I had a major victory this week. It is one of those victories that is actually a series of small victories won slowly and steadily, but you don’t recognize it until you respond (or in this case, don’t respond) to an event that would have previously crushed you. That is when you know you have been set free in that area, and if your reactions in one area can be completely healed, so can the other areas!
My temperament is extremely sensitive to pointing out my mistakes. I immediately get defensive as a knee-jerk response. I couldn’t help myself. And to make things worse, I was always afraid of getting in trouble, so it was a double whammy for me. If my bosses even intimated I did something wrong, I panicked, and would involuntarily start crying. I was a mess.
But this week, I made a major screw up in an older invoice, and the owner of the company caught it. I missed charging a customer for a parts we had ordered for their job. It was brought to my attention, and all I could say was that I screwed it up. I could see how it happened, and my manager and I had already determined that this area was a potential problem, and had changed how we do things so this wouldn’t happen again. But there was nothing for me to do about what I had already done. We could amend the bill and go back to the client, so I realized it wasn’t the end of the world. It was just mildly embarrassing.
I waited for the shakes to come over me, for my body to get tense, for my voice to get terse, to be rushing madly around in my brain for something to blame for the mistake on. But it never came. I remained completely calm. I didn’t feel shame at the mistake, or like I had to somehow explain it away. I had no problem admitting and taking responsibility for this issue, but most importantly, I didn’t feel bad about myself!
It was ok not to be perfect, to make mistakes, to not always get it right. I was able to hear and calmly accept what was being said negatively about myself. I am still ok, just as I am, with my flaws and foibles. I am still the same efficient, intelligent person of integrity – just not perfect. And I can live with that.
I truly believe that self-talk had a LOT to do with it. Every day, sometimes twice a day, I read to myself a series of scripture based positive statements about how God loves Penny, wants to heal and help me and show me things I could not see, and that He will complete the work He is doing in me. The statistics showed that by doing this (especially in the third Person, calling themselves by name), people were able to keep their perspective and not be as bothered by negative criticism. I am definitely sold by this!
I also believe that learning about my inherent tendencies according to my Temperament has allowed me to more completely accept myself, the strengths and the weaknesses. This is how God made me, and He created me for a purpose with this exact set of characteristics. I am special, unique, and treasured by the One who created me this was. Plus, He sees me without flaw and perfect for Him. After you have received that kind of acceptance, what can someone else say to take that away?
So I encourage you to take my course on Self Talk and start applying it religiously. It is not a magic incantation of any sort – it just gives you perspective and slowly but surely changes your thought processes. Speaking these things aloud increases your faith that God will complete the work He has started in you through His Holy Spirit, because faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. You can be free from crippling knee-jerk responses if you will make it your goal to be free. It will not come randomly to you – you have to consistently work for it. But it can and will be yours if you do!
Your sister in Christ,