This past week I participated in some Facebook discussions. Someone viewed my comments and decided to ask a question. I sought and acquired permission to share that here.
Thanks so much to Lydia (not her name, of course) for allowing me to respond so that more may benefit. MANY singles experience this very same problem.
Hello Lance- . . . so I saw your comments on the "whats holding us back" thread- and I have a question! I have dug deep, and I know what is holding me back- but how do I free myself from it? I have completely bought into the lies that have been told to me for years, so much so, that they have become my inner truths. I know in my head they aren't true, but my heart believes them. (Basically I believe that I am not worth anything and that I am a nothing, nobody will ever want me- I don't love myself.) I am sure that I sound crazy- but I have been praying for direction and help to know how to start building myself up! Can you point me in a direction to start loving myself? (I feel like a freak for sending this to a complete stranger- but I want to be happy and emotionally healthy! So it's worth the risk! lol) Thanks in advance- Lydia
Lydia has made some important progress. She’s dug deep and faced her truth. Some of that truth is believing she’s less than what she's truly worth.
Awareness and acknowledgment are important first steps. The question now is what to do from here. On that note I have a few suggestions.
Understand the role of habit in your life
We humans are hardwired to have and follow habits. There’s good reason for that. But staying inside habits provides a life on autopilot. When you understand the role of habit in your life, you can choose habits that propel you to the life you want, one fully lived and enjoyed.
The power of self-talk
Some of the most important habits we have relate to the messages that we receive. These in large measure drive our assumptions, our attitudes, and our emotions. That’s one big reason why modern day prophets have always counseled us to take care with the media that we accept into our homes and lives.
We should always seek to drop the false friends and other purveyors of negativity from our lives. But life doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes we just have a harder row to hoe.
That doesn’t obscure the great resource we have entirely within our control. We can give messages to ourselves. In fact, most of us are already doing that. For good or bad, we’ve established a habit to send messages to ourselves.
For many singles, that habit provides a constant stream of negativity. It’s little wonder that many singles feel trapped in despair when you consider that self-talk controls 95% of our emotions. Many routinely reinforce their own prison, and they don’t even know it!
But here’s the good news: Self-talk can be just as empowering as destructive. Just flip it around. Recognize whatever habit you’ve developed in delivering negative messages to yourself. Then use your agency to replace those negative messages with positive ones.
Nature hates a vacuum. So you can’t just quit the bad. You must replace it with good. Otherwise, Nature will replace it for you. And Nature’s default selection is always to go back to the habit you have developed. If that habit is negative, you’re right back at Square One.
That’s why you have to learn the role of habit in your life and make conscious choices. You must determine what messages you’ll receive when the triggers for your bad habits reappear. And when you by your own choice fill yourself with positive messages over and over enough, you develop a new habit that reinforces who you really are. With such a habit in place, you can begin to believe in your heart and not just your head.
His love is enough
One of the most important messages to tell yourself constantly reinforces the way that God sees you. When you see yourself the way He does, it’s so much easier to love yourself the way He does.
Self-talk plays a huge role in how we see ourselves. If you tell yourself habitually that you’re worthless and no one will ever love you, what sort of reality do you think you will have? Conversely, if you tell yourself habitually that you’re glorious because you are a child of God, where do you think that leads?
Positive self-talk habits do more than help us to feel our divine worth. They help us to feel the Atonement on a totally new level. Christ suffered and died for you. How could such love not be enough?
When you truly understand that in your heart, you’ll quit feeling beneath your potential because you don’t have the love of some other person. And that’s incredibly liberating in so many ways!
Align your thinking with the reality that you want
When you understand the role of habits in your life and make conscious choices to align your thinking with the reality you want, you become truly unstoppable.
Using an empowering scripture as self-talk fosters that alignment most effectively. Whenever doubt or fear creeps in, quote your scripture. Once this become habit, you’ll be giving yourself an instant boost whenever you need it.
One of my favorites is Philippians 4:13. Find one that works for you, memorize it, and then feed it to yourself habitually. Start aligning your thinking with the reality that you want. Not only can you arrive at your desired destination but also the journey there can feel so much more enjoyable.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and now I produce a weekly radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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