Three Mindsets that Can Derail New Beginnings

New beginnings can be exciting. But sometimes new beginnings are the result of painful circumstances.

God often uses life’s difficulties to move us forward, change our direction, or give us a new purpose. 

For me, a diagnosis of ovarian cancer opened a door I never dreamed possible.

I sensed the Lord leading me to write my cancer story in a book I would’ve liked to read when I needed encouragement and support. A book that would validate my own cancer and chemotherapy experience. 

I felt overwhelmed. 

Surely, God couldn’t be asking me to write a book. I had no writing experience. 

But God places dreams in our hearts bigger than we could ever imagine. Dreams only he can fulfill. If God called me to write, he would fulfill his word and enable me. 

But in order to walk out this new call, I needed to align my thoughts with the Word of God. 

Moses had warned the Israelites of three wrong mindsets that could derail God’s purposes for them when they were on the verge of entering the promised land. I also needed to be alert to these pitfalls that could divert me from God’s path.

Three Wrong Mindsets

  1. Fear.

“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT). 

When God called me to write In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer. I thought, God, this is too big for me. 

Voices clamored in my head.

Writing a book is too hard. What if I fail?

Just as Moses instructed the Israelites not to be afraid, I also needed to remember God’s past faithfulness. He would lead me through every step in the process of writing and publishing.

 If I had succumbed to the mindset of fear, the book I had wanted as a resource wouldn’t be available to help and encourage other women.

2. Pride.

“He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good. He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy’ (Deuteronomy 8:16-17 NLT).

When I’m stuck in a mindset of pride, I think I can accomplish God’s plan through my own effort.

I need to humble myself and accept the counsel and help from others in the industry, including their constructive criticism. 


I am grateful to my editors, mentors, and critique partners whose only desire is to improve my writing and help me succeed.

3. Forgetfulness.

“Remember the Lord your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful,” (Deuteronomy 8:18 NLT).

Even though I worked hard, my success was not based solely on my efforts. I could not have accomplished my dream without God’s help and the help of many others.

I am grateful to God for his mercy, grace, and his continual reminders of how much I need him.

When I said yes to God, I never imagined the doors God would open for me.

  • He led me step by step through the process, directed me to attend writing workshops so I could learn the craft.
  • He provided me with a mentor, a writing critique group, and multiple other connections to help me reach my goal of publishing my book.

Whether I’m in the messy middle or have completed my project, I need to be aware of these stumbling blocks so I can avoid them.

These pitfalls will hinder my walk with God and the fulfillment of my God-given dreams. He wants to fulfill his promises to me. But I need to walk into these promises his way, not my way, and not on my own.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28 NLT).

God delights in fulfilling his promises and the dreams he’s placed in our hearts—his way.

How can you avoid these pitfalls when your trials open doors to new beginnings?