It is amazing to see thousands of comments and blogs on the internet. You can type almost any subject or topic you like into a search engine, and you will see some response. That’s what I did recently, with a statement I’ve heard people say. And that is, I’ll never amount to anything much in life. This is a sad saying, because it has much lying beneath the surface which needs some attention. Maybe you’ve said it yourself.
One young girl said this on a blog:
I’m deciding to donate my body to science so at least I can do something good with myself. I mean yeah I’m nice to people. I help people feel better about themselves and hang out with them when they don’t have a friend to hang out with. I’m not really good at anything. I can’t play sports I get bad grades in school. I suck at my grammar, I have the worst singing voice, I can’t do anything good. The only think I can do is act. That’s all I’m capable of doing and I want to be an actress but that’s such a hard business to get into. I just for once want to show everyone that I’m not a loser. And make realize how much they hurt me for rejecting me. What do I do? Should I just die? I really want to. I don’t care if they’re people who are trying to survive everyday and I’m being selfish by killing myself. I’m just a waste of space.
Another young girl still in primary school:
I started to like boys and they all hated me, calling me names and laughing with their friends. I had a birthday party, and invited around 40 people—5 came and over half of them just wanted free food. Now I began to think, “Maybe I’m too annoying and stupid. I’m a loser no one wants to be my friend.”
I heard about a day, a few years ago, when a mother and her young daughter were in a lift. The little girl was just being a little girl, very energetic and excited. She wanted to push the buttons herself, but mistakenly pushed the wrong button. The mother scolded her and called her stupid. Just think about this for a moment: What effect did that have on the little girl? If a person will disgrace her child in public, I couldn’t imagine what happened in the privacy of their home!
The Lies We Believe
And so the reality is people can be so cruel with their words:
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- You’ll never amount to anything.
- You never do anything right.
- You aren’t very bright, are you?
- You are not a good wife. You don’t measure up.
These are lies that are hard to forget. They sink deep into our innermost being, and we can end up believing these lies, and believe, I’m stupid; I’m worthless. We speak negative, non-working words—curses over ourselves and others. We speak these over the ones we say we love and cherish. How do we do this? It’s really very simple; in fact, many of us have taught our children how to do this, using words like, This can never happen to me or I don’t deserve this. Or You will never have anything. And the list of such negative comments goes on and on.
It’s so easy to replay these negative words over and over in your mind, and the more you replay them, the more you believe them—the more the negative ideas become part of who you are. A man in an Arizona circus used to train animals for the movies. Somebody asked him: Hey, how do you tie down that 6-ton elephant with the same-sized stake you use for a baby elephant? The trainer answered:
That’s easy. When they’re babies, we stake them down. They pull and tug thousands of times until they figure out they can’t jerk loose. At that point, the elephant’s great memory kicks in, and they remember for the rest of their lives they can’t pull away. So they quit trying.
I think that you and I think a lot like elephants. We remember hurtful things said to us in the past by others, and we are tied to them: I’ll never amount to anything in life. I’m useless. I won’t bother trying anymore. We drive a mental stake into our minds that, like elephants, we carry with us even when we become adults. We never forget it. We never question it. We simply come to believe it. Even as adults, the words change, but now they’re our own words. And the effect is still the same.
But let me remind you that the person who spoke negative words over you did not speak the truth. You are not what people say about you. You are God’s creation and what he says is the truth. He says in Jeremiah 29:11 (CEV): “I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering”. The Bible in the first book, Genesis, states, “God created humans in His own image, to be like Himself”. I don’t read anywhere that God said that I’ll never amount to anything.