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You are the greatest influencer in your life: 5 steps to flip the script on being stuck

OpinionYou are the greatest influencer in your life: 5 steps to flip the script on being stuck

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If you come to Colorado in the summer and spend a weekend with my family, we’ll likely force you to go over one of the nearby mountain passes with us in some kind of four-wheel- drive vehicle. The narrow roads are unpaved, bumpy, and sometimes a little too close to the edge of cliffs and steep drop-offs on the side of the mountain. 

These mountain adventures have become one of my favorite pastimes, though they weren’t always. In fact, two decades ago, when we first lived in this part of Colorado, a day spent in a vehicle getting jostled around on windy mountain trails seemed like a total waste of time. 

My husband, Troy, loved it, but I couldn’t understand the appeal. He called it an “adventure.” He felt challenged and alive in the mountains. He was motivated to see and witness untouched parts of creation. I had a completely different narrative about off-roading: 

Off-roading is not productive unless you consider getting from point A to point B in six hours at a snail’s pace productive. On top of that, it’s uncomfortable and dangerous. I mean, you could get a flat tire, whiplash, or fall off a cliff! Plus, there are no bathrooms along the way, no convenience stores for a bag of chips or a Topo Chico, and no restaurants at the top of the mountain. And once you get to the top of where you’re going, the air is thin and cold! I’ll have a headache for the rest of the day. 

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I eventually changed up lots of logistics that led to more enjoyment—a cooler full of drinks and snacks, a fun playlist, bringing along ibuprofen, and drinking lots of water—but the biggest change I made was the narrative I rehearsed. What I chose to think about ultimately changed my mind about off-roading. What I was telling myself about my present circumstances was more powerful than I’d realized. 

Author Ruth Chou Simons with family

Author Ruth Chou Simons with her family

The same is true about the not-yet-wonderful circumstances in our lives. What narratives are you rehearsing about where you are right now? 

Unless I rewrite the scripts I use to narrate my everyday life, I will tell myself untrue stories about my circumstances. 

Author Paul David Tripp puts it this way: “No one is more influential in your life than you are because no one talks to you more than you do.” 

You are the greatest influencer in your life. 

That’s because you are constantly listening to the conversations inside your head, the narratives you’re telling yourself, and the words you think about your body, your mind, your friendships, and your hard circumstances. You’ll never make progress in pressing into a not-yet-everything-you-hope-for circumstance or season if you don’t flip the script about your right-now life. 

Author Ruth Chou Simons holds her latest book

Ruth Chou Simons is a Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning author of several books and Bible studies.

I know that, left to myself, I will repeat untruths about my now and my not yets. Unless I rewrite the scripts I use to narrate my everyday life, I will tell myself untrue stories about my circumstances. 

If you’ve heard me on the “GraceLaced” podcast or have done my Bible study TruthFilled, you know that the practice of preaching truth to myself has changed my life and taught me to persevere, even when it’s hard. Preaching truth to yourself means taking your thoughts captive in order to remind your own soul who God is, who you are in Christ, and what is actually true about his purposes in your life. 

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In your everyday life—full of stressors, difficult relationships, temptations, and big decisions—you won’t naturally default to thinking rightly about right now unless you practice preaching truth to yourself. 

Preaching truth is a proactive action . . . as in, it will not automatically happen. When we preach truth to ourselves, we effectively flip the scripts in our minds. We choose to be fueled by what God says about who he is and who we are instead of being swayed by all the influences vying for our attention, trying to claim our lives. 

I have spent so many of my days feeling stuck in the season I’m in, listening to myself rather than preaching truth to myself. And I want more for you, friend! 

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My guess is that the story you’re telling yourself about right now isn’t entirely wrong, but it is incomplete. You’re not seeing the full picture, and what you do see and tell yourself is likely nowhere close to all that God has for you. How do I know? 

Because I’ve told incomplete, inaccurate stories about my life to myself before too. And then I lived according to those false narratives. But there is something better we can reach for. 

We can change the narratives we’re rehearsing right now and press into trusting God for what’s not yet with five steps that help us flip the script in our mind: 

1. Praise God for who he is. Remind yourself who God says he is in the Bible. Begin with God’s character and his ways. Declare the truths about who God is and why that matters in your circumstance.

2. Agree with God about who he says he is. First identify, then believe what God says is true about who you are in Christ. What about your identity in him speaks to your current situation?

3. Remember what God has done. Tell yourself of God’s faithfulness in the past from what you read in his Word and what you’ve personally experienced.

4. Choose one small step of obedience. Take inventory of the opportunities God has given you—whether you like them or not. If you believe that he is sovereign and good, what can you take a step of faith in today?

5. Share your hard season with your community. We’re not meant to walk through our hard seasons in isolation. When we practice declaring truth to one another, for one another, and over one another, we remember that we’re not alone.

So let’s begin to flip the script on our hard seasons, shall we? If I can start to enjoy off-riding by flipping the narrative, what can you flip? Are you letting the way you feel about your current season tell stories that drive you to dependency on God or away from Him?

Let’s begin to flip the script on our hard seasons, shall we? If I can start to enjoy off-riding by flipping the narrative, what can you flip? 

Are the stories you’re repeating in your heart and mind informed by truth? By God’s character? By who you are in Christ? If not, return to the Word of God and see what He has to say about your present troubles. 

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This isn’t some kind of magic spell, manifesting, or mantra chanting. And it’s not self-help or channeling confidence. The writers in the New Testament weren’t trying to convince us to speak positivity over our lives. This is entirely different. 

Let’s flip the script on our hard seasons… because God’s stories are better than the ones we could ever write. 

Adapted from “Now and Not Yet by Ruth Chou Simons. Copyright © 2024 by Ruth Chou Simons. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com. 

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