Pick your own crayon!

If you have a horse and want to keep it from running off, one solution is to hobble the critter. It’s the equine equivalent of wearing a denim maxi-skirt and trying to go up a flight of stairs.

(No, I do NOT want to know why my image search for “hobble” included pictures of women’s legs roped together.)

In the same way, we can hobble our heads with hindering beliefs.
Remember this?

Your thoughts + your feelings = your beliefs.

Thoughts and feelings can come from anywhere … the news, a magazine, a catalog, a friend, school, family, authority figures, experiences … One bad experience in life, unchecked by truth and wisdom, can grow into a virtual jungle of negative, hindering beliefs that hamper our ability to enjoy life.

Fictional characterizations are frequently based around these hindering beliefs that stem from some experience the character had during childhood. The storyline stems directly out of said character overcoming the hindering belief that has plagued him or her throughout fictional life.

In order to overcome these hindering beliefs, we must first identify them…
Let’s look at few popular ones: (taken from Correct Change Required, p. 48-49)

God is a mean God.
I could never do that.
I am not worthy.
I’m not good enough.
I am a failure.
I’m a bad parent.
God does not want me to succeed.
Other people are better than me.
I can’t do this because I’m not talented enough.
I can’t help people because I’m not friendly enough.
I can’t because I was never loved.
I can’t due to my past.
I can’t love again because life is so disappointing.
I can’t forgive myself because God won’t forgive me.

That’s just a few common possibilities. Finding your own personal hindering beliefs may require some detective work…

Where’s the emotional resistance?
(i.e. You may not even realize you have a hindering belief about food until someone tries to put you on a certain kind of diet, at which time you snivel into the meal plan and feel pitiful about life in general… yes, I’ve done that.) Jesus experienced incredible emotional resistance in the Garden of Gethsemane (literally “olive press”) to the degree that his capillaries ruptured beneath his skin and his sweat became bloodied. But He didn’t let that emotional resistance stop Him from fulfilling His calling as Savior. Most of us will never experience that kind of resistance, thank God, but what we do go through is difficult and uncomfortable… knowing that emotional resistance is a normal part of the process of change helps! Don’t stop and camp out there, in the midst of the resistance! Keep moving!

What labels are you wearing?
Do you think you’re dumb? Ugly? Clumsy? Selfish? Lazy? Slow? Where did that label come from? I spent years believing myself physically incapable of aerobic exercise because of hereditary “bad knees.” Guess what? My knees were fine. It was my hindering belief that kept me from running, jogging, jumping, etc.

Check your life filter.
If the air filter in your car is dirty or clogged, your car won’t run right. If your “life filter” turns everything that happens into a weird shade of negative, just “waiting for the other shoe to drop,” you’ve probably got a hindering belief that’s coloring your life.

Hearing trouble?
Where we have hindering beliefs, we stop receiving new information. We can’t be helped, because we stop hearing. It’s the person who wants to lose weight/stop smoking/find God/save their marriage who holds up a hand at the first hint of “advice” and says, “Yeah, I’ve already heard all that.” Whatever information/ideas/suggestions are presented end up being rejected because of the hindering belief.

I hate hindering beliefs. They’ve been stopping me up since childhood, caused me great pain in adolescence, and tried to shut me down in adulthood more than once. I’m through. When I find a hindering belief, I’m kicking that sucker to the curb… no more buying into the lie.

I got in trouble in first grade… I know — shocker. We were given a mimeographed picture of cars to color. I colored my cars black. With black windows. The teacher saved it to show my mom during parent-teacher conferences. She was concerned that I was a sociopath or something. It never occurred to her that maybe I LIKED black. My first car and second car were black, my previous and current car are black. All with tinted windows, before tinted windows were cool. Maybe I was having a vision of the future back in first grade, maybe it had nothing to do with my emotional state.
 See how those silly labels and filters get slapped on?
What weird beliefs have hobbled you?


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