It all happened in twenty seconds. Nick Foles was the starting quarterback for the Rams, who had just lost two games in a row. He sat in a game planning room with quarterback coach Chris Weinke, and backup quarterbacks, Case Keenum and Sean Mannion. Suddenly, head coach Jeff Fischer burst into the room. He thanked Foles for his service but announced he was no longer the starter. After that, the head coach left as quickly as he had entered, leaving Foles blindsided. By the end of that season, just two years after being selected for the Pro Bowl, Nick Foles had lost his love for football and decided to retire. Game over.
How did he go from that moment to being Super Bowl MVP just two years later? Foles tells his fascinating story in his book, Believe It: My Journey of Success, Failure, and Overcoming the Odds. His biggest obstacle to finding the joy for playing again and overcoming failure was several lies he believed about himself. In fact, I think all men struggle with believing these lies. Believing the lie causes men to live without power. For Foles, separating the lies from the truth changed his approach to football and propelled him not only to experience a deeper joy for the game but the ultimate prize in football. What will it mean for you? Here are 3 lies men believe about themselves.
Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Catholic Priest, laid out these lies in a sermon entitled Being the Beloved.
1. I Am What I Do
Believing this lie will make you (in your mind) as good as your last performance. If you win, you are a winner. If you lose, you are a loser, plain and simple. This lie was at the core of Nick Foles' belief. He felt as good about himself as his last game. When he realized that he was not the sum of his successes and failures, he finally experienced freedom. Regardless of his performance, he came to realize that God loved him unconditionally, and that was his true identity. After that, football was no longer about achieving a sense of self-worth. It was just about using his God-given gifts to play the game. What gifts and talents has God given you? Don't use your talents to find your value. You are already valuable. Now just go out and play.
2. I Am What People Say About Me
Believing this lie will make you as good (again, in your mind) as the last thing someone said to you or about you. This causes a lot of men to abandon their authentic self in favor of someone they think others will accept. They end up creating a person they think others want. It's posing rather than living. Are you in constant need of affirmation? When someone says something negative about you, does it send you spiraling? We are all in need of encouragement, and certainly negative feedback hurts. However, until you can be honest and embrace who you are, you will be a shell of a person. There will always be someone who will doubt you, think negatively about you and say bad things about you. You might as well face it as yourself. You are well-made, no matter what people say.
3. I Am What I Have
Believing this lie will make you as valuable as the sum of your possessions, your name or sphere of influence. It will make you greedy because we can never have enough to feel full. It will make you fearful and anxious to hold on to what you have. And it will make you insecure as you compare yourself to others. Your wealth (or lack thereof) and your job (or lack thereof) do not define you. The amount of power or influence you have on society (or lack thereof) does not define you.
Why Are You Valuable?
Here's what Nick Foles came to know about his value, and it made all the difference for him: He is loved unconditionally by a God who created him, period. That's what gives him eternal value. I share his belief. What makes you valuable?
What do you think makes you valuable?
BJ Foster is the director of Content Creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.
This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.
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