Ever wonder why you seem to make the same mistakes over and over? Like dating people that aren’t good for you and, in fact, are harmful to you. Why you choose the same losers for friends; same activities that only get you into trouble; same dead end jobs? What drives your choice of religions, restaurants, clothing, tattoos, etc.? Why do you feel comfortable around some people and very uneasy around others?
What is it, really, that makes you tick?
Part of the answer, obviously, lies with what we think. But even more impactful is HOW we think, or react. But what’s not so obvious is the false idea that we make decisions rationally by thinking things through and making an intelligent selection/choice. Unfortunately, man is not primarily rational, but rather makes his decisions on the basis of feelings and beliefs.
So if we’re generally making poor selections/decisions and want to change, it stands to reason that what we think and feel needs to be looked at. Complicating this look is the fact that we humans have UNCONSCIOUS beliefs, really lies, that we hold (unconsciously believe) about ourselves that shape and mold how we feel about ourselves and are the basis on which most of our choices and decisions are made.
Therefore, if decisions are made on the basis of feelings and beliefs and what we unconsciously believe about ourselves is a lie, then bad decisions are almost inevitable.
One way to identify and change these lies about ourselves is to note the way we talk to ourselves about the perceived mistakes we make. Allow me to use my own behavior to show you what I mean. I’m directionally challenged which means I’m often lost. If I’m under a time constraint and get lost I often lose patience with myself and say something to myself like “you stupid idiot can’t you even follow simple directions”. These aren’t conscious thoughts I have but rather me simply reacting to a stressful situation due to the unconscious thoughts I have about myself. But it says tons about how I unconsciously view myself, a stupid idiot. If I make decisions on the basis of feelings and beliefs and I unconsciously see myself as stupid, needless to say I’ve made my share of stupid, actually very stupid, mistakes.
So the challenge we all have is identifying these lies about ourselves that we’ve unconsciously allowed to impact our decision making process so we can negate them and incorporate truth into our lives. And one of the ways that we do this is to prayerfully work through our pasts and allow God to help identify the roots of our errant self-perception. Then once identified, we are able to ask God and ourselves for forgiveness for believing the lies and start allowing the truth of God’s word to set us free.