How to fight back when the whispers inside your head are too loud
Self-doubt is real. And, while it may not always be rooted in reality, it has the power to derail every good thing in our lives. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, we don’t feel good about anything else. Those great relationships in our life feel undeserved because we aren’t good enough for people to genuinely love us. That next big opportunity seems completely out of reach because we aren’t good enough to go after it.
Self-doubt is real, and it is poison
Self-doubt causes you to live in fear, and it gives you the feeling that you are walking on eggshells. You become terrified that you will be exposed; that the people who are normally in your corner will finally see what you see in yourself, and then they will lose faith in you. Or, the people who didn’t believe in you will be right, and you’ll have to face the hard truth that you really aren’t good enough -- just like they said.
Self-doubt is a liar
The thing about self-doubt is that it never tells the whole story. It focuses on your insecurities until you are so consumed that you cannot be confident about anything.
You see, the thing about self-doubt is that it makes you look at your reflection as if you were looking into the shards of a shattered mirror. If you were to just stare into a single shard, you’d see a small sliver of yourself but miss most of your reflection.
But, when you use self-doubt to be truly self-reflective, you can change the picture. When you take that shard and piece it back together with the rest of the mirror, you can see your whole reflection. And, yes, there are cracks in it and areas of weakness, but you can still see who you really are.
Here’s the great secret. We all have cracks and weaknesses. There is a reason why the apostles frequently spoke of mirrors in their analogies about following Jesus (Paul, James, etc.). It’s because when we truly see our reflection, we can see the cracks where Jesus works to mend us and make us whole.
Our cracks are not weaknesses. They are areas where grace invades. They are areas where we need to lean into Jesus.
They are not supposed to mean we lean into self-doubt.
It’s time to flip the script
What if we stopped seeing our self-doubt as weakness and started using it to reflect on our strengths? Forbes magazine released an article stating that true leaders must be self-aware. Self-awareness means recognizing your strengths and weaknesses and then formulating life decisions based on your strengths.
You see, self-doubt tells us what our weaknesses are, but it never focuses on our strengths. It never focuses on the gifts that God has given us. But, when we move our minds to self-awareness instead of self-doubt, we are forced to examine ourselves in full -- strengths and weaknesses.
If we want to live in a healthy place of self-awareness and confidence in our strengths instead of a place beaten down by self-doubt, then we have to focus on Truth. Which means that for every thought of self-doubt that comes into your mind, you need to say out loud a truth about your God-given strength and abilities. Write them in a journal. Keep them posted at your desk, on your mirror, on your fridge -- anywhere where you will see them throughout the day.
This won’t make your weaknesses disappear. Only Jesus can do that. But, it will focus your mind on your strengths so that you live out of God’s Truth rather than out of fear, insecurity and doubt.
Starting now, make a plan to live through self-awareness, not self-doubt. Write your script of truths to say when the doubt comes. Find a community that can build you up when you feel weak. And, lean into Jesus for all of the strength and Truth that you need in your life.
You are a child of God, lavishly loved and an heir to the Kingdom. You have resurrection power in your veins. It’s time to live like it.