The Battle Against Self Doubt Pt. 2
Hi, welcome to this Self Doubt anonymous meeting, if you read the last blog post it was a call for all self doubt-oholics to unite and overcome the doubt paralyzing our lives. In my previous post I discussed how “Non Existent Self doubt” is a culture, a culture we share and shame other people for. Living in regret is a taboo, people always say they have no regrets. However, the best lessons come from this disparaging moments in our lives. Since I wrote Part 1 in August it is interesting looking at my thought process on self doubt now. I was in a deep emotional stronghold throughout the summer and my mental health is improving. Although I continue to have my highs and lows, I am now more equipped to handle my manic episodes.
However, this post is not about me, but you! As your self proclaimed, Christian therapist and rehab buddy, today I provide a practical list and coherent response about Self Doubt. Why does Self Doubt pack such a punch? What other tricks does this demon have up it’s sleeve? Today I present ways to completely overcome self doubt. The enemy is real. Thankfully, our Lord in God is real and far more powerful than we can imagine.
To begin let us remind ourselves of what Self Doubt is, we always need a working definition.
“In short self doubt is a person not believing they are capable, this person cannot fathom their ability to achieve their dreams, because they believe they lack the capabilities, knowledge, or the skills necessary to fulfill it. Self doubt is negativity at its finest…Self doubt cuts short our experiences, it promotes our fears over our faith, inhibiting our ability to live, over stimulating our fears.”
The first principle we uncover is…
Self Doubt Travels in a Pack
Do you have any friends? No seriously, do you have any friends? If so count on your hand how many close friends you have, friends you can trust, rely on, and friends who would do anything for you. Many people believe they have very few friends, and fewer “ride or die” friends who would risk their lives for them.
Not Self Doubt.
Self Doubt has a lot of friends, in fact Self Doubt has too many friends. If Self Doubt was a person it would be Pharrell Williams, immortal, works (or had worked) with everybody, and is at every event. The problem with Self Doubt being so friendly is that when we doubt our capabilities, our power to get the job done, and do it magnificently, self doubt doesn’t only invite itself into our minds. It invites paranoia. Paranoia invokes patronizing images like losing our job, not finishing school, dropping out of college, our significant other cheating on us, or never being able to find someone due to our weight, height or appearance. Afterwards, Self Doubt invites jealousy, and jealousy brings her judgmental twin sister envy, and both pick at your weaknesses, maybe you talk too much, or maybe you don’t make as much money as your coworker. Maybe you haven’t graduated from college, or landed a job in your career, either way, you don’t amount to anything, and your value as a human being is the sum of an acorn.
The point: Self Doubt is not only powerful because you doubt who you are, what makes self doubt powerful is that it sets off other triggers, and invites negative emotions. Self Doubt is one of the emotions, I find exceptionally lethal to the human experience, and this is why this daily battle is hard for particular people. Self doubt is not a lone emotion or entity.
Self doubt is a part of an exclusive chain gang each negative emotion is linked to another.
So if you have a dream of creating your own label or building a bakery business, your dream against Self Doubt and the rest of its team crumbles. Oh Beloved, ask yourself, what does your dream rest upon? What is the foundation of which your dream is laid?
I ask this question simply because confidence is not enough. People resemble the waves of the ocean, the coming tide. Wading in and out, the shoreline reaching out far one day, and staying to itself another. We are all people and our confidences rises and falls daily. I had to learn this lesson myself. I thought the dreams I had in my heart the plans resting in my soul were safe because I was confident in myself. But how humbled and crushed are we, when the bank does not approve our business plan or fund our building, or how we cannot find the aid or support to continue going to school to be a doctor or lawyer. Life will hit you hard. Let me repeat the last line.
Life will hit you hard.
And when life hits you, you will fall but it does not mean you will stay there. I learned the foundations of my dreams and desires cannot be myself, because I am fickle. Because I am irate and emotional. Every human being on this planet has a breaking point, a strand where when it is broken there is no turning back. Life does not discriminate. Trials and tribulations run rampant through every person’s lives, no one is exempt from pain.
Therefore, the foundation of every single dream must be approved by the Lord God in heaven, and set upon the unbreakable Rock named Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 16:2-3 says, “2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them,
but motives are weighed by the Lord.
3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
First and foremost, when we take our plans to God in prayer. He considers them. The Lord is beyond anyone in wisdom. What makes God’s wisdom so profound is that He requires zero consultation from anyone or anybody. God did not ask for any person’s advice or thoughts about where He set the sun or stretch the boundaries of the milky way. There was not an angel worthy in heaven or intelligent enough to match the Lord God’s wit. God approves our plans for when He approves it. He also appoints it.
Secondly not all our intentions in creating something or building our dreams are pure. Always in our hearts, we believe what we are doing is for the right reasons. Every person from their perspective perceives their action is right or in the correct moral context. More so, it is not only a person’s action, it is everything a person does. The way a person lives, how they live, the people they associate with, the actions and behavior shown on the daily basis. If it were not for Jesus every human being would live sinful lives. On some level, I can fool my friends about my motivations and intentions, even my own family cannot comprehend what I think or figure out the secrets lying deep in my soul. But God?! God is never fooled. All things are made evident to the One sitting on the throne.
Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” in other words the hard work and effort you put in will also come out. The results are the truth. For a while we may deceive people, but the fruits of our labor will either validate our character or destroy our reputation.
The only Person never fooled is God. God created our innermost beings. He knows discoveries about us we are left to uncover, which is why the Lord’s blessings for our lives arrives sometimes, in the simplest yet unconventional ways. He knows us best!
Just like a grocer weighing our fruits and vegetables at the store, the Lord God weighs our fruits. The good, the bad, and the rotten. To Him all our deeds and fruits of our behavior are the same, nothing belonging to humanity is pristine and perfect to God, except the righteousness of Jesus Christ gifted to us. Committing our plans to the Lord, first, reveals we have the Lord God as the center focus of our lives. God desires the utmost worship. All glory is due to Him for He is Creator, Deliverer, and Father! Blessings originate from His gracious heart and merciful hand. To surrender the plans of our hearts shows we consider the Lord God’s desires are paramount in our lives; it is not so much God does not want us to be successful. He desires for us to be prosperous in accordance to His Good and Perfect Will. The Lord God is in control of everything. His wisdom and planning supersedes the orchestration of each person’s life on Earth, presenting our plans to the King expresses humility, requesting God to direct the fulfillment of our desires.
Trying to do life without God is a disaster. As Christians, what should we do is entirely separate the Holy Spirit from how we do it. House hunting, and the journey of searching for a new home to buy is changed when a husband and wife come together in pray, asking for the Holy Spirit to show them where to place it.
Presenting our dreams to God, keeps us from becoming too overly obsessed and attached to the dream as well. If every blessing and good thing comes from God, then remember every blessing is on a loan, and we are instructed to be good stewards and take care of our blessings. Whether if it is our husbands, wives, a brand new sports car, or a three-bedroom house. Carelessness towards our blessings demonstrates dishonor and contempt for the God who blessed it. I believe with all of my heart God has placed in each of our hearts, a dream, an incredible life changing yet rigorous purpose, which has the power to transform your life and the lives of your community, workplace, school, and people surrounding you.
What good is it having a dream if you’re not bettering and improving the lives of people around you! A dream is only as selfless and hardworking as the dreamer! Are your ready to sweat?
Although feeding your dreams has its highs and lows, a God ordained dream is established in Christ Jesus. Immovable, no tragic death, broken relationship, financial crisis, demons, Satanic attack, death can remove what the Lord demands to be fulfilled. This is why, Beloved dreams are dedicated first to God. His strength strengthens us to preserve. Self Doubts comes and goes but the Lord God is consistent. He is faithful. When you’re at your worst, the Lord God is there. When you’re at your best, the Lord God is still there. Bring God in on your dream, yes His commands and instructions may get underneath your skin, but God is your biggest supporter and advocate.
He knows what you can handle. Most importantly, God is the only one strong enough to fight against the spirit of Self Doubt. Self Doubt is a mind set, designed to keep people down, and to keep Christian from fulfilling their purpose. On human terms, Christians cannot fight against a spirit in the spiritual realm. All these battles are rooted in higher places hence we rely on our Father in Heaven, and the power of the Holy Spirit to fight these battles, as we submit daily. Speaking of the spiritual this leads us into our next key point.
2. Self Doubt is a Stimulant
A stimulant’s main purpose is to rouse or increase activity in the body, often drugs are seen as stimulants able to encourage heart rate, pressure, and respiratory. Remember, self doubt increases a person’s overall fear of failure, rejection, and faith in themselves to complete specific actions and targets. Self doubt stifles movement and chokes your faith. Each day, self doubt chews away your confidence. Clouding your mind, stalking your joy, eventually it burns your imagination and happiness. Often, depression is the common result. Anxiety, irritability and moodiness, are also expressions of a person consumed by self doubt.
However, I bet your wondering why, I did not say Self Doubt is a depressant. Evidently, self doubt sniffs out our broken spirits and exploits our insecurities. For one major reason, self doubt increases your fears, paranoia, jealousy and all these negative emotions inhabiting your situation, creating this toxic, dark fiesta too many of us unearths in the corner of our minds.
Of course, our biggest Enemy appears when at our lowest. A self esteem destroyer and a perpetual liar, Satan uses our own personal doubts about who we are to keep us from walking in our divine purpose.
So what do we in this terrible situation?
Feed our faith! Instead of feeding self doubt, we feed our spirit. We feed our faith, so self doubt can starve. To know how to fight against self doubt and feed the faith we shall examine scripture closely:
James writes, “14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
James, the writer of the book James, describes the kind of faith which saves. True genuine faith is first reflected in any action. Any person, Christian or non believer can have faith. Many people do. Some have faith in themselves, others faith in their job and careers, some people place their trust in their education or their spouses. Such temporary holders of faith will eventually reap disappointment for the individuals placing their faith in them. Disappointment occurs when we put our faith in anything else but God. God never disappointments. He redirects but never disappoints.
If a person has faith yet has no action accompanying their faith, then what good does the faith do in that person’s lives? Even Christ Jesus who so often prayed to the Father for healing over sick, breaking the bread and fish, and exorcising demons, always left the crowds in awe, because He acted! How much more are we to act? Positive thinking will only do so much. We must act out in faith what the Holy Spirit has put into us.
Renewing our minds is NOT about positive thinking, it is transforming the spirit, the patterns and structure of our mind. This takes faith. Trusting God to do what He will do for our good and for His glory. It is this belief motivating us towork out in obedience the commands the Holy Spirit has laid in our heart. For example, to work against Self Doubt it may take baby steps, so here are a few suggestions.
Here are ways to feed your faith and starve your self doubt!
- Exercise Daily: (take about 10 minutes) stretch your limbs or go for your walk, when you feel good, you think of yourself in a more favorable light. Taking care of your body, shows you respect the way God made you. Start off small. Do only what you can, another way is to alter your eating patterns and eat portion sizes.
- A giant suggestion is to find ways for you to make you feel good about yourself and way God made you.
- Be Among Like Minded Individuals: Like minded individuals are not misery filled people. When I say like minded, I mean people who like to grow, read, invest in their mental and emotional health, it does not always mean drinking and overeating. Signs of when you are in good company are honest people encourage you to do what is right, even when you do not feel like doing the right thing. Another aspect is the amount of complaining, if you’re around people who complain and do nothing, then escape from this group, consistently breeding activity is an opportunity to become cynical. Finally, good company supports your endeavor to grow spiritually, flourish in your Christian life. A lot of times growth means leaving behind the friends of your past.
- Healthy Habits: Healthy habits are often old things we all do in the past that have been forgotten. Since, I am older and presumably wiser, I can honestly it is not that we as humans don’t have time to do the things of which we love, we only need to make time for it. Consider what your talents are and reinvest in them. Train yourself to fall in love with what you can do and stop comparing yourself to what you can’t do!
- Read: What novels do you like to read? If you do not want to read anymore novels, try reading anything catching your eye or informational texts stimulating your mind.
- Write: Write out your emotions. Want some insight, one of the biggest reasons I write A Meeting at the Well is because I need an emotional and mental outlet. I need a way for me to express my pain and trauma without feeling like I am being judged or condemned. Writing is a form of healing for myself as well.
- Draw: My whole family has some form of artistic capabilities. In the past I drew so much, daring myself to explore my imagination, I encourage you get into something artistic and creative. If it is music, pursue an instrument or drawing.
- Clean: Clean your appearance. This is a big one for me, I know when I am growing depressed and my disposition grows darker then it is reflected physically especially in my surroundings. My room gets messy or is messy.
- Serve: Serve others, I know this sounds weird, but putting others before ourselves is a great way to give back and reconnect with people who are in our past or new people God desires to bring into our lives. Look for opportunities to pass out food, flyers, volunteer, or do things for other people. The spirit of giving is a great way to invigorate our soul.
- Join a Cause: Join a “worthy” cause, anything which causes you to not be as self centered.
- Find a Church Home or go back to church: The church is a hospital for the brokenhearted. It is not a judgment center. God created this ministry with the purpose to nourish, heal, and save the lost people of the world. A great aspect of a church home is Christian fellowship, Christian fellowship prays, loves, and gives great advice.
These are only a few suggestions, there are so many other ways for you to fight against Self Doubt in the Spirit of God and if you listen to the Holy Spirit. He will give you specific commands to help you overcome self doubt. Also remember it is the Holy Spirit’s power and our obedience, alienating the stronghold self doubt has over us, it is not merely our actions or our strengths. The purpose is to starve self doubt and revive who we are in Christ Jesus. We’re redeemed. We’re victorious. So much of self doubt resembles a broken defeated life.
A healthy lifestyle definitely takes a while to create, six months to maintain, and a whole year to live by, however we do not seek a transformation in our lives, if it was easy. Only because a new life is worth it. The only question remaining is do you believe in where you have placed your faith? Do you believe God is a liar? We know God is always faithful and full of truth. Faith is action and we should be quick to move, to validate our faith.
I hope this blog post was helpful and beneficial! I pray the Lord God spoke to you through this post as well! Don’t be afraid to share your comments.
- Where do your place your faith in people, things, education, or abilities? And why?
- What is your dream? Why do you want to see your dream fulfilled? Are your intentions pure?
- What are some practical steps you must take in order for you to see your dream realized and overcome self doubt?