Man With Hand To Ear 3

I’m ugly.

I’m broken and unfixable.

My life is what it is.

I’m too old.  My best days are behind me.

I don’t have time.

I’m good, but not good enough.  Someone always beats me out.

Once I learn more about it, I’ll step out.

I’ve got ideas, but no one will give me a chance.

If I let myself really care about someone, they’ll break my heart.

I’m going to fail, and everyone’s watching.

I’m stuck.

I’ll never have a family.

She’s going to cheat on me.

I can’t get out of this hole.

I know I shouldn’t, but I can’t stop.  I have to.

I’ve lost the thing that made me special.

I don’t have enough ________.

I can’t.

If you’re like me, it hurts even to read that list.  But did some of it feel familiar?  It did to me.

I asked several people in my life to anonymously share the message that creeps into their head and privately taunts them.  This is part of the list that has formed so far.  Keep in mind, these are uncommon people.  They’re leaders of their industries, the center of their circles, and some of the smartest and most effective people I know.  They’re doers.  They’re popular. Many of them wise, some of them famous.

And yet each of them has vicious, paralyzing lies swirling around in their heads.  Lies that are eager to make them believe they’re not enough, that the obstacles in their way are too great for them to overcome.  Lies that would surely derail them if they let them linger and didn’t deal with them swiftly.

And so it is with you and me.

Were you to quiet yourself and ask, “What is the lie I’m listening to?”, you’d be stunned at the list you could make.  Maybe some of these thoughts would make it onto your list, or maybe yours would look completely different.  Regardless, like everyone walking the face of the earth, there’s a battle raging in your heart and mind between the person you were meant to be – and a second rate, apathetic, lazy and scared, counterfeit version of yourself.

We win or lose this battle by what we choose to believe – truth or lies.  It’s a simple, but life altering fact: If you’re beaten in your mind, you’re beaten before you even begin. Period.  Every time.

Think about it.  If you think your efforts are for nothing – that you don’t have enough time or potential, that this is all there is, that it’s too late for you – then why in the world would you waste even one minute trying?  What kind of dummy would you have to be to make a change if you believed your fate was sealed?  And so you stand still… which, ironically, actually does seal your fate.

As we think, so we are.  So it’s worth truly considering –

– What is the lie you’re listening to?

– What has it cost you to believe it?

– What would be possible if you decided to change your mind? 

– What’s stopping you?

This Post Has 26 Comments

  1. Jeremiah Diehl

    I’m absolutely struggling with some of this right now. In fact I was just telling my wife a few days ago “I have ideas, and passion and drive – if only they would just give me a chance.”
    I’ve been trying to secure a position as a youth pastor for over a year now. I’ve had many interviews and second interviews…but in the end I’m always passed over for another candidate. It’s been hard to handle sometimes and I begin wondering what’s wrong with me that nobody wants to hire me.

    Thanks for writing this Chance!

  2. karen

    Just this morning on my facebook wall, I wrote about my love of quilting, and how even the smallest piece of ugly fabric has the power to be turned into something beautiful. Then it hit me, all the lies I have been told in my life, by those closest to me, don’t mean squat because in beauty , or imperfection, it is not their place to put me down, or shame mefor not believing, or doing what they think I should be doing even in adulthood .
    It is not their place, or their choice to convince me I am not worthy of being remade in this life. It is God’s choice to change me, which He has chosen to do in my life, and just like that piece of insignificant fabric I have in my quilt scraps, God takes it ( and me ) and replaces it’s lowly state, by bringing healing, and restoration to my soul. But its my choice to hear His Truth in life, and that I pray I will be able to hear every day, even in the hard times..

  3. Dan Nitschke

    My lie, that I didn’t even know I was hearing until someone pointed it out to me: I deserve to be constantly punished for all the mistakes I have made and every goal I didn’t live up to.

  4. Pingback: Don’t Believe The Lies | The Music Coaches

    1. Anne

      It’s been an on-going struggle for me to try to hear the voice of God and seeing myself as He sees me. I grew up in a home where both of my adoptive parents were alcoholics and my father sexually abused me. I married a man that professed to love me and my children and I fled after ten years of domestic violence because it came down to being killed or killing to survive. My adoptive parents are older now and need help, and my adoptive brother and sister are too busy to help but not busy enough to have our adoptive parents babysit or ask for financial help. So much of your list are the tapes that have been played for years…and I could add an additional volume or two!!

  5. Lynne

    I think that’s why God says, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is true….think on these things. Focusing on that has helped more than anything to refute the lies that may reverberate in my mind.

  6. Sandra Delemare

    This is so true – the battle is in our hearts and minds. It’s interesting that this list comes from high achievers.
    I’ve posted a link to this on my blog – I blog on mental health issues, and it might help my followers to know that they are not alone.

  7. Anna-Emily

    Once again you made me think. I can make a big list of lies that try to creep into my mind on a daily basis. Most of them have to do with my singing and writing abilities. It takes a quick reaction to make them go away before they damage my confidence. I’ve heard it helps when you write down all those lies on a sheet of paper and then burn it. Those who tried it told me it felt like they destroyed all the things they had been troubled by. I don’t know about that way, but I just try not to let myself concentrate on whatever lie gets in my head. Sometimes it even works.

  8. Shannon

    Another great post, Chance! LOVE this post! Everyone can relate for sure!!!

  9. Sharon

    Back in the early 90s I hit bottom… big time! Though I would never choose to return to that “hole”, I also would not have wanted to skip that significant chapter in my life-story. It was at the “bottom” that God was able to expose the lies I had been listening to for years! Not only was it hard to accept that I’d been “duped” but it took lots of work to process through the lies and acknowledge the huge ramifications they had on my view of myself, of God, and my marriage.
    One especially destructive lie that God exposed in my heart was that I had been living by the motto that “to need is to fail”. I sincerely thought that God deserved to have me be strong. That sounds logical, but it’s so wrong…. it is exactly the opposite of what God says about Himself. Ps 50:14.15 (TLB)says, “What I want from you is your true thanks. I want your promises fulfilled; I want you to trust me in your times of trouble so I can rescue you and you can give me glory.”
    To need, has allowed me to experience grace. And experiencing grace has allowed me to extend grace to others. The Truth has indeed set me free!

    1. Chance

      Beautifully felt and written.

  10. Amy Sowers

    So interesting that when I read this I thought I had dealt with my list from the past. Then, I checked in with my heart and right there in the spot of honesty..a new list appeared! DANG!! Keep growing Amy…kick the lies to the curb! Thanks Chance for this challenge:)

  11. Barb

    I am too familiar with some of these lies! With writing, I have to apply truth to the lies I believe on an almost daily basis to live in peace because those old “I can’t do this,” “I’m going to fail,” and “This is embarrassing” lies keep rearing their ugly heads. If I didn’t keep replacing those lies with truth (it’s not the end of the world if I fail, I can’t do this perfectly, but I can do it, etc), I would go crazy.

    1. Chance

      YES, Barb. I’m with you – I think all creative people struggle through that. Something that’s helped me… I picture whatever I’m working on as having already been crafted. It’s already done. It was done before I ever touched foot on the earth. God set it aside as a good work for me to uncover when the time was right. I’m just on a treasure hunt to find what He’s already pre-accomplished for me. So I sit in front of a blank page and ask, “What did you write here, God? Will you help me find it?” Takes a load of pressure off of me to be perfect – because it already ‘is’. What do you think of that? Too out there or does that resonate with you?

      1. Barb

        Wow, I absolutely LOVE that idea. I’m going to write it down and put it by my computer so I can remember it. I think it will help – thank you!

      2. dellane

        hmmmm…’what is my purpose in life, God? will you help me find it?’

      3. Jonathan

        I love this, Chance.

      4. Anna-Emily

        I love this idea too!

      5. Kristi

        Powerful words. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Jennifer Martinson

    That list hit home for me. I think I need to go home, make my list and really think about what I write down and then write a list of the opposites and start to believe those things instead!

    1. Chance

      I’d love to see your opposites list, and to know how it goes as you retrain your thinking. :) I’m gonna write more about this in future weeks… I wanna explore what we do with these thoughts. Jump in that conversation then, okay? Tell us what you learn between now and then.

      1. Jennifer

        I’ll work on my opposites list and let you know how it goes. I have a feeling it will take some time, but I know I can do it! :)

  13. Donna Pyle

    Wow, that’s a sobering list. And taking into consideration the people you polled, it just goes to show that the enemy is continuously on the job, regardless of our position in life. In fact, leaders tend to be the bigger target because if the leader goes down, chances are the fall will take some followers down as well. The one lie that plagues me: “Why can’t I get this one area of my life under control?” Talk about the wrong motivation. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Chance.

    1. Chance

      People are all just people, right? We’re all dealing with it on some level.

      Why can’t I questions are the worst! I hate them because you’re smart – if you ask yourself “Why can’t I…”, you will surely come up with a great answer why you can’t. I’m doing my best to ask myself “How could I” instead? Same person, same circumstances and obstacles present, but an entirely different take on the same situation. When I ask myself “How could I get my life under control?”, I like the answer I get a whole lot more. :)

  14. dellane

    i get this.

    thank you, chance!

    1. Chance

      What a great comment. It’s making me smile. :)

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