting God down for creating you. It is hard to hear someone you love put themselves down and take everything personally.
I recently went on a trip with my family, and it broke my heart to hear the way a lady I am very close to put herself down. She made herself believe that people were speaking negatively about her and that she was inferior to them. Another person I love and admire acted the same way; she assumed that everything related to her shortcoming and inability to be of value.
They both cast their insecurities about themselves onto others, expecting and perceiving them to believe the same about them as they do about themselves.
During that trip I had a reality check, and it wasn’t pretty. I was staring in a mirror of (at least) two generations of insecurities and doubt.
Knowing your worth in Christ is important. The second important thing is becoming more self-aware (without judgment) of our thoughts and feelings.
Ask yourself why you feel this way; why you are saying these things about yourself?
Not telling yourself you are wrong or bad for believing this, but instead, “What is the story you are telling yourself?”
Come from a place of exploring your thoughts and not judging them.
Don’t run from your emotions, don’t hide from them, and don’t try to deal with them on your own.
Guilty. Guilty. Triple Guilty. It is much easier to dodge emotions than to allow yourself to feel them. I’d rather drown them in a bowl of ice cream or mindlessly watch Netflix than openly admit to being angry or bitter.
But continuing to respond this way hinders our ability to experience true emotional freedom. We become trapped by the experiences of strong emotions that seem to hold us hostage to the thoughts we believe about ourselves.
We learn these behaviors from what is modeled to us as children. Often this emotional regulation (or lack of) is generational.
If we see insecurity modeled then we will model insecurity.
How do we break free from this bondage?
Breaking this pattern starts with finding others who are like you. It starts with realizing you aren’t the only one who is self-critical and over-analyzes everything.
Realize your worth as the Daughter of the King.
Recognize the lies you’ve believed, including the negative thoughts you’ve entertained.
Replace them with the Truth of His word and His promises to you.
It starts with a choice. Today I will choose to do something differently. Today I will choose to respond differently. Today I choose grace over my mistakes instead of feeling bound by my own expectations.
Are you ready to make that choice?
Sweet friends, this something that we can’t do alone; we need a community of other women to support us and encourage us as we walk on this path towards emotional freedom. I want to personally invite you to join my Emotional Freedom Growth Group, where you can learn how to embrace your true identity and choose to break the bonds of past regrets and negative patterns of thinking.. We will be using the book, Emotional Freedom: The Choices We Must Make to learn the foundations of healthy emotional expression and how we can grow to choose joy, forgiveness, and self- discipline as our new “default” responses.
I also will be hosting a Facebook live video this Thursday, September 1 at 4:00 PM EST where I will be discussing “choosing grace” in more detail and providing practical examples of how this looks in our lives.
Stephanie is a certified personal growth coach, specializing in helping individuals who are “spiritually stuck” or ready to transform into who God has created them to be. He has a plan for each of us, and with careful coaching and direction, you can emerge as a beautiful new creation created in Christ! She is an army wife and the mother to two precious fur-babies. She is also an Ohioan now living in the “deep south” trying to survive those hot and sticky summers! She’s embraced her purpose through her personal transformation, which gives her the courage to be transparent and authentic, and she wants to help you do the same! For more about her story and to learn about growth coaching, please visit www.butterflybeginnings.net and facebook.com/