“Mom, do I have to get up?”
“Yes, Jennifer, you have to get up. You are the Mom!”
That’s how I began most days when my youngest son was in high school. I was coaching myself to get up and be the grown-up I was supposed to be. I didn’t want to face the day because that day was probably going to be like all the yesterdays … dark, hard, and long.
That’s how I felt most mornings for a solid year. It was a long year of depression that was like nothing I’d ever experienced.
I had been blind since I was a teenager and I was used to darkness—physical, that is. But, this darkness was different. It was scary and stifling. I had more fatigue than faith.
The doctor explained how menopause had come earlier than we expected and my body’s chemical support had gone haywire. I was full-blown, chemically depressed! It affected everything. I was tired, hopeless, forgetful, and afraid.
I had relied totally on my mind to navigate blindness. You know, I’d have to pay attention to how many steps I took, which direction I was facing, where I placed my cup … you get the idea. I had to keep so much information in my brain like my calendar, my to-do list, my phone numbers … and on and on. And, then my brain chemistry and my female hormones engaged in World War Whew!
Let’s just say, when blindness met menopause, they didn’t play nice. I was depressed and I was depressed that I was depressed!
So, every day felt the same: dark, hard, and long. I didn’t want to face my day. I wanted to turn my back on it and roll over and pull up the covers. Put simply, I just wanted to quit!
Well, clearly, I didn’t and now, years later I am well again. But, the reality is we’ve all been there in that place where we want to quit for a million reasons, right?
Sometimes we get low on hope and dogged by failure. And, when motivation is running on fumes, we just want to throw in the towel!
We can tell ourselves a million times, “You can do it!” We can hear the cheers of others telling us, “You can do it! You can do it!” But, when we don’t think we can do it and are falling deep into the Quit Pit, we need more than a motivational speech. We need a practical way out of the mess.
So, if you’re teetering on the edge, about to give up, this episode of the 4:13 Podcast is for you. You’ll learn three practical and doable ways to avoid the Quit Pit. Plus, you’ll get a list of “I Am” statements to remind you of who God says you are.
3 Steps Out of the Quit Pit
- Turn your feeling 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. Instead of ruminating about your feelings, do something—even if it seems a small, inconsequential something.
Get up off the floor. Pick up a pen. Lift your chin. Open a document on your computer and type the first word. Be like Peter getting out of the boat and walking on the storm-churned sea. He threw one leg over the edge of the boat and put his full weight on H2O—his eyes locked on Jesus.
Yes, I know that sounds too simple. But sometimes real answers are simple. And, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. Through God’s strength, you can do that one thing. You can trust Him for the first step to get you going in the direction you need to go. And, then, you can trust Him for the next and the next and the next!
So, start by writing a to-do list and then do one thing on that list. Do what you dread and tackle the very thing that terrifies you. Turn your feelings into action.
- Affirm your true identity. Baseball Hall-of-Famer, Reggie Jackson said, “Home run hitters strike out a lot.” Recognize that who you are and what you struggle with are not the same thing. You may struggle with fear or with staying motivated, but that doesn’t mean you are a fraidy-cat or lazy! You are not how you feel. Just because you have failed at something doesn’t mean you are a failure.
Your true identity is a child of God. You are a daughter of the King and when you grasp that powerful truth, who you are will define you, not what you do. Identity statements always begin with “I am.” “I am” is not the same as “I feel.” Find Scriptures that express your identity and remind yourself of those truths. Here are some “I Am” statements you can start with:
I am gifted with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
I am chosen for success (John 15:16).
I am complete (Colossians 2:9-10).
I am secure (Romans 8:31-39).
I am confident (Philippians 1:6).
I am free (Romans 6:16-18; 8:1-2).
I am capable (Philippians 4:13).
I am spiritually alive (Ephesians 2:5).
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
I am welcome in God’s presence (Ephesians 2:18; Hebrews 4:14-16).
I am sheltered and protected in God (Colossians 3:3).
I am valuable to God (1 Corinthians 6:20).
I am a member of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19; 1 John 3:1-2).
I am God’s treasure (1 Peter 2:9-10).
I am dearly loved (Colossians 3:12).
I am being transformed (2 Corinthians 3:18).
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:6-8).
I am an heir of God (Romans 8:17).
I am a friend of God (John 15:15).
Don’t let feelings define you. Instead, let who you are define your feelings. Acknowledge how you feel but affirm who you are!
- Feed the truth, starve the lies. What you feed grows, and conversely, what you starve dies. If you continue to feed your feelings of failure and defeat, those dark emotions will grow, creeping across your soul like long winter shadows. 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 lies, they will slowly die.
So, how do you starve those lies and unproductive feelings? Feed the truth instead.
When you feel a big, “I can’t” coming on, starve it by showering it with the truth: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). When you feel like giving up, starve that thought by drowning it with the truth: “We are not of those who shrink back” (Hebrews 10:39).
We can refuse the lies, replace them with truth, and then repeat the process for as long as it takes. You can learn even more about the “3 R’s of Self-Talk” in Episode 3 of the 4:13 Podcast. Read the Show Notes and listen here.
When you want to quit, these three steps will help you get rid of your inner quitter. And, before you know it, the challenge is met, the conflict is over, the project is finished, and the Quit Pit is in your rearview mirror!
Because remember, no matter what you are facing, you can take steps of perseverance and show that thing who is boss. You’ve got this because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. So, ask Him for grace, trust His power in you, and go for it!
Books by Jennifer Rothschild
- Me, Myself, & Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
- Me, Myself, & Lies for Young Women: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself
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Which of the “I Am” statements did you find most encouraging and why?