Disclaimer: I am not a licensed therapist. While I do have a masters degree in counseling, the purpose of this blog is not to provide counseling. The purpose of this blog is to offer tips to deal with the frustrations of life. When it comes to your mental health, please seek professional counsel if you feel necessary.
The mind is one of the most powerful assets that we have. It is the place where dreams are free to express themselves, where thoughts look for roots to hold on to, and where life fights to evade death.
There is so much to be said about what takes place in the mind. It is so important that you guard your mind with the same diligence that you guard your heart, as they are one in the same. What infects one, will eventually impact the other. With that in mind, today I want to talk about self-defeating thoughts.
So what are self-defeating thoughts?
Self-defeating thoughts are ideas, inner conversations, thoughts, and concepts that manifest in the mind to ensure that one thinks of herself less than God intended. This definition makes me think about Romans 12:3. We often misunderstand this verse because we focus on the first half forgetting the latter.
Romans 12: 3 reads “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly that he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith”.
Too many times we stop before the but leaving this scripture incomplete and confusing. Every time we began to think we should be further along than this, we are better than this, or we deserve more than this, someone comes along to quote this verse. But they miss the fullness of the word.
You are commanded by God to think of yourself soberly according to the measure of faith He has given you. What does that mean? Simple put, it means to be humble and think big.
Now lets talk about some examples of self-defeating thoughts and how to manage them.
I want to give three very basic but powerful examples that are common for many of us to fall into.
- The “not” speech: This is any language that involves words like can’t, won’t, don’t, shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, etc. Anytime these words are you used in relationship to the self, you are already defeated.
- Meditating on others perspective of you: This is one of the easiest ways to self-sabotage. It is often those close to us who don’t recognize the gift inside of us. Jesus said it like this “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house” (Mark 6: 4). Internalizing their perspectives is what causes us to walk in their idea instead of walking like God.
- Keeping count of failures: Faith is an interesting concept. In the age of the microwave generation, we believe that having faith is all we need. But faith has to be proven. Your response to failure determines your capacity for success. If are guilty of keeping up with the many times it didn’t work more than the times it did, you are entertaining self-defeating thoughts.
Now that we have some examples, how can we defeat them? The answer is very simple. We must use our voice. Here a couple of ways to deal with low level thinking.
- Positive affirmations. For the believer = Speak life.
- Meditate on the word of God. For the believer = study the bible
- Address the wrong, but focus on what went right. For the believer: Trust God for the end. You will now its the end when its good. If it hasn’t worked out for your good, its not the end.
- Cast your cares. For the believer: Submit and worship.
- Celebrate success. For the believer: give God the praise and glory.
I hope that this helps you to think yourself into your best life. Stop agreeing with things that are beneath your potential and outside your reach. The hand of the Lord is not short.
Shanithia “HyQuality” Kendrick