You have dreams. You can feel your potential. You long to do something, or to reach out to someone.
But then the self-doubts creep in. They gnaw at you.
And sometimes, you overcome them. But other times, you just stay where you are, because they might be right.
I think of my self-doubts over the years – the time I didn’t accept the nomination to be in our high school pageant, the times I didn’t think people would want to talk to me, the times when others at church seemed more spiritual and together than me, the time I got discouraged with my life coach training.
Yet, through experience and knowledge, I’m gaining victories. And I believe you can have victories, too! Here are my suggestions:
Name your fear. Too often, we shrink back. But we don’t put what we’re afraid of into words. Go ahead and admit it. “I’m afraid people will look down on me.” “I’m afraid of failure.” “I’m afraid that I’m not enough.”
Lean into your fear. Once you know what has your stomach tied in knots, lean into the fear. It actually feels better than letting the fear bully you. Decide to take one bold step. Just do it!
Know who you are. There’s a reason you want to do that thing. It comes from deep within you. Get more familiar with who you are. Think of your strengths and abilities. Think of what makes your heart sing. Think of the times when it felt like you were doing what you were meant to do.
Give fuller rein to who you are. Allow yourself space to express what’s in you, without editing yourself. Quit seeking “likes” and benchmarks. Your own voice is the one you can clearly hear.
Picture and believe that God is with you. It’s a fact that people are more confident when they aren’t alone. Lately, I’ve been picturing God right next to me, empowering me and working with me. It’s so helpful.
Dispute the doubts. Sure, there’s probably an element of truth in them, but in what ways are they not true?
Set realistic expectations. Go after your dreams, but don’t expect to be the next American Idol.
Persevere. When I first studied coaching, and got discouraged, I kept on going. At some point, it started clicking for me! Now, it feels like I’m living my calling. The same can be true for you.
Give yourself grace. See your “mistakes” or “failures” as temporary setbacks.
And here’s #10: Believe that God is working his purposes through you. What you’re doing may feel small. It may seem like you fall short. (Especially if you’re a parent!) But know that your little actions, your good choices, the smile on your face, the kindnesses you show, the prayers you pray, and so on, are expressing who you were meant to be. They make a real difference!
Hold to your values. Live your priorities. These are true wins.
Because God made you the way you are. Knowing that can infuse you with confidence. March forward with him in strength. Don't let the self-doubts have a voice. Put up your shield of faith, and say, "God made me, he's with me, and I'm not going to listen!"
And, as you have this mindset, the rest will come.