Have you ever said or heard someone say, “I can’t do that?” This unhealthy belief is one of the many false beliefs that determine our destiny. In this series of posts, I will expose the unhealthy beliefs that control our lives and how to transform them with the truth to experience a new reality. What we think and say comes from what we believe, and what we believe directs our behavior, and our choices determine our destiny.
Where Does The Unhealthy Belief That We Can’t Do Something Come From?
The belief that we can’t do something can be based on reality. For example, I can’t play the piano. I took piano lessons and practiced, but my brain is not wired to play the piano. Yet God has given us gifts and abilities. So I recommend taking different personality tests and gift tests to see where you excel. With that said, the false belief that we can’t do something can be based on word curses spoken over us, such as, “You will never be good at….” Or “You can’t do that because you are….” Often, this unhealthy belief comes from past failures. You may have made a vow that you will never try out for a team sport (or something else) because you do not want to be humiliated, so you believe you can’t play sports.
I went out for gymnastics, went to every practice, tried every event, and practiced at my home. But, when the coach selected the competition team, I did not make the cut. I was so mad that I quit and didn’t try another sport. Sometimes we need to try different things to see what we can excel at. For example, I learned to play tennis and read tennis books to learn proper techniques, then I went out for the tennis team and did well. I even played on my college tennis team. Don’t be afraid to try different things to see what you excel at. Fear of failure creates the unhealthy belief that you can’t do something. Not wanting to be compared to someone else prevents us from trying and doing our personal best.
Speaking of college, I wanted to go to Penn State to be a teacher. When I told my mother I was applying, she said I was too stupid. The word curse and painful memory of that encounter are etched in my memory. I forgave her for speaking that word curse, but in reality, she was right, but I was determined, so I took the SATs, applied, and was accepted. My mother did not encourage or support me, so I had to do everything on my own, even drive to the college and move into the dorm by myself. I worked hard to get good grades, plus I had to work a job to make money to pay my expenses. I determined to stay focused on getting my degree and not date anyone, so I wasn’t distracted by a fight or a break-up.
What Is The Truth That Replaces The “I Can’t” Unhealthy Belief?
The unhealthy belief of “I can’t” can be replaced with many truths depending on your situation. I am sure many truths come to your mind. For example, the truth I believed when my mother told me that I was too stupid to go to college is “I will never know I can do it unless I try.” So I came up with a plan, trusted God to help me; though I was not walking close to Him, He was still directing my steps. It turns out my brain was short-circuited by the toxic environment I grew up in; once I left, I could focus and learn. When my children said “I can’t clean my room” or whatever I asked them to do, I told them that “I can’t” means “I certainly am not trying.”
Another truth is that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13). This truth helped me overcome the “I can’t” unhealthy belief when I became a single mother. Knowing God was helping me kept me from despair. The truth that God will provide for all that I needed according to His riches (Philippians 4:19) helped me depend on Him. He did provide all that I needed. You can read my story in the post called Trust God to Keep His Promises.
When God directed me to take graduate classes, I said, “I can’t because it has been 30 years since I got my bachelor’s degree, and I can’t write well.” How many excuses do you make for why you can’t do something. The truth that changed my destiny was realizing I have the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16). I had no confidence in my ability, but I knew Jesus was the creator of the Universe and was all-knowing, and I had His mind. So, I signed up for graduate classes in Distance Education and earned A’s in the four classes I took. Though they were writing-intensive, God provided an excellent writing coach for me. I could not continue taking classes because I was laid off from my job, which paid for my classes. Taking these classes forced me to learn how to write because God directed me to write a book during my lay off. I did not know what He wanted me to write about, and I didn’t know where to begin. With His help, I wrote two books. I hope to publish the first one soon.
How To Change Our Unhealthy Beliefs
1. To transforming unhealthy beliefs, recognize you have them. Listen to what you are saying and pay attention to your thoughts.
2. Take it to God and ask Him to show you the truth.
3. Ask God to show you if there is a painful memory controlling your thoughts and decisions.
4. Pray and put off the unhealthy belief and put on the truth God shows you from His Word.
5. If you fail, then try again. Put your trust in God, and He will direct you and enable you (Proverbs 3:5-6 and 16:9; Psalm 32:8 and 37:23-24).
The reasons we can’t do something are many, but we can do what we put our minds to when we replace the unhealthy belief that we can’t. You may struggle to do things that others can do well, but try anyway and ask for God’s help, then do your best. I have to confess that I struggled to understand algebra, statistics, and physics, but I did my best and was happy with the grade I achieved even if it was a C. The experiences in my life showed me that transforming the “I can’t” belief allowed me to experience all that God had for me. I can write a lot more, but you understand because everyone has experienced the paralyzing effect of the “I can’t” unhealthy belief. Please leave a comment and share how you overcame the unhealthy belief of “I can’t.”
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