I once started a blog aimed at encouraging people in their fitness journey. After I posted my About page with my purpose statement I immediately curled up on the couch and cried out “Why would ANYONE listen to what I have to say? Who am I to think I have something to contribute?”
I was literally in the fetal position, wracking with crippling self doubt.
For some people this feeling is a familiar fr-enemy. It crops up anytime you try something new or step outside your comfort zone. Or take a risk.
I originally started writing this post to talk about some insecurities I was experiencing about finishing my wedding dress in time.
“What do you mean ‘in time’?” You may ask.
No, you didn’t miss an announcement! Behind the scenes the discussions on marriage with my SO were getting more serious. We discussed a specific time frame, so I was knitting at a pace it seems my needles could have started a fire. I will remind you, dear reader, that I haven’t told my SO I was doing this project so the time line we were discussing as a couple was independent of the feasibility of this giant, secret project.
Well all this pressure; the pre-planning while not actually engaged plus a whole host of other life factors resulted in… a break up.
I’m not going to air any dirty laundry here. (Sorry to disappoint.) It just brings me back to this topic in a different way. Self doubt or doubt in a relationship can be a HUGE destructive factor. No matter how many reassurances you hear, it can drown out those other voices and convince you that it’s not worth it. Or it’s not working. Or you’d be better off not even trying. Misery or stagnation is safer than moving forward into the unknown or uncontrolled.
Friends, these are lies. Maybe convincing lies, but lies none-the-less. So combat them with the truth. The truth can come from many sources. Wisdom from friends, mentors, objective sources. Your community or tribe is a great place to filter the junk from your ideas or thoughts. Let’s face it, we all can climb on the thought crazy-train once in a while and ride it until we end up in a dark tunnel in the middle a mountain with no idea how to get out.
I also find it in God’s Word:
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
-Matthew 14:23-32 ESV
I’m reminded in this story that self doubt is fear. It demonstrates a lack of faith. God is in control even of the winds and the waves. So I take comfort in these truths.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
-Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
And after a pause, shifting around my priorities a little, I will keep working on that dress. I look forward to the future, trusting it will all work out in the end.