Jennifer started out with the account of when she sang The Star Spangled Banner at a professional baseball game. As soon as she said she had choked on one word, I knew what her point was going to be. She said she couldn't hear the applause because all the positives were overwhelmed by the one negative, and later in the chapter, she pointed out that focussing on our mistakes makes us want to give up.
Oh, how I've had the tendency to do that to myself! Things can be going well, but I would dwell on the one not so great thing. We get evaluated every May at my job, and I get so stressed out. I can get lots of great comments, but that one suggestion for improvement, or a mark lower than I think it should be is what I focus on, and I am unhappy with the evaluation and wonder if I'm as good at my job as I think I am. The administrator who goes over the evaluation with me, and my husband will tell me it's a good one, and I shouldn't worry about anything.
"Are you prone to quitting when when things don't turn out the way you hoped? If so, welcome to the human race." She says when we are weary from from running the race, it's time to speak truth to our souls and say, "Press on. That will put a little perseverance in your thought closet!"
I think the longest I've stayed at a job is 10 years, but 5 of the years were at a different school than what I'm at now, so this is my 6th year where I am now. I am hoping to persevere and stay put until I retire in 9 years, at the age of 65.
Jennifer says one way to persevere is to turn our feelings into action. "If you feel overwhelmed because a project is due, do the project." "If a particular circumstance intimidates you, take a deep breath and confront the circumstance." "Steady, small actions will slowly reduce the big feeling that is paralyzing you."
Another way to persevere is to affirm our true identity. Who we are and what we struggle with are not the same thing. "Just because you have failed at something, doesn't mean you are a failure." We need to fill our thought closet with "I ams" based on who God is. Some of these, as listed in Appendix 1 are: "I am dearly loved." (1 Peter 2:9-10), "I am a friend of God." (John 15:15), "I am secure." (Romans 8:31-39).
In the section on speaking truth to our souls, Jennifer says, "If you continue to feed your low self-esteem with I can't or It's too hard for me, your low self esteem will grow. But if you begin to starve those things, they will slowly die." That is something God has already started in me. It's good to see it in writing and have it in mind.
There was more great stuff in the chapter, but my post is getting too long. I want to finish with one more quote I underlined. "Your thought closet may be full of big mistake milestones and poorly sung words. You certainly have had and certainly will have times when you just want to get off the field and quit. Remind your soul to focus on the finish, not the flaws and the failures."
I have been unable to make it to the blogs of others as much as I want lately. I hope to do some catching up this week.