You know you’re not worthless, stupid, or lazy but you don’t know how to stop believing the lies about yourself. You know there is good in you, but you haven’t learned how to hold on to the truth. You want to feel and think better about who you are, but you just don’t know how.
You are not alone. Millions of women don’t know how to stop believing the lies they’ve been told…or the lies they tell themselves. It’s a constant battle for all of us, no matter how old we are, how beautiful we look, or how awesome our marriages and families are.
And it’s worse after a breakup or major life loss. That’s when the lies really start to fly at you…and they never seem to stop. I was inspired to write this article by a reader’s email about my article How to Stop Feeling Unlovable After a Breakup. She’s struggling to stop believing lies about herself now that she’s single. Not just lies about herself, but about her future, her friends, and the decisions she makes. In this article I share several lies women believe about themselves after a breakup, plus a tip on how to start believing the truth.
True confession time: I used to hate myself. I felt inferior and worthless because of the way I grew up. I struggled constantly with lies about who I was—and I didn’t even know they were lies.
The problem was that I thought those lies about myself were the truth, so it was hard to stop believing them. I thought I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or valuable. And those lies made me treat people badly, because I needed to feel superior.
What lies do you believe about who you are? It may be difficult to see yourself clearly. Ask a trusted friend to help you see yourself in truth and light. Together, you both can learn how to stop believing the lies about yourself and hold on to who you really are. This is easier if you follow Jesus, because He loves to pour His love, grace and light into our lives!
When we start believing the lies, we’re in trouble.
Here are the lies I started to believe about myself after a breakup that broke my heart:
- “I will never get over this.”
- “I’ll never get over the relationship, and I will never be attracted to anyone again.”
- “Nobody will ever love me again.”
- “Our relationship was perfect in every way and I must have done something to ruin it.”
- “No one will ever love me or want to be with me because I am ugly and unlovable.”
- “Certain songs will always remind me of him. I’ll never be happy.”
- “I will never stop missing him.”
- “His life is better without me, but mine is worse. My life won’t get better.”
- “I can never love another man or be close to anyone else. I am damaged goods.”
These thoughts are natural after a breakup—especially in the dark nights when you miss him more than you thought possible. If you’re struggling to heal your broken heart, read How to Get Through a Breakup When You’re Still in Love.
How to Stop Believing Lies About Yourself
What lies are you starting to believe about yourself? Maybe yours are like mine, tied in with your self-worth and self-esteem. Maybe your lies are about your body or mind, or your future chances at marriage and family.
Face the lies head-on, then practice different ways to get rid of them. If you keep them inside you, the lies will fester, growing bigger and worse. They’ll infect your heart and soul. Lies will drag you down, depress you, and ruin your life.
Don’t believe the lies, no matter how often they return. Expect them to keep returning! They’re like weeds. But just because they keep coming back doesn’t mean they’re true.
Bring the lies into the light
One way to stop believing lies about who you are is to get them out of your mind, body, and soul. Express them somehow, whether in writing, drawing or painting. You can even run or exercise them out of you, or talk to someone you trust. Be honest with yourself. Be honest with others. Ask how they cope with lies about themselves.
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You’ll find that writing the lies down or saying them out loud will help you see the truth. You’ll see and hear how foolish they are. And once you start to see that, you’ll find it easier to start replacing lies with the truth.
Focus on the truth of who you are
It’s not enough to look past the lies! You can’t just empty your mind of the thoughts and feelings that keep coming back to haunt you. You need to fill your mind with the truth, so there is no room left for the lies.
The truth of who I am is firmly fixed on God’s love for me. I know who I am because of who I believe in. But even so, I still have to remind myself all the time! There is no one simple tip on how to stop believing lies about yourself. Rather, it’s an ongoing process.
Here are the truths I repeated to myself after the breakup:
- “Our relationship was not even close to perfect! We had serious incompatibilities and probably would have ended up divorced or miserable.”
- “The things that used to set me off, like certain songs, places, photos, etc, don’t hurt anymore.”
- “I am worthy of love. I am capable of giving and receiving it.”
- “Going through a hard breakup has actually made it easier to see what I don’t want in a partner.”
- “My relationship status does not define me. People who are in relationships are not more valuable than those who are not.”
- “I’m an interesting person! If I do end up single, it does not mean I have failed. I am capable of enjoying life whether or not I’m single.”
I discovered the truth about myself…and the truth set me free.
How to see the truth about yourself after a breakup
Remember that your ex is a just a person with his own faults, weaknesses, and struggles. He may be lovable—and you miss him with all your heart—but he is not perfect. And, the truth is that he is not good for you. This relationship isn’t yours to have. It’s not healthy, and it ended for a reason. Let it slip away. It was yours for a season, but the season is over.
Your ex does not determine your worth. This breakup doesn’t make you less lovable or less valuable. Nor does it mean other relationships will fail, or that you’ll be single forever! It just means that your ex isn’t the right one for you. If he was, he’d be with you now.
Take it one step further
Learning how to stop believing lies about yourself isn’t as easy as this. Focusing on the truth can take time to learn – depending on the types of lies, how long you’ve believed them, and who told them to you.
Talk to someone if you believe destructive, unhealthy lies about yourself. Find someone to walk with, someone who can help you see and stop believing the lies. Bring those lies into the light, and you will find healing and hope!
Rachel unpacks and examines the lies that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.
Your thoughts – big and little – are welcome below! What lies do you want to stop believing? Where did they come from, and what truths do you want to replace them with?
I read every comment, but don’t worry. I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.