For about twenty years my standard reply to almost every idea floated by me was, “Well, The problem is…” What a thing to be known for! It took my wife putting her foot down and calling me out on my negativity before I thought to change. I hear many of the same phrases today. 

That won’t work because… 
How are you going to make that happen?

The vast majority of our ministry is focused on trying to help trauma sufferers recover their lives and their personal identity.  And while this post is way too short to cover all the contributing issues, invariably there is one that is common to all of them. Apparently, one of the favorite strategies the enemy uses to damage us is to exploit the internal image we have of ourselves.

Parents are the general architects of a child’s personal identity. A parent’s inability, failure, or refusal to meet a child’s needs will produce trauma. That trauma leaves a child trying to resolve the lack of personal identity they feel. The battle is even harder for those whose parents were abusive or addicted. Regardless of the circumstance every child comes into adulthood with questions about their identity.

Am I acceptable?
Am I worthy of love?
Can I succeed?

Invariably, what we think of ourselves begins to determine our future and impact our personal peace. 

You may have heard of the arcane fifties experiments where babies died because they were neither touched nor held. Even though their physical needs were met, they needed human touch and love to survive. In the eighties, a similar test was made with plants. The ones that were touched and talked to prospered. Those devoid of human attention and were cursed daily, died. We are the same way, when we receive attention, we flourish. When we do not, we deteriorate.

One of the major factors that determines whether a trauma sufferer will recover their life and personal identity is directly related to how well they can re-program themselves. Can they think of themselves positivity even if experiences has taught them something different? 
What you swallow will eventually come out of your mouth. Matthew 12:34 and Luke 6:35 both explain, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” However, we are there is hope. In Proverbs 4:23 we readKeep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.”The weeds that have been sown by circumstances can be uprooted and thrown out. We can move our minds and souls from a place where we believe we have no value, to knowing that we are cherished, celebrated and loved. The journey from not knowing to knowing seems very long. Remember Philippines 4:13, “You can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens you.”  
Here are a few steps to get you started on the journey.  
Ask Jesus to highlight the lies that you believe about yourself. Make a list of all the negative things that you have thought about yourself or have accused yourself of. Some common ones are: “I’m dumb.” “ I’m not good enough.” “I’ll always be poor.” “No one will ever love me.”  Let Him alter what you are writing to portray the exact lie you believe. Then renounce it and ask forgiveness for ever agreeing with it and speaking it. Then ask Him to tell you the truth. Write down the truth He gives you.
Renounce each lie with a simple prayer like this, “Father, please forgive me for believing the lie that _______.” Then forgive anyone who might have helped contribute to you believing this lie. For example, if your brother always called you a klutz just forgive him. A prayer could go like this, “Father, I forgive anyone who helped contribute to this lie, specifically my brother Doug.” 
Ask God to highlight the truth to you and then write it down. It could be as simple as the opposite way of thinking. It may be a scripture, or even a higher perspective on the situation. For example, the first time our assistant did this exercise the lie that she would be just like her mom came up.  What she meant by that was that she thought she would become controlling and manipulative like her mom. However, when God gave her a truth he said, “You will be kind, soft-hearted, and hospitable.” All things that were very true of her mom! It was a higher perspective that was honoring to both her heart and her mom. 
Once you have the truth written down you will need to make multiple copies. Tape a copy to your bathroom mirror, to the fridge, in your car, in your workspace, email yourself a copy, and put one in your purse or wallet. For the next 30 days (or longer!) declare the truth with conviction. “I am _____!” 
About ten days into this routine, ask the Lord to begin to surface any unhealed wounds that are directly connected to these lies. Repeat the process of forgiving anyone who needs to be forgiven. Then ask the Lord to heal that wound. If you need a third party to accomplish this with, by all means schedule an appointment to get it done. 

As with all major positive Kingdom changes in your life the enemy will realize that he must counter-attack or it’s game over. At some point in your journey someone might get their nose out of joint over something trivial and make some accusations against you. Don’t retaliate or get defensive, just realize that this is the enemy trying to throw you off track. Persevere through it, for there will be grace to handle it when you chose not to believe the lie again.

Before long, you will find that your upgraded perception about yourself has given you a new outlook on life. A new reality.  Will all this “positive thinking” solve all your problems? No, to be sure, there are a number of other important issues that need to be resolved. However, you will be much happier viewing yourself as an overcomer rather than a victim.