Day 4: You Can’t Beat Yourself to Greatness
The way you treat yourself matters. And it will show up in your performance. For some reason, we seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to treat ourselves terribly. We think that somehow, this will make us perform better and do the things that are hard.
You yell at yourself, belittle yourself, judge yourself and speak to yourself with condescension and disdain. You say things to yourself that you would probably never say to another person. And not only do you not see a problem with it, you may even think it is the way to get yourself to train and compete the way you want to.
The thing is, this never works for the long haul. The thoughts you have about yourself will drive your feelings about yourself. Your feelings will drive your actions. If they are negative thoughts, they will lead to negative feelings, which will cause you to act in negative ways and will get you negative results. The only lasting way to the kind of results you want in life and in your performance is through thoughts that generate positive feelings. Thoughts that treat yourself well.
The bible doesn’t have a lot to say about your thoughts towards yourself. Because there seems to be this assumption that you already do love yourself. That you treat yourself well.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31
Love your neighbor as yourself. The assumption here is obvious. That you love yourself. That you treat yourself well out of that love. Here are a few more verses about how we are to act. Remember, this includes how you act towards yourself.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. – Colossians 3:12
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. – Philippians 4:5
Are you your own worst critic? Harder on yourself than anyone else around you?
Do you often find that the voice you speak to yourself with is harsh? Condemning? Just plain mean?
Would you be ok with someone treating your child (or another person you love dearly) the way you treat yourself?
What could it look like to treat yourself with gentleness when you don’t train or compete up to your standards?
Ask God to reveal anything He has to say to you about this.
Spend 5-10 minutes downloading your thoughts in general or about a specific circumstance in your life.
Now go back with curiosity and gentleness and explore those thoughts. Why are you thinking these things? What are you afraid of? Where might this pattern of thought come from? Is it one you think often?
Imagine you were a child. How would you respond to that child who was thinking this way? How might you comfort them and encourage them? Write your thoughts down.
Spend a few minutes praying over anything that has come up.