I couldn’t do a half-marathon if my life depended on it.
I don’t do burpees, let alone the crazy ones you do.
If I tried to do your workout, I’d probably die.
Have you ever noticed how discouraging we can be to ourselves? Sometimes, I feel like I’m reliving that scene from Mean Girls…
As a Christian woman, I have been trained on how to uplift those around me. My spouse comes home from an awful day, one of my team-teachers is having one of those early retirement days, one of my kids (pedagogical, not biological) had a rough morning at home…I know how to put a positive spin on their lives. I can handle that, and I’m a pretty good person to call when you’re in need of some silver lining to your life.
When it comes to encouraging others, to inspiring courage in another, that comes naturally to me. Maybe it’s the elementary school teacher in me, but I’m always eager to support and affirm those around me through texts, notes, or just a quick pep talk.
Howevs, when it comes to uplifting myself, it’s a different ballgame.
When it's our goals for our lives, how we feel about our own appearance, and our own acceptance of who we are, we can be just as negative as Regina George and her fellow Plastics.
How can I be so quick to uplift and encourage others yet so quick to put myself down? Words like never, can’t, and other negativity-dripping terms can swiftly wreak havoc on my self-esteem and ability to make positive changes to my life in the future.
Plus, God's not a huge fan of us doing it, either. Paul reminds us, “encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). I think he would agree that we shouldn’t exclude encouraging ourselves. When God created us, He created us in His image. When we put ourselves down by saying things like, “I’m a fat mess. I’m the worst parent ever. I’ll never get this right”, we are insulting our Creator and His design for our lives.
Sometimes, I find it easier to say I can’t do it than to try at all and fail.
That’s where that pride issue comes into play thatI talked about a few weeks ago. Sometimes, God places challenges in our lives that seem laughably impossible, that seem so out of the blue, that seem hopeless. My friends, when you get to that place, reach out to someone- your spouse, a friend, our Savior Jesus Christ.
We are called to encourage and uplift each other. Hebrews 10:24-25 reminds us-
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.
I can remember getting so overwhelmed by AP classes in high school. Being the type-A overachiever, I loved the extra workload and pressure that was placed upon us. But there were days that it seemed too much. I can remember one particularly rough day, being on the verge of tears, and one of my best friends would put his hand on my shoulder. He thoughtfully said, “Michelle, better days pursue the dark and stormy clouds.” I cracked up at his straight-from-a-classroom-inspirational-poster message, yet I appreciated it nonetheless.
When those dark and stormy clouds are rollin in, please remember you don’t have to face them alone. You know, as well as I do, that turning against yourself isn’t going to do any good. Proverbs 4:23 warns us, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts."
If those thoughts are getting dark, reach out to a friend to lean on. That’s why God surrounds us with these blessings we get to call friends.
Don’t know who to reach out to? I’d love to be there for you. Some of my past co-teachers have referred to me as the Rock (not because of my striking resemblance to Dwayne Johnson) because it’s hard to unnerve me at school. When things start going south and the kids are going ballistic and the administrators are breathing down your neck, I keep cool as a cucumber.
Of course, you should turn to God, first. He is the Samwise to your Frodo (if you don’t get that pop culture reference, we definitely need to talk).
As you go through your week, remember how your thoughts shape your life, your outlook, and how you treat others. You are made in His image, and thinking negatively of yourself is an insult to Him. As Aibileen says in The Help, you is kind, you is smart, you is important.
This week's challenge:
1. Ask yourself- What is one area of my life that I need to reel in my negative self talk?
2. Talk to God about it; He knows your thoughts, but He likes to hear from you.
3. Reach out to a friend who can offer you support. Feel free to email me, too, at email@example.com.
4. Think about someone in your life that could use encouraging. Write a note, make a phone call, or do something small to show you care. You never know what a difference this can make.
Today, stay uplifted, and look for ways to uplift those around you. Until tomorrow, make joyful choices and be well!
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!