If you have negative thinking about yourself, one of the first things you want to do to address it is to simply notice it more. Because you may know you have thoughts like, “I feel inadequate.” But there are often more thoughts that haven't fully taken shape in your mind, even though they're influencing you.
A recent study found that only 10-15% of people are truly self-aware. Along other things, they don't clearly see their values, thoughts or feelings.
It's beneficial to be aware of these things! David said in Psalm 139, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. Ps 139:1-2
As you read this, why do you think it’s important to know what’s in your heart?
How does it encourage you to know that when you search your heart, the goal is to be led on the path of everlasting life?
In order to start seeing your thinking more clearly, ask yourself the following questions:
What was a recent time that I felt like I was inadequate, insufficient, inferior, lacking, falling short or not enough?
What were my specific thoughts?
What were my emotions?
Your emotions can give you an important clue about what you’re thinking, If you’re feeling something like shame, guilt, anger, sadness, anxiety or envy, stop for a moment. Look inward. See if this emotion is fueled by thoughts and beliefs like, “I don’t measure up. They’re better than me. I should be able to do better. I messed up. There’s something wrong with me. I’m different than everyone.”
What comes up for you when you consider the connection between your emotions and thoughts like these?
In the days to come, continue to build your awareness of your insecure thoughts. As you notice them, write them down.
If this seems uncomfortable and scary, I want to encourage that what you’re doing here is a good thing!! The more you know, the more you can get your thinking to a better place.
And the more your thinking gets to a better place, the more the rest of your life will follow.