Today, I want to encourage you to, “Believe in yourself.” This simple phrase has kept coming back to me since this past weekend, and the time has come to share it with you as well.
Do you find you struggle with…
- Thoughts of self-doubt?
- Lack of self-confidence?
- Lack of trust for others?
- Believe lies you tell yourself?
- Struggle with fear?
- Struggle with anxiety?
- Struggle with feelings of worthlessness
These are strong and powerful emotions and if they are not contained and corrected, over time they can become damaging and even destructive. I want you to consider as you read this which of these emotions do you struggle with? How long have you felt them? Why do you believe them and what has prevented you from breaking free from the power of their bondage? I would also like for you to think about if any of them trigger other emotions within you and what do you feel as you experience them?
I know as I evaluate this list I struggle with lacking self-confidence which I know is triggered by the power of fear. If I was to evaluate why and what caused it I would have to look back at my childhood. I lived in a home with my single/divorced mom from the age of 5 to the age of 14, when she married my dad. I grew up in a home with a family history of a perfectionists and if you did not do everything just the “right” way, then it was not done correctly.
As a result, everything I did, and it did not matter how big or small it was, I would doubt myself and tell myself it was not good enough, it was not perfect enough, so, therefore, it did not measure up to the “perfect” test. As a result, I live my life today believing whatever I do is never done the “right” way, so therefore it is never good enough to meet the standards I was raised with.
The toughest test I had to pass was when my dad died. My husband was deployed overseas for a short deployment and my dad was in poor health, so I decided to go home in case something happened while my husband was gone. Unfortunately, my greatest concern came true. Thankfully my mom and I had discussed the “what if” scenario leading up to this time because she knew she would not be able to handle his passing well.
This turned out to be the understatement of the year. While we were making funeral arrangements with the funeral director, my mom became very sick and instead of going to the flower shop next to pick out our flowers for the funeral, I had to take Mom to the Emergency Room, at which time they admitted her into the hospital. All I could think of was what am I going to do now?
My dad died the other day, my mom is now in the hospital, today is Saturday and his funeral is on Monday. I was unable to get her doctor to commit to me that my mom would be out of the hospital in time to attend my dad’s funeral, and I had to finish planning it in case she was, but also be prepared to change all the plans if she was not. What was this going to look like for someone who struggles with a lack of self-confidence? How am I ever going to finish his funeral and get everything “perfect” to meet my mom’s expectations (because she told me countless times his funeral was going to be done perfectly)?
My lack of self-confidence ran away with me, fear held me hostage, and anxiety consumed me and somewhere in all of this was the fact I missed my dad and was grieving his loss, but that had to go on the back burner, because I had a small window of opportunity to finish planning his “perfect” funeral for my mom.
I remember so clearly that feeling of helplessness because I lacked the self-confidence to make the important decisions for fear of making a mistake and messing up. This runs my life still today. As it was, I did finish the arrangements, I got mom out of the hospital with two hours to spare before his visiting hours were to begin and I did the “best” job I knew how to do. It all came together and my mom has very few vivid memories of the details for all the medicine she was on at the time. It just means today she cannot find fault with anything I did or did not do.
Other examples in my life where I struggle are writing in my blog because everything I write has to be “perfectly” written. I struggle with being a wife and a mom. I find I must do everything the “right” way or it isn’t done properly. I try to keep my house orderly and as clean and tidy as I can with being so busy. I try to keep the yard neat and presentable because it is an outward reflection of our family. I try to keep up with all the health needs of both my husband and my daughter because this is important to me.
All of this is done with an expectation that is unrealistic for me to maintain because I lack the self-confidence it is all done right, so I just keep trying and trying and when that fails, I try harder. I understand this is seriously faulty thinking, but it was how I grew up and what I learned to believe.
I have been telling myself a lot lately, it is a good thing my mom isn’t around because if she ever saw all the shortcuts I make in my life now, I feel she would be disappointed in me. I have had to learn through the craziness of life that survival is more important to me than perfectionism. I have had to force myself to come to terms with the fact perfectionism is not healthy. No one can possibly live up to the standards I have spent years placing upon myself. I have a long way to go and I am sure if you were to ask my family if I have conquered this they would loudly say, no, but I am determined to bring a sense of self-confidence into my life.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do you struggle with deep down and often times hidden emotions that lead you to where you are struggling today?
My friend, I have hope for you. You do not have to live in this bondage any longer. You can choose to change this game and move past it. You can learn a new way of living and be happy with who you have always wanted to become. You can break the chains that have held you captive.
The first step to making this change is to identify the leading cause for everything you have experienced and identify why you have not allowed yourself the freedom before now to flee from it.
I want to share this quote from my friend, Rachel Marie Martin’s new book, “The Brave Art of Motherhood”. There are many life lessons I have learned by reading this book, but this quote is the one I am going to use for this blog post.
The lesson I have learned through examining my own life is that I have allowed fear to have power over my ability to change what I did not like.
“Fear is a stifling voice of the unknown. It takes self-confidence to muster the courage to unearth the fears holding you back. It takes faith to examine the fears and replace the fallacy of most fears with truth.” – Rachel Marie Martin
I have learned fear has stifled my self-confidence and I lacked the faith to break free for the bondage it held me at. I believed all the faulty thinking and believed I had to live this way and accept it even though I did not like it.
My friend, you do not have to do this either. You do not have to allow fear to hold you captive to the things you struggle with. I want you to examine your life and determine if the power of fear is the holding you back from living your life to your fullest? Has it held you back from following your dreams and achieving your goals? If it has, please take the time to first,
“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!”
Secondly, I want you to tell yourself that you will not be controlled by fear any longer and that you will battle those lies you have believed for years and in the end, I want you to believe and have the faith you will rise above it all and stand taller and stronger than anything you have allowed yourself to believe in before.
Lastly, My Friend, I can not emphasize this concept enough…
“Believe in Yourself!”
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