6 Ways to Deal with Self-Doubt

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“I’m not good enough.” “I’ll never make it,

“She’ll never be interested in me.”  “No one will notice me anyway.”

 “I’m not qualified.”


Sound familiar? That persistent convincing voice that derails a perfectly good mood and seems more likely than the truth.  Day after day we talk ourselves out of going farther, doing better, or rising higher. We set our eyes on something (or someone) and then spend the rest of our days talking ourselves out of that very thing.  Relationships don’t happen because we convince ourselves that something about us is too wrong for them.  We don’t apply for jobs because we only have 19 of the 20 bullet points. We miss opportunities because of DOUBT.

We are our worst critic, but thankfully, we are not meant to live this life alone. There are people around who will speak life and wellness into us, at least those are the people you ought to have in your circle of influence. Those people will help you see and accept that you ARE capable, and you ARE worthy.  You have spent enough time beating yourself up, and believe me, I too am guilty of talking down about and to myself even when I KNOW those things are not true of me.  Here are six ways to start speaking well and feeling better about YOU:

  1. Remember that your thoughts are just thoughts, they can be changed. You would not choose to constantly berate the friend of someone you care about, would you? No, you would speak well of them, or at least say nothing if you can’t say something nice (because that’s what mom and grandma taught us). You are someone whom someone else cares about.   Change how you talk about yourself.  Tell yourself that you will be OK at that networking event; you will find someone who loves you just the way you are; you are likeable; you will lose the weight… get the job…and you WILL be successful.  
  2. Remind yourself that the past is the past. Whatever mistakes or setbacks you had, that was yesterday, acknowledge them, do what you need to do to right wrongs if you can, and move on. You are not obligated to spend the rest of your life indebted to someone else’s thoughts and opinions. You cannot undo what is done. Leave it alone and move on.
  3. Talk it out or journal. Bottled up thoughts become toxic distortions or the truth. Simply talking about what’s on your mind, or writing them out can help you see how exaggerated your thinking can be.
  4. Work on yourself. If you know for certain you are not qualified, take the necessary steps to enhance your skills and level of experience.
  5. Give yourself a break. You are awesome! You were created for good, and good will come to you.  Your mistakes or failures do not define you. Most people will not put that much weight on what you did or said. If they are mature, considerate people they’ll get over it .  Don’t spend the rest of your life beating yourself up one moment or season in your life – LET. IT. GO!  Learn from where you were, and keep it moving.
  6. Draw energy from others. Doubt wants to isolate you, so defy it. Connect yourself with people who will empower and encourage you to stay positive and focused.

You ARE good enough! 

“Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today.”

~Shaunna 

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Change Your Labels

 

(Luke 6:37 ) “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;”neverallowanyone-11

 

 

This world is full of all kinds of people, places, things, and ideas…, and with all that comes labels and judgement. We (all of us) are very good at judging things and people and finding no fault in ourselves. We love to make up reasons why people and things are the way they are, while making excuses for our own misbehaving and thoughtlessness. We label everyone except ourselves and if labeled long enough, people start to believe those labels no matter how untrue. I was there, I believed all the nasty things a person was telling me, and saying about me, and it made me question my worth and my purpose. But scripture and Godly connections,  reminded me that I am NOT what those particular labels said, I started to make changes in my life, befriended people who spoke life to me and encouraged me, and gave me different labels;  (Proverbs 18:21) “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

I want to encourage you to change your labels to see things and people (including yourself) differently no matter how unlovely. Let your reward be good and sweet for the good you speak to and of other people.

I recently took a personality test – another way to label oneself – but I was curious to see how much my personality label has changed over time—it hasn’t;  in case you’re wondering, according to this test I’m an INFJ-T.  Some co-workers and I were talking about astrological signs, and as much as I’ve never viewed astrology as having much credibility, I am resolved to admit that I am very much what my sign says I am. My astrological sign and my personality assessmentafford me a label that is often, and understandably, misunderstood and so I am labeled in an attempt to make sense of my differences and idiosyncrasies. That’s how we get labels; lack of understanding and appreciation for something or someone.  In my opinion, the most boring sport to watch on television is golf.  I’ve never seen it live, but I can only assume that it’s even less exciting to stand and watch it happening. I’ve labeled it “boring,” because I don’t understand it, and don’t really want to take the time to learn.

That’s how we are with people. We see someone and can’t figure out why they do the things they do. They do things we don’t like or understand, they look a certain way that doesn’t match our ideals, preferences and taste, they like things we find uninteresting and beneath us … and so we perch ourselves on our pedestals and start tossing out labels…  you don’t do enough and it’s not my way –YOU ARE WORTHLESS/ you don’t dress or wear your hair like me – YOU ARE UGLY AND OLD FASHIONED / you weigh more than me – YOU ARE FAT/  you can’t read as well as I can – YOU ARE STUPID / you don’t think like I do about the world and current events – YOU ARE UNEDUCATED/ you don’t fight back – YOU’RE A WIMP/ you don’t make as much money and don’t have as many things as I do – YOU ARE A FAILURE/ you don’t believe what I believe – YOU ARE NOT AS GOOD A PERSON AS I AM … and we go on and on labeling people.

We do this because we all want to feel better about ourselves, and refuse to acknowledge our own insecurities.  But, the moment our target turns on us and labels us as mean, condescending, manipulative, uppity bullies, we have a problem. Instead of saying, “I did do those things, and called those names, and made that person feel some kind of way,” we get self-righteous and add to our negative list of labels.

We live in a time when people are desperate for love, affection, and affirmation and there is plenty out there, we are just going about it the wrong way. Love does not come from stomping on our neighbor’s self-esteem or discrediting their accomplishments and aspirations. Negating a person’s value and resorting to gossip, backstabbing, bullying, and abuse does not really make you look better, it simply makes you look all the more desperate for love and approval.

EVERYONE has value, no matter how much you dislike them or how little you care about them.  We cannot exist and not exist at the same time, and no one was created for the purpose of doing nothing. Everything that exists is meant for specific purposes, and if those purposes seem out of place to you, it’s probably because it has nothing to do with you. Things are not always going to make sense, and not all people are meant for you to know.  I am not liked by everyone, but It’s not my obligation to become more valuable to you so you like me more, it is my hope that you find it your obligation to withhold judgment, acquire new perspectives, and look for the good, and in so doing, you find and appreciate my value.  

My purpose and your purpose were created for certain times, certain people, and certain circumstances; in other words, we are not all meant to go the same way, in the same way, at the same time. Look around you, that person you’re laughing at, ignoring, disrespecting, mocking, and putting down may be the person you need to rely on at some point in the future. How do you want them to remember you?

Respecting someone is taking the time to get to know them. Challenge yourself: over the next 7 days to identify 2 people you don’t know well, but have decided you don’t like, and make an effort to get to know them. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Lastly, don’t live up to labels that put you down. If you don’t like what you are hearing about you, and you know it’s true, change it.

Philippians 4:8

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

 

Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today!

Shaunna J.

“Don’t bully me, believe in me. Don’t backstab me, back me up. Don’t label me – listen to me.” SJackson   ————————————————————————

 

Other personality tests:

Meyers-Briggs with Feedback

Humanmetrics

You Are What You Are

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I Corinthians 15:9-11

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.”

 Someone told me a few years ago that I should never say, “I am who I am,” because there is no such thing. But, I beg to differ. People don’t like to hear that because they expect us to be different; more like them perhaps. It’s the same thing as saying, “what you see is what you get.”  People are funny. We act like we can’t stand something about someone, and then they change, turn their life around, and we act like that is not good enough either. (SMH).  In the text above the Apostle Paul had changed – for the better – but people still turned up their noses at him. He was condemned for persecuting Christians in the past, and then was rejected for becoming a follower of Christ and spreading the very Gospel he spoke so freely against. But here Paul is saying, “Look, I know what kind of person I used to be, but I am a changed man, due only to the unearned, undeserved, unjustified love, kindness, and favor of God (GRACE).”

And so you can make this claim for yourself – “But by the grace of God, I am what I am.” If you have decided to follow Christ, it doesn’t matter how badly you treated people, or how off the mark you kept shooting, or that you were just awkward with every move you made. Heaven has forgiven and wiped the slate clean. When you opened your heart to God and made him the Lord of your life, he started making all things new in you. Yesterday is yesterday, today his mercies are new (Lamentations 3:22-23). People around you are uncomfortable and don’t know how to react because you have changed, and they have not.

Paul called himself the least of the Apostles, the chief of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). If God could use a man committed to persecuting his children, certainly he will use you for good and for his glory.  God can change you, rearrange things in your life, and raise you levels above your adversaries. He can change your heart and change your mind. It is the power of his grace that will turn you into a mouthpiece to spread his message, and a masterpiece to show the world what he can do.

The world might turn against you and refuse to accept the new you, but you have a great purpose. God’s grace is relentless enough to pursue you for as long as it takes to make sure that in your life, you fulfill destiny. Paul faced many hardships and much criticism after becoming a Christ follower, but he vowed to make his life a cause for Christ no matter what, and no matter who stood against him. (Philippians 1:21).

If this is the day you decide to live for Christ, Heaven is rejoicing; embrace the new you- you are what you are by the grace of God! Study to show yourself approved of the calling. Pray for those who still hold grudges and look down on you, and dedicate your life to one of love, grace, and mercy. All will be well with you in the name of Jesus. AMEN.

 

Be good, be gracious, and be a blessing to someone today.

 

Shaunna

SPEAK Ministries

 

 

Stop Defending Yourself!

This post is your official authorization to stop defending yesterday and stop defending the truth!   There is nothing you or anyone else can do about days gone by, and if you know the truth about something and someone is trying to make a case against you, stand firm; the truth needs no defense. If you are the one trying to make someone pay for something over and over because YOU can’t get over it…get over it. In the end, there is NOTHING to be gained by making someone feel bad, or threatening to expose someone else’s dirt (especially if it is linked to your own). I am praying for us all, the oppressed and the oppressors to let go, and move on.

Let God fight for you instead.
Let God fight for you instead.

Someone recently told me, (in self-defense), that grace keeps records of wrong – LAUGH OUT LOUD! No It Doesn’t! That statement and thought contradict grace altogether. The only reason people collect offenses and wrong doings is so they have something to bring up against another in the future should they themselves come under scrutiny or attack; it is intended to hurt someone in the future.

The Word of God says, “My grace is sufficient for you,” 2 Corinthians 12:9. If grace keeps records of wrongs for the purpose of holding them against me at a later date, God’s grace is not good enough for me, meaning God in all his glory is not good enough for me; I don’t want any part of that kind of grace. God’s grace is not sneaky and conniving, wicked or oppressive. Grace says, I’m not going to remember, and I’m not going to mention it again or talk about things I never witnessed and really know nothing out.” Fortunately, the God kind of grace does not work alone, it comes with mercy. Mercy says, “I’m not going to make you pay over and over for whatever yesterday was.”   The Word of God also promises new mercies every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Remember that as believers, our strength and purpose are in CHRIST, not any man or woman. GOD already chose grace and mercy for you – a clean slate, and he will turn your situation around for your good, in the name of Jesus! Walk in HIS truth, it’s the only word that matters.

You don’t have to keep answering for yesterday, and you are not alone in trying to escape the person who can’t let yesterday go. I too know people who like to collect offenses and bits and pieces of truths to weave lies and accusations. What you are experiencing is not unique to you. There are many people, insecure, immature people whose only defense is to dig up yesterday and create tall tales; they create stories that they eventually convince themselves are true (and just happened) to make themselves feel better. Before you get too comfortable agreeing with me, remember that God loves them too, and wants what is best for them too. Pray for them instead of defending yourself against them. God will fight for you while you keep quiet. (Exodus 14:14 – “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace”).

And let me tell you, if someone is using the past to somehow manipulate or control you, disguised as love and good intentions, or as some twisted attempt to change you into the person THEY desire, that person is not seeking good for you. Anyone who purposely sets out to hurt you tomorrow, or at some undefined point in the future is not your friend and does not mean well; LOVE DOES NOT KEEP RECORDS OF WRONGS!  Keep praying, God will either move you, or move in the situation. Consequently, If you know you did something you shouldn’t have done, own it; repent, and move on. You don’t have to keep apologizing or defending yourself over and over. Your life doesn’t end just because you get misguided, or tempted, or distracted, or even disinterested. Get back on track, forgive and keep going in the direction of YOUR purpose. The enemy wants you to be hung up on things of old, that is how he intends to infect your mind with sadness, regret, and depression, etc. to control your next moves. Ask God to help you forgive, and to help that person forget yesterday and release the desire to keep you in bondage with tangled realities, and their own unforgiveness.

Lastly, stop defending the truth. If you know the truth of a matter concerning you, and someone is determined to make it a lie, you have nothing to worry about; the truth stands even if no one believes it. It is the spirit of guilt and regret that spends its time with blaming and shaming. Some people are so determined to keep focus off their own faults and issues, that they will do anything and everything to transfer the focus onto someone else; pray for them, and keep moving! If that is you, pray for yourself and I will be praying for you too.

  • Let God order your steps.
  • Pray consistently for change.
  • Just be quiet.
  • Observe.
  • Seek to understand.
  • Tell your side only to those who are godly enough to ask and listen in good faith.

All will be well with us, in the name of Jesus!

Peace be unto you!

 

Shaunna J.

Shaunna is an inspirational author and currently serves as the Pastor of RCCG Grace Chapel in Waldorf, MD. She writes to encourage, enlighten, and empower nations to embrace the word of God as their standard of living to live in peace and victory. More from Shaunna at SPEAK Ministries.