1. Stop trying to please everyone.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.
Did you know that being a people pleaser is a form of control? People pleasers are trying to control what people think of them, or they are trying to control a situation by pleasing everyone to get their way eventually.
When people are in the people-pleasing trap, they will lie or give a strong opinion to one person and then say something totally different to another person because they are trying to control what people think of them at some level or manipulate people to get their way.
This is why we have to choose if we will be a God-pleaser or a man-pleaser. A God pleaser will always speak the truth in love. They don’t need to manipulate to control anybody or any situation because God is in control. They trust God.
If we live our lives concerned about what people think just to gain their approval, we will never stand for anything for fear that we will be criticized. But unfortunately, in today’s world, we can live in fear of being canceled, so we end up standing for nothing.
You cannot be a 'man-pleaser' and please God at the same time. Satan knows this, and he will use criticism or the fear of not being liked to steal away God's Word, which is truth. And then people find themselves being deceived by the things of this world. To be a God pleaser and not be a man pleasure we must say with Paul, “Let God be true, but every man a liar,” (Rom. 3:4)
2. Stop fearing Change.
1 John 4:18
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other because he loved us first.
The phrase “Fear Not” is used 365 times in the Bible. So that is one “fear not” for each day of the year.
I often say, “Do it afraid.”
Just because you may feel afraid about change does not mean it has to stop you.
I have learned to handle change, not to fear or ignore it, but to embrace it.
When we moved from a house we had lived in for many years, I became sad and fearful of the future.
What if we don’t like the new house?
What if we regret moving?
I knew I had to get a different attitude, so I started to be thankful for my memories as I packed up each room. By the time moving day came, I was ready to move. Not fearful, but ready to embrace the new.
So if you find yourself fearing change, start to give thanks for anything and everything. Allow yourself to be emotional over the great memories and then move forward with courage.
3. Stop living in the past.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
If we live in the past, we will become depressed because there is nothing we can do about it.
I think it is important to look at our past to learn something. We need to see where we might be stuck, or we might be repeating generational sins, or we need to discover who we need to forgive, but we don’t need to live there.
If you dwell on past negative moments, you will make them worse than what they were, or if you live in nostalgia, you make the past better than what it really was.
Learn from the past, honor the past, and move forward.
4. Stop putting yourself down.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’[ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
If these are the two greatest commandments and one is to love ourselves, then putting ourselves down must be detrimental to our mental and emotional health.
There have been studies done that show we believe what we hear ourselves say more than anybody else. So if we are constantly belittling ourselves, we will believe it more and more. However, if we speak life about ourselves and honor ourselves, that will positively affect our mental and emotional state.
Even if we are trying to get a laugh by putting ourselves down, we are really saying something about how we feel about ourselves. Or we are trying to manipulate someone into complimenting us. Neither is healthy for the listener or us.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We need to rejoice at how God made us and speak life over ourselves. And the things we don’t like about ourselves, let's work to change those things.
5. Stop overthinking.
1 Peter 5:7
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
Overthinking — also referred to as rumination — is when you repetitively dwell on the same thought or situation repeatedly to the point it gets in the way of your life. Overthinking usually falls into two categories: ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. (gooddrx.com)
So if you can overthink, ruminate, or worry, you can meditate on scripture and/or pray. You just have to change your focus and choose what you are going to think about.
This is why the Bible teaches us to take each thought captive, and if it is not good, change it.
A thought can sneak up on you so quickly, and you can instantly find yourself anxious and worrying, and you can start to feel it in your gut and then all over. We have to train ourselves to take those thoughts and look at them quickly and if they are not good, change them.
You can pray and ask God to help you stop overthinking and talk to Him about why you are even doing it. And then get a verse that helps you overcome your worry or negative thoughts and focus on the truth of the verse.
Take the above verse, for example:
Thank God that we can give all our worries to Him
Tell Him what you are worried about
Thank Him that He cares for you.
Declare over and over - God cares for me. God loves me. God likes me. God is for me.
Ruminate on this phrase, and your thoughts and attitudes will change as faith and hope rise up in you. If you're unsure if it works, just try it and see what happens.
Which one of these will you start working on first? For me, it will be to stop overthinking, and a close second will be to stop living in the past. How about you?