Monday, September 23, 2013

You're Captivating

A few years ago a newly married friend of mine was asked when she was planning on starting her family. Knowing about her close-knit upbringing I was surprised by her answer which was she didn’t know if she wanted to have kids because no matter how well people raised their kids, one can never guarantee they would end up being upright individuals.  In her estimation, “there were just so many things that might go wrong.”  Not to say that I don’t understand the fear (which at its root was: am I going to be a good parent? And, what if my child turns out to be a disappointment?), but sometimes dwelling on that fear is the exact thing that ends up coming to fruition.

Let me put it another way.  In my early teen years, my Dad took my brother and me on a ski trip during one of our school breaks.  My Dad is tall and very coordinated, but at the time he was heavy, so he had his challenges skiing, which is what I think made him more determined to learn.  On one run, he wanted to test the “ungroomed” snow and went a bit off trail.  Following behind him, my brother and I tried to warn him as we watched him head towards a tree.   Just before he hit, he fell headfirst into a thick embankment.  We couldn’t help laughing because his head was stuck in the snow, yet his ample back side and legs were sticking out and up in the air and he couldn’t seem to get out.  After he did so, he shook off the snow and we asked him why he didn’t just turn when he saw the tree looming.  He said, “I tried!  But the more I looked at the tree, the more I couldn’t seem to change directions!

If you’ve been following my blog for some time, you’ve probably read these words, “take captive your thoughts”.  What I mean by this is, when negative thoughts or fears start you on a spiraling journey making you angry, bitter, hopeless, worrisome, or even depressed, it is incumbent on you to step back a moment, take hold of those thoughts and change your focus.  It sounds like it might be difficult, but it’s not, all it takes is practice.  The main thing is to remember your identity, that’s key, and if that means writing your identity down, then do so.

I like starting off by listing the things I’m good at (I’m a good mother; I’m a good friend; I’m good at finding a bargain….).  Then maybe writing down the things I’m passionate about (I fiercely love my kids; I love spending time with my friends; I enjoy finding the perfect gift for people….).  Finally, I write down my “I Am “ statement (I am loving; I am an encourager; I am smart; I am beautiful; I am of sound mind……).

So when the negative thoughts come around I am prepared:

1) Recognize-“Hey, these thoughts are making me feel bad, and I know better!  Let me take a time out.
2) Identify – “Ok, right now I’m feeling worried/poor/deprived/hopeless because I am (for example) looking at my bills vs. my income.”
3) Change your mind – “What if I’m NOT poor?  What if I just need to make better budget choices?”
4) Action – “I am going to look at my spending habits and because I’m smart and of sound mind, I will make a better plan.”
5) Reinforce – “I can do this because I am so smart, intelligent, clever, efficient, creative……”
6) Predict – “I am rich, generous, giving, grateful……” This is important!  Call into “now” what isn’t …..…yet!  The sooner you focus on it, the sooner it’ll come.  Like my Dad’s experience, the more you look at something, the harder it is to change directions.  In his case, it would have been better if he had focused on the area just a few feet to the left of the tree instead of focused ON the tree!  Remember to focus on the positive, not the negative!

Read your “I Am” statement from time to time and update as necessary.  You can do this.  Do it and learn to be captivating!!!!

-Tessa L. Charles

1 comment:

  1. I looove this!! Makes me want to go back and read the book "Captivating" by Stasi & John Eldridge again. It's talk all about about discovering our true worth, accepting how captivating we really are, finding self esteem and being comfortable in our own skin.

    It's been years since I read it, but I remember it being very empowering!! I gotta go see if I can find my "I Am" statement from a few years ago...

    Thanks for another awesome post!!