When I decided to go to counseling for my depression and anxiety, I shared the traumatic life changing experiences that had occurred in my life over the past 2 years with the counselor. And after a lot of nodding and add-libbing during my “I just don’t know what to do” cry, the first thing he told me was “You’re a fighter. You’ve made it through all of that. I think you deserve some credit for that.”. But since my mind was in a “I’m still in so much pain” state, I didn’t know that I actually needed to be in a “Good job, now keep going” mind-frame.
The past is not a place that we are residing in right now, we’ve already lived through it , and if your chest is moving up and down, you have decided to keep going. The purpose of the past is to look back at where you’ve been and appreciate the strength you’ve built this far. Whether you realize it or not.
However, you have to encourage yourself, and believe in your encouragement. Encouragement requires a new attitude towards yourself, which involves a new love, respect, and level of confidence.
In my own honesty, confidence is having the ability to love being bare-ly you. Did that make poetic sense? In other words, boldly living your inner self on the outside and having your inside accept what is physically outside and owning it. That right there is something serious, and if you already have that, then you’re on your way up. But if having confidence is something that is new to you, then be patient with the process with loving yourself, and believing you are worthy of self love, it is a beautiful journey. Even if you have a day when you aren’t feeling encouraged, purposely live as if you are. Your feelings will eventually get in alignment with your actions. It’s called faithing it until you make it folks! I’m still practicing, but I can sense already that it works!
And just as a gentle reminder, don’t play yourself. You need God for all that you want to achieve and all the confidence you have.Literally, nothing will go right if you’re soul-ly doing it your way, you need the Lord at every decision table. Ephesians 4:17-18 says ” I tell you this. I warn you: Do not continue living like those who do not believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing,. They do not understand, because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives.” Therefore, the confidence you hold should not be of arrogance, but gratitude in being able to accept who you are with assurance from God.
The back and forth between “I’m not good enough” and “Well maybe I should try” is useless. Why go against your own potential? Why doubt your abilities? Why go against you? An understanding has to take place here and now. God gave you the ability to fulfill your most desirable wants and for you to take part in the things you need to do as well but you have to believe that, you have to live that, you have know that you are the green light. Ecclesiastes 6:10-11 says, “Everything that happens was planned a long time ago. A man is only what he was created to be, it is useless to argue with God about it, this is because God is more powerful than man is. The more you argue, the more useless it is. You gain nothing by arguing. A person has only a few days of life on the earth. His short life passes like a shadow. And who knows what is best for him while he lives? Who can tell him what will happen after his time on earth?”
The enemy will try to poke at your insecurities, doubts, and fears to place you in discouragement, but even in times when we are tempted to be discouraged and fearful, we still have the right mind enough to make the decision to fight it off and encourage ourselves. And this takes practice and patience with yourself, and yes I’m still practicing, or blooming so to speak. AND IT WORKS!
Even if no one else believes you have the ability to do whatever it is you are trying to do, don’t wait for their approval. We aren’t on the earth to consistently try to convince people of who we are, the only opinion that matters is God’S. And only He can determine the purity in your heart. What I’ve learned is that if I wait for someone else’s approval I’m only weakening the ability to believe in myself, and holding other people accountable for congratulating me when I feel its necessary is a burden on myself, and sometimes on the other person. You wont always get the applause. So be aggressive, be , be aggressive! Sorry, Bring it On just got added to Netflix, but you get my point. Be your own cheerleader. Pom Poms and everything.
Encouraging yourself to do the things that you don’t really feel like doing knowing that doing it will cause better habits and traits, causes an even more beautiful bloom. Joyce Meyer said once “When you feel like doing the wrong thing, but choose to do the right thing, you are growing” (or in our case, blooming)
Just say to yourself “just one more semester”, “just one more hour at work”, “just 2 more laps”, “one more year until I can move out”. Come on ! You can!
Keeping yourself encouraged also means killing off any negative thought towards yourself. Stop focusing on what you’re not, and focus on the beauty that you are. Inside the bud and outside on the petals. (speaking in poeticphotosynthesis terms here). Don’t talk down to yourself, you’ll begin to believe it. Carry yourself as the child of God that you are (a very honorable position btw), acknowledge how far you’ve come, and believe that you are not small, you are a Queen/ King that Jesus thought was worth dying for. And don’t even think about comparison. You don’t have to diminish your inner or outer beauty just to speak highly of someone else. It’s good to have a spirit that is eager to compliment, but we’ve all got something worth offering and complementary about ourselves. Check out this post on running your own race.
But to say the most, have gratitude that you are who you are and the life you’ve conquered so far, thank God for that! You’re a beautiful flower that still has a garden to fill. Congratulate yourself from where you’ve been, believe in God and yourself to keep blooming, and knowing that loving yourself isn’t weird, but a blissful blessing. And while you’re keeping yourself away from the devil’s pettiness, encourage others as well, you’ll feel all soft and good and stuff like you just inspired the next Dj Khaled. Stay in an encouraged mindset and you’ll find that staying encouraged in other areas of your life easier. You’ll find yourself doing things you thought you were incapable of.
And I just wanted to tell you. CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made it this far!
This week create your own encouraging meditation mantras. Try to make them in relation to what you need encouragement in right now.
These are a few of mine.
- I have decided to keep living even when I didn’t feel like it
- No one is better than me, and I’m no better than anyone else
- I have the grace and confidence of a queen
- God put the seeds of greatness in me
- I’ve learned to love myself, while also showing love to others
- I respect my peace, doubts and discouragement are NOT welcome
And never forget, God is in your heart, encouraging you 24/7.