It feels like someone has hit fast forward on life. I go to bed at night and wonder if I did anything of worth or value and what I’m missing. We all long to be part of something bigger, to know that our life matters and that we have purpose. Somehow, however, we end up trapped on the hamster wheel of life and can’t figure out how to get off. We link our identity to things we do and strive to measure up to standards and expectations – even though we don’t know where they come from.
I’ve decided to step off the hamster wheel, and hope you will too. In this blog you’ll learn about the lies you might be believing that are hurting your identity and how to change your thoughts and align them with who you really are! You’ll learn how to change your focus and live every day like it matters!
what are you believing?
Identity is a funny thing; we usually partner our identity in what we do not who we are. For some reason we are living life based on performance and perfection. We end up trapped in the wheel of perfectionism unable to see past our constant pursuit of approval, acceptance, value, worth…
Since childhood, I’ve spent my life trying to receive the approval of others, the recognition of bosses and to be accepted as a leader, I’d fill my to-do list with more than I could handle in hopes that I’d be seen.
I was believing….
- People will like me when I can do____.
- If I don’t do ____ everyone will hate me.
- The more I can get done in a day the more valuable I am.
- I can’t believe I didn’t get ____ done, I’m such a failure.
- I forgot about _____ I’m such a let down.
- Nothing I do seems to matter, I might as well quit
The list of my toxic thoughts goes on and on. Can you relate? The problem with this is that it keeps us stuck on the hamster wheel. We do thing with a subconscious hope of being recognized – the hope of being valuable and worthy, but typically the majority of the heart and soul we put into our to-dos goes unrecognized. So, we feel a loss of value and worth and we begin to do more in the hopes that it will be enough this time.
This way of living is a trap, a distraction from our real value and purpose. See, the reason much of our efforts go unrecognized is because everyone else is running in the same wheel as you – focused on themselves for achievement and performance – looking to have purpose and value and make a difference – and we all end up unseen, unrecognized and always asking the same question – am I valuable – who am I, what’s my worth?!
I don’t want to live in this wheel anymore, I don’t want you to live in it either. I don’t want you trapped in finding your fleeting worth in the opinions of others or the success or failure of your to-do lists. It’s time to stop feeling empty, drained, burnt-out and worthless…. Now that you see you’re on this wheel, are you ready to step off, too?
How to step off the hamster wheel of life
In order to step off this wheel and keep yourself from getting back on, you have to anchor your identity in God and who He says you are. We, if you’re anything like me, believe as followers of Jesus that we are loved, but too often that head knowledge doesn’t transcend into the mind, body, spirit knowledge that transforms the way we live our lives. That’s where mind renewal, taking every thought captive and speaking out the Word of God comes in. To successfully begin to find your identity you have to do 3 key things:
1. Have quiet thinking times where you recognize the areas that you feel a need/pressure – a drive to perform… In this quiet thinking time, you’ll take those anxious thoughts and compare them to the truth in scripture. You’ll replace the lies of perfectionism with the truth of being dearly loved child of the King. The truth is powerful and will silence the lies you believe about your worth! The truth says that God knew everything you’d ever say and do, and He still chose you for this time. The truth says you’re dearly loved and that every hair on your head has been numbered. The Truth says He knew you before the formation of the world! Girl, you’re that important and that loved! What would living out this truth do to your life?
Here are a few sample verses to help you in your quiet thinking time, to renew your mind and replace the lies of low self-esteem with the Truth of where your trust and strength comes from, because, unless we get God involved in our daily life – we labor in vain.
- Romans 5:8 “I loved you at your darkest”
- Galatians 1:10 “Am I trying to win the approval of men, or God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ”
- 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you”
- Isaiah 23:3-4 “You will keep in perfect peace Him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord is the rock eternal”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 “My grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness”
God has created you for a purpose – a great and amazing purpose that you won’t even get to taste unless you begin to Trust and live out the Word of God in every thought and action of your life. That seems heavy, however, it’s quite simple as you spend time in a relationship with God and do the work of taking every thought and making it obey the truth of God. You’ll begin to live careless in the care of God because you believe that he loves you and is working in your life – the good and the bad.
As you enter a relationship with Him and His word – His truth will wash over you in such a way that it will transform your thoughts and your life. You will courageously step off the wheel and live in Step with the Holy Spirit. You will do all things for an audience of ONE.
Living in this way is what it means to live in your identity. Living and doing based on love for God and not the approval of man – that’s a life of purpose, of worth, of value… You’re able to help others by recognizing them and helping them see their purpose and value. We were created for relationships – to love others. The only way to do this is to spend time with God, getting to know deeply His character and let it wash us and be transformed by Him so that we can make Him known.
2. Take your thoughts captive all day: having quiet thinking time is pointless unless you to do the work of taking your thoughts captive for the rest of the day. I hope the first step empowered you, but once we leave quiet time the enemy will do all He can to put you back in the bondage of performance, so now the real work begins – you need to take every thought captive. I mean every insensate thought that tries to convince us we aren’t worthy. Every thought that makes you question your worth, that makes you wonder your value and question your purpose. You need to tell them to “shut up” – choose and refuse to think about them for another second.
At times I literally shake my head, like I’m dumping rocks out of my ears. Those negative and poisonous thoughts are like rocks that have been weighing down your joy and peace for far too long. It’s going to take work to reprogram your mind to truth if you’ve been living in the poisonous mind-set for a long time, but I promise that its more than worth it.
3. Speak out loud the Word of God: When we are taking our thoughts captive all day its important that we don’t just shake it away, but that we replace it with the Word and Truth of God. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing. When we speak out loud truth, not only are we thinking it, but we are hearing it. Scientifically it’s proven that by doing this you will re-enforce the thoughts and make that the new pattern of your thought life.
Your Identity shouldn’t be found in your to-do list, the opinions of others, the number on the scale or the endless negative and nagging thoughts about yourself. Your identity is one of royalty. A valued and loved Child of the King of the universe. When we choose to live out this truth we partner with the Holy Spirit and He begins a great work within us. Transforming our worth and the fruits of His Spirit can begin to flow into every situation. Let’s co-operate with the Holy Spirit and not the negative attacks from the enemy.