How to Battle Self-doubt

You’re not good enough.

On more than one occasion, I have heard those pesky words echoed in my head, whispering nastily in  my ear. Like a tiny little seed, they fall on the surface of my heart and mind, and their small roots start wriggling their way deeper and deeper, like little fingers reaching.

Maybe I’m not actually good at this, I think, and water that tiny little seed. The roots grow stronger and begin to hold fast.  In fact, maybe I’m terrible. A little more water.

Soon, that tiny little seed has sprouted. Those words grow louder and stronger in my head: You’re not good enough.

As the weed gets stronger, the ugly voice gets louder: Why do I even bother trying? No one cares what I think or do or say. I continue to feed and water it with my worries and concerns until it is a massive weed, ugly and thorny, shouting: YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

The Weed of Self-Doubt

If left unchecked, that ugly weed will soon kill off any hope or happiness or confidence I once had. And I’ll be left with nothing but a low self-esteem and a nihilistic attitude. Neither of which offer joy, love, encouragement, or gratitude.

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Yet how often are we plagued by that tiny little voice? I don’t know about you, but I would guess I hear it, or some version of it, at least once a day. And it’s not just those words, but all of their relatives too:

It doesn’t matter.

Am I making the right choice?

You have nothing to offer.

It won’t work anyway.

Think of what people will say.

And that’s just a small tip of the iceberg. We are PLAGUED by self-doubt. All. The. Time. I have doubt about  my teaching abilities, my mothering abilities, running, this blog, trying to start a business, writing, and that’s just a start. I could keep going!

Doubt Comes from Fear

Most of the time, self-doubt comes from a place of fear and insecurity. We’re afraid to try and change, because we are afraid of failure. We are afraid of the unknown. We are afraid of what others might think of us.

How many of us have given up on trying to be healthy because we never see the results? We work so hard to lose weight or eat better, but the scale doesn’t budge or we “lack willpower” and convince ourselves that it won’t work anyway. How many of us have given up on a dream whether running a marathon or starting a business or whatever because we are afraid we won’t actually hit our goal?

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I would guess that many of us have been held back by fear and self-doubt. I know I have. But whenever something comes from a place of doubt and fear, guess what? It’s a lie.

The Bible speaks on fear quite a lot and never in a positive sense. And to be clear, I’m talking about being afraid, not the respect and awe the we give to God. (“The FEAR of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” is NOT talking about being afraid of God.) That’s because fear and doubt are results of sin.

Using Your Gifts is God-pleasing

Your Heavenly Father has made you with so many wonderful gifts that he wants you to use! Convincing yourself that you are not good enough to use them is sinful.

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It brings to mind the parable of the talents. A master goes away and leaves three servants in charge of different amounts of money. One is given five talents, one is given two, and the other one talent. Upon his return, the master calls his servants to him. The one who had been given five put the money to work and gained five more. The one given two gained two more. The master commended them and put them in charge of more.

But the third man, who was given one, did nothing with it. He buried it because HE WAS SCARED! The master rebuked him, took it away and gave it to the man who had five talents. Why?

To him who has been faithful with a few things, more will be given to him.

While this parable uses money as the example (and it certainly applies), I find it interesting that the word “talent” which is a unit of money in this parable has come to mean gift or ability.

Friend, you have been given so much. Don’t be like the last servant and buried your talents and gifts out of fear. Put them to work!

Put Your Gifts to Work

Maybe that means putting aside the worry of others’ opinions and using your gift of music to serve in worship.

Maybe it means ignoring the fears of feeling selfish and pursuing creative outlets for your gift of painting or sewing or writing.

Perhaps it’s pushing aside the fear of failing and truly taking care of your body, not because you hate it, but because it is a gift from God.

It could mean, swallowing your fear of what people will think if you get counseling to help work through depression or anxiety. (Let me just say, there is absolutely NO SHAME in seeking help through therapy or medication or whatever works best for you.)

You Are More Than Enough

Sign up for the half marathon, start that business, go back to school, make time for your talents, because you aren’t just good enough, you are MORE THAN ENOUGH.

Your Heavenly Father created you on purpose, made you his own through his son, and blessed you with gifts he WANTS you to use. Through him, you are more than enough.

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Glorify God with your gifts. Tell that voice of fear that you are a daughter of the King and through him are more than enough.

 

Related:

God Uses Growing Pains
Surround Yourself: How to Use Scripture to Battle Postpartum Depression
The Mom Tool You’re Missing
What Happens When you Pray
How to Keep Going When it’s Hard

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