I roll over and shield my eyes from the glaring sun. Morning already? Without thinking about it, I pick up my phone and begin to scroll. It’s mindless, really. It’s just something to do to awaken my sleepy brain cells.
Instagram, Facebook, news, email, maybe even the occasional Pinterest. Words and images fly by.
Suddenly I think, you’re not good enough.
What sparked that thought? Oh, the 120 likes on this Instagram photo. I don’t get 120 likes on my photos. Am I not good enough? Then another thought.
You don’t make enough money.
Shiny shimmery vacations, new homebuyers, fancy cars and advertisements selling me things I can’t afford, that’s what I’m looking at as I scroll and scroll and scroll.
Bummer. It’s only 7 a.m. and I’m already feeling like a schmuck.
This is just the beginning. Messages like this will pass by my eyes all day. They will settle into my brain before I even realize what they are. I’ll think about them as I cook, care for my son, exercise and socialize.
The kicker is that I might not even realize that I’m thinking, you’re not good enough, you’re not good enough, you’re no….
That’s what these messages are. They are false statements that I choose to believe without even realizing it. They’re tricky buggers because they sneak in and leave me feeling discouraged—hindering me from being my best self.
It has taken me some time, but I’ve pinpointed the most common lies that plague me. Now that I’ve identified them, I am able to come up with ways to fight them.
Here are some. Maybe you’ve heard them before.
1. You’re Not Good Enough
This lie manifests itself in many ways—social media, advertising, simply comparing oneself to someone else. You’re not smart enough, you’re not popular enough, you can’t play the trombone good enough. Well, maybe not that last one. Those are all things that we hear when we see someone who is smarter, more popular, or really good at something.
Here’s the truth. You are enough. The God of the Universe loves you exactly the way that you are. Not because of anything you’ve done, but simply because he’s the one who created you.
“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
(I can’t pretend that I knew this slightly obscure scripture reference off the top of my head, thanks to Google for that one, who knew there was a book of Zephaniah?)
Live in this truth each day and that lie will slowly become less and less powerful.
2. You Don’t Have Enough Money
As a student at university I remember always thinking, I don’t have enough money for that. Most of the time, it was true. I wasn’t working or making any money so I needed to be wise about how I spent it.
Then I graduated and got a job, not a great one but still a job. I could pay my bills and then some. Yet, that scarcity mentality from college kept circulating in my brain, just a little morphed. Make more money, then you can do this or that. But it was never enough.
It will never BE enough. There’s always more money to chase and more things to own. The truth is that wealth does not lead to happiness. It’s better to start each day grateful for what we do have than chasing the things that we don’t.
3. You Should Already Be Successful
Anyone worth any clout in the business world worked for success. It didn’t happen overnight. In the age of the microwave, the hand held computer and Google, things happen quickly. But the trajectory of success has not changed. Start, work hard and then you’ll see results. Anything telling you otherwise is false, a lie.
Also, success should not be measured in designer suits, or paychecks, it’s measured in things that really matter, like how you live your life. Is it glorifying to God? Only you can answer that one.
4. You Missed Your Chance
If you’re breathing air right now then you haven’t missed your chance. There is no formula for the right age or time for anything really. You didn’t miss the boat on finishing school, finding a career or getting married.
The only thing in your way is you believing this lie.
God is not constrained by time. Remember he gave Sarah a baby at the age of 90. (ahem, Genesis) Noah was old when he built the ark (also the big Genesis) and Jesus didn’t start his ministry until his 30’s. (Luke) Don’t give up and don’t believe this lie.
5. No One Understands You
This is the loneliest of all the lies. It’s easy to wallow in, pretending that you’re an island. It also leads to feeling like no one can help you. That’s a very dangerous lie, taking you to some pretty dark places.
Read my lips, GOD UNDERSTANDS. Not only is there a huge God who cares about you and sees your every move. He also handcrafted you, each detail. He knows and he cares. (Psalms)
Open up about what you’re going through. Be assured there’s someone else out there who has gone through it too or is at least willing to listen and help.
I encourage you to recognize when you’re thinking these lies. Write them down and then write the truth, what God says about you, next to them—you are good enough, you do have people who love and understand you. The lies will become less powerful each time and you’ll get faster at fighting them. The more truth you believe instead of the lies, the easier it will be to live each day as the best version of yourself.