You may feel fear, but don’t let it stop you from flying with the eagles!
Have you heard the story about the eagle raised in a chicken coop and because he didn’t know any different, he thought he was a chicken? He would look up at the eagles soaring through the sky and wish he could fly like them. He would look at the chickens around him and do a little scratching around like them, all the while feeling like he was meant for more. Unfortunately, he thought he was just a chicken and couldn’t fly like the eagles, yet he had this yearning within him to do more than just scratch around in the dirt. Every time he would get up the courage to fly, the other chickens would ridicule him and remind him he was just a chicken.
One day, despite the chickens’ negativity, he decided to give it a go. He tried to take off, but fell face first in the dirt. They clucked at him. He flapped his wings, but didn’t get very far. Finally, after multiple attempts, he managed to get off the ground and flew higher and higher, eventually soaring with the eagles. He felt fulfilled, like he was doing what he was always meant to do, and he never looked back.
“If you don’t challenge fear in the name of the Lord, it will occupy more and more territory of your heart and mind.” — Sheila Walsh
Don’t let fear keep you hostage in a prison of your own choosing with ignorance holding the key!
Our mind is a powerful thing. We create our own reality with our thoughts. We are controlled by our thoughts, but believe it or not, we can control our thoughts.
We can only go as far as we believe we can.
More often than not, whether consciously or subconsciously, we believe what others have told us about ourselves and we end up telling ourselves the same things. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of what we’re telling others about themselves and of what our own self-talk is telling us.
It takes concentrated effort to change our self-talk and be aware of what we’re verbalizing to ourselves and others. Have you ever derided yourself with, “What an idiot!” when you’ve messed up or found yourself thinking, “I can’t do this!” when faced with a challenge? That’s your self-talk. Verbalizations or thoughts like that are often our own worst enemy.
When our self-talk is negative, it ends up being a vicious cycle. Not only does our self-talk express what we already believe about ourselves and others, but we tend to believe what we hear ourselves saying (verbally or inwardly).
Let me say it again: we can control our thoughts.
Joyce Meyer is a strong believer in the power of our thoughts and words. When people claim they can’t help what they think or how they behave, she has them imagine being in a knock-down-drag-out family argument with screaming, yelling, name-calling, throwing things, all the worst that can happen, and then… the pastor knocks at the door! What do they do? They immediately stop the arguing and either put on their happy face, calm demeanor, and best telephone voice, or just hide and pretend they’re not home. Either way, they’ve controlled their thoughts and behavior, and shown it is possible when it’s needed.
I didn’t say it was easy. It takes a lot of purposeful practice to become aware of what we’re thinking and how we’re acting, and then choose to think or do something different.
So, (I’m reminding myself as well as you) next time we find ourselves fearful or lacking confidence, let’s try practicing a little purposefully positive self-talk and remind ourself along with the writer of Psalms 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” and with Paul in Philippians 4:13 “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”