The following is taken from The Best Yes Study Guide:
1. An insecurity is that inner feeling of unease when we see ourselves as vulnerable, inferior, or threatened in some way. For example:
I’m not as talented or smart or experienced as her; therefore, this new project won’t ever really take off.
My kids just demonstrated every inadequacy I have as a mom.
I have to protect my dignity and myself. I don’t dare try this new venture.
If only I were as organized or intentional or creative as they are, then maybe I could accomplish this. But the reality is, I’m not.
See what he just said about me? He knows me better than anyone, so if he thinks that’s true, it must be.
This relationship won’t ever get any better.
Use the prompts below to identify a few ways in which you want to change your patterns of decision making or move ahead with a Best Yes but haven’t yet done so. Then identify any insecurities that come to mind when you think about making changes or moving ahead.
- Ways in Which I Want to Change my Patterns of Decision Making or Move Ahead with a Best Yes
- Insecurities I am aware of (consider this for EACH pattern you want to change and each Best Yes that you want to move ahead with)
2. There are two particular patterns of thought that can either feed our insecurities or help us grow past them: a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset.
Fixed Mindset: A person with a fixed mindset sees her abilities, talents, skills, relationships, and intelligence as limited and lacking. Where she is today is where she will always be. Things never get any better. It is what it is. She thinks, “Applying this Best Yes wisdom isn’t really possible for a person like me.”
Growth Mindset: A person with a growth mindset sees abilities, talents, skills, relationships, and intelligence with potential. Where she is today is a starting place, not a finish line. Things can get better. She can grow and develop and persevere to get to improved places. She thinks, “Using wisdom to make Best Yes decisions is possible!”
Listed below are six paired statements that contrast a fixed mindset with a growth mindset. Keeping in mind the insecurities you identified in question 1, use a scale of 1 to 10 to determine how you would describe your mindset right now. A one indicates a fixed mindset, and a ten indicates a growth mindset.
- I Am Limited: I see my intelligence, talents, and relationships as limited and lacking. I Have Potential: I see my intelligence, talents, and relationships as having potential.
- I Am a Finish Line: It’s very unlikely that things will get better. Where I am today is where I will likely always be. I Am a Starting Place: Things can get better. I can grow, develop, and persevere to get to a better place.
- I Am Complacent: I settle for leaving my intelligence and talents where they are now. I Am Developing: I actively and routinely look for ways to develop my intelligence and talents.
- It’s Not Possible: I don’t think it’s possible to use wisdom to make Best Yes decisions. It Is Possible: I believe it is possible to use wisdom to make Best Yes decisions.
- It’s About Talent: I don’t have the talent or abilities I need to succeed. It’s About Dedication: I can develop even my most basic abilities with dedication and hard work.
- Failure Is Unacceptable: I cannot overcome if I fail. Failure is Part of Learning: I can be resilient and grow through failure.
Based on your “scale scores” in the above six areas, how would you characterize your overall mindset right now?
For any number in which you placed your score below a 5 (leaning closer to the first option), how would you describe the appeal or benefit of having a fixed mindset in that area? In other words, why might you be willing to settle for a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset in that area?
3. In Romans 8, the apostle Paul provides a beautiful description of what it means to walk in the power of a new life – the potential of Jesus’ work in us. Keeping your insecurities and fears in mind, read slowly and prayerfully through the two versions of the passage that follow. Write down any words or phrases that stand out to you.
Romans 8:11-15 New Living Translation (NLT) – The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you. Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[a] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:11-15 The Message (MSG) – When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?”
What connections do you make between your insecurities and the words and phrases you wrote down?
The passages contrast being fearful slaves (living “a timid, grave-tending life”) with being children of God (living an “adventurously expectant” life). What needs to receive a “decent burial” in order for you to live more fully into your identity as a child of God?
In what ways do you sense God’s Spirit beckoning you? What do you sense God’s answer might be if you were to ask, “What’s next, Papa?”
4. Our identity is that we are children of God, but when we chain our insecurities to our identity, we’ll end up in a fixed mindset:
I am a child of God, but look at what a mess my finances are.
I am a child of God, but I’m fifty pounds overweight and feel like such a failure.
I am a child of God, but look at the choice my kid just made that makes my family look bad.
In a growth mindset, we chain our identity to the Word of God. Every time we say I am a child of God, we remove the but and use the word therefore to usher God’s promise into our reality:
I am a child of God, therefore I don’t have to be afraid or dismayed. I know God is with me. He will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me with His hand (Isaiah 41:10).
I am a child of God, therefore no weapon formed against me shall succeed. God will disprove every tongue that rises against me in judgement (Isaiah 54:17).
I am a child of God, therefore God is in my midst, a mighty One who will save me; He will rejoice over me with gladness, He will quiet me with his love; He will exult over me with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
I am a child of God, therefore God’s Word is there for me. It is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105)
Briefly refer back to the insecurities you listed on the chart in question 1. Using the statements above as a reference, write a “therefore” statement for each of your insecurities.
Read Psalm 27, a psalm of confidence and trust in God. Use the plasm as a reference for writing your own prayer. Acknowledge your insecurities and the fears that keep you from moving forward and living in a growth mindset. Ask God to “beckon” you, giving you a desire to live more fully as His child and an eagerness to take your next best step. Thank Him for being your stronghold.