Nurturing a Wise Heart
Guard your heart above all else for it determines the course of your life.
~Proverbs 4:23 ~
Biblical, the heart is thought to be comprised of your intellect, emotions and human will. Nurturing a wise heart would then be reflected in your diligent efforts to maintain principle-centered values and beliefs that empower you to conduct yourself and manage your life in alignment with the expression of your wisest and strongest self. For the purpose of the Makeover My Attitude Challenge, Nurturing a Wise Heart entails accessing underlying beliefs that have created heart attitudes that prevent you from realizing your full potential. This includes taking a proactive approach towards re-scripting limiting beliefs, so that are empowered to consistently think, believe and take actions that are aligned with your life’s purposes.
We are all artists, in that we have the capacity to re-imagine ourselves and our circumstances. We have the freedom to choose differently so that we can experience better in life. Yet, most of our choices and much our pursuits in life are directly linked to what we truly believe we deserve. And what we believe we are worthy and capable of having in life. Of the multitude of heart attitudes that dominate the lives of people, the beliefs that “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t do any better” create the most heartache and extinguishes so many dreams, I believe.
As a baby, you had no question about your right to be loved, held, or fed. When you were hungry or your diaper wet, you did not apologize for crying to get attention so that the issue could be resolved. You expected to be loved, held and fed.
Then as you got older, your inner voice began to be silenced by the voices of those in authority over your life. You stopped believing and feeling that you were worthy of love and attention just because of “being you”. You were being conditioned to believe that your self-worth was based on the premise that you had to “do something” to deserve the love and attention of those around you.
And when your “doing” doesn’t measure up to the expectations of others, you feel bad that you’ve disappointed them. Their disappointing reactions fuel negative beliefs that “I’m not worthy of their love and attention”. That’s far from the truth. You are worthy of love and attention, even when you make mistakes. You will not, nor can you ever be -- perfect. However, when your beliefs guide you to believe in a manner that interferes with living your wisest and strongest life, it is vital that you begin to identify root beliefs that are working against your best interest.
It Matters What You Believe
Over a period of time, negative and self-defeating thoughts chip away at your self-esteem and self-confidence, eroding your sense of self-worth and self-confidence. In her book STOP Self-Sabotage: Get Out of Your Own Way to Earn More Money, Improve Your Relationships and Find the Success You Desire, Pat Pearson M.S.S.W. wrote, “You can’t get and keep what you want if you don’t believe you deserve it. We get what we believe we deserve. No more, no less. We never exceed our own expectations, at least not for long.” Pearson goes on to say, “Before you can have more in your life, you have to follow the ancient maxims, “know yourself”. Because we don’t allow ourselves to have what we want until we believe – truly believe – that we deserve it”.
Many of your unconscious beliefs pose no threat to your ability to actualize your potential, however when you find yourself thinking, “Everyone deserves better, but not me”, “I’m not good enough (not smart enough and so on…)” “I haven’t suffered enough”, “It’s too good; I don’t deserve it”, this line of thinking reflects the inner disposition of your thoughts and emotions. If these attitudes are not challenged, they will rob you of the possibility of reigning in life according to God’s good plan for your life.
Getting to the Root of Your Beliefs
Much of your sense of self-worth and self-confidence was formed by memories of experiences that fueled emotional interpretations of situations early in your life. These impressions created the emotional “meaning” that you’ve attached to each experience. They are called, psychological imprints. Imprints create the inner-filtering system that forms your world views. Your perception on these experiences influences your explanatory style: the manner in which you “tell your story” about life experiences. Your storytelling strengthens and empowers you, or it weakens and discourages you.Your explanation of how an experience affected your life shapes the beliefs, assumptions and perceptions that you will have of similar experiences. So, if you have had a number of psychological imprints when you were younger that left you feeling devalued and incapable, these impressions can certainly be a root cause of any low self-esteem and self-confidence that you experience.
Identifying childhood experiences associated with any negative beliefs about yourself provides prime opportunities for you to re-script your story from a perspective that strengthens and empowers you. The reason there is two sides to every story is because each of us have a particular frame of thinking and it colors our perception of an experience. The ability to reframe your thinking gives you the power to re-script negative experiences in such a way that they no longer shackle you to your pain or past.
Pearson wrote, “Your beliefs as a child nurtured the “Deserve Covenant” you have with yourself. This covenant is reflected in the choice of people that you love and care about, the career you choose and the amount of money that you earn. And depending on your programming, you either believed you were supposed to be successful or you were only expected to barely make it.”As a child, you didn’t have the capacity to reason and consider the long-term implications of your beliefs. Today, as an adult, you can reason and consider how the impressions of childhood experiences strengthen or weaken your sense of self-worth and self-confidence. For those beliefs that are not relevant to the achievement of what you truly want in your adult life, you have the authority to re-script the experience that helped to create the heart
Makeover My Attitude Challenge: Nurturing a Wise Heart Week 2
In this week you will be prompted to take actions to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence. It is important to note that Pearson defines self-esteem as, “the unconditional acknowledgement of your self-worth and lovability. You are acknowledged for “being” a good person. This creates your sense of being worthy of deserving what you want.” She defines self-confidence as, “the conditional acknowledgement for your performance. The acknowledgement for “doing” something well. This creates your belief that you can learn what you need to know, earn what you want and that you deserve it because you worked for it.Knowledge is only power when it is put to use. The information shared in this week’s challenge can by itself create breakthroughs in the lives of individuals who decide to embrace the information with a desire to increase their understanding of how to get to the root of thinking and behavioral patterns that have had them stuck in some mental or emotional state for some time. Today, you hold a key to that which has had you shackled. You can begin to break camp from these mental and emotional strongholds and begin to move forward in life.
Ways to Create Self-Esteem - (Your “Being)
1. List five of positive personal attributes.
2. List five good things about each of these attributes as to how they make you look, feel, think, act towards life.
3. Pray or meditate on developing a self-identity that is deserving of God’s best for you.
“Power Move Prompt:
Ways to Create Self-Confidence – (Your “Doing”)
1. Break a large project into smaller tasks to better manage it.
2. Acknowledge your success after the completion of each step. Celebrate at key milestones to help maintain your motivation and momentum towards the attainment of your goal.
3. Master a new skill.
“Teachable Moment” Prompt:
Think about a moment in the past in which you had to demonstrate resiliency to overcome a situation and create better in your life. This moment, and others like it has prepared you for your present. The manner in which you are responding to your present circumstances is preparing you for your next. Based on your current behavior, how do you see your future unfolding? This prompt is to help you envision the connection that your actions have to what you experience, despite your past and its heartache and pain. Your life is only limited by how far your faith, thoughts and actions will take you.
It’s Your Move ~ Aspire Higher