[Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from Devotional Diva founder Renee Fisher’s new book, Unloved. It releases on Amazon today!]
As you read through Unloved, it is my prayer that the Holy Spirit would reveal the lies you have believed about yourself.
Maybe like Jennie Allen, you believed that you are not enough.
Maybe like LeeAnn Tankersley, you believed the Soul Bullies that you don’t have what it takes.
Maybe like Tara Mohr, you believed that your inner critic was right about you.
Whether you have believed one lie your whole life or a million lies about yourself—you can stop.
You don’t have to believe any lies about yourself any longer. You can choose today to agree with the things the Lord says about you.
You are chosen.
You are loved.
You are secure.
You are beautiful.
You are flourishing.
You are vibrant and strong and significant.
I hope you’ll come along with me on the journey to recognizing and embracing your inner critic so, like me, you can find the love that you so desperately crave.
NAMING YOUR INNER CRITIC?
Today, if you find yourself struggling to rid yourself of all the lies, try creating a character that personifies your inner critic.
I learned this from Playing Big by Tara Mohr.
Tara writes, “The costs of women’s self-doubt are enormous. Think of all the ideas unshared, businesses not started, important questions not raised, talents unused. Think of all the fulfillment and joy not experienced because selfdoubt keeps us from going for the opportunities that would bring that joy and fulfillment.”
This thought scares me, too. As a writing coach, I often find the two biggest hindrances toward pursuing big dreams like self-publishing a book are:
- Fear of Failure
There will always be voices of doubt discouraging you from pursuing your dreams.
Why not learn how to name your inner critic? This way when she (or he) appears, you can move forward in faith instead of fear.
Tara writes, “Create a character who personifies your inner critic. You can invent a character or pick a figure from film, literature, politics, or pop culture. Build out a portrait of his or her life: Where does your critic live? What does he or she wear? What does he or she eat for breakfast? Name your character and begin to call it by its name when it shows up.”
I named my inner critic Leah. I resonated with Leah’s story of choosing to praise God for her son Judah instead of believing the outcome of her circumstances that she was an unloved wife. This violent act of praise became a game changer for Leah and her son. Her story helped me embrace the whole of me and walk in a newfound freedom. Talk about a game changer for me as well.
I named my inner critic Leah.
To give you an example of what it feels like to give a name and certain characteristics to your inner critic, here is what I feel when Leah, my inner critic shows up:
- Sees things in black & white
- Can only sight-read or play what’s on the sheet (afraid to play life by ear)
- Listens to pre-recorded messages over and over like “You’re not good enough,” “You’re not strong enough,” “You don’t have what it takes,” etc.
- Afraid of failure
- Afraid of being loud
- Can’t speak up for what she really wants
- People pleaser
- Looking for self-pity
- Doesn’t believe she is worthy
If you were to journal about your inner critic, what would you name her (or him), and why? Would what she (or he) be like?
I’m glad I learned about this exercise during an incredibly difficult year living in Houston. I was willing to try anything to come to terms with my strengths and weaknesses. It wasn’t that I was just struggling with believing that I was loved.
I believed all the lies!!!
Suddenly, my inability to cope with stressful situations broke this giant dam of emotions telling me that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, strong enough, thin enough, or pretty enough to overcome.
Have you ever been there? Today, don’t allow your circumstances to define you. Don’t allow your health, your job, your bank account, your relationship status or even what you believe about yourself to define who you are.
Now I recognize when Leah is trying to discourage me, lie to me, and get me on her side. I also recognize, like the Leah in the Bible, that I can choose to praise the Lord! When I am faced with the ugly thoughts that no one loves me, I know it’s because I am feeling insecure. I no longer feel the need to silence her. I know Leah is there, and I simply tell her, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Renee Fisher is a spirited speaker, coach, consultant and author, who published her first nine books in under eight years. A self-proclaimed “Dream Defender,” Renee is passionate about calling dreams to life in others. A graduate of Biola University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her handsome husband and their fur child named “Star.”