Ginny Kochis explains how to train your brain to turn off the feelings of self-doubt.
Hey there, lady. If you’re reading this, I bet you and I share a frustrating secret:
We’re both plagued by crippling self-doubt.
Yep - I thought so, and that’s why I decided to write this letter. You aren’t alone in your struggle to believe in the goodness God gave you and I wanted you to know.
However, this letter is not just a missive of solidarity. It’s also part motivation, too. Because God created you to be His unique and unrepeatable daughter. You owe it to yourself and your heavenly Father to stop believing you aren’t strong enough (remember Philippians 4:13?).
To get both of us out of this quagmire, I have two questions I’d like to ask. The first one occurred to me this morning while folding my 19th load of ever-present laundry:
When exactly did you start doubting yourself?
It’s a simple question with a moving target for an answer. Because take me, for example: as a child, I was exceptionally strong-willed. I knew what I wanted and I had no doubt I would achieve it. Somewhere around middle school, though, I stalled out.
I'm going to make a big assumption and guess that like me, you haven’t always questioned your self-worth.
- You were pretty proud of yourself for that pinch pot you made in kindergarten.
- You were nervous but confident during soccer tryouts in 5th grade.
- You put your name in for class president.
- You auditioned for the orchestra.
- You wrote that paper on pro-life issues for the scary sociology professor (you know: He Who Must Not Be Named).
So what happened? Do you remember? Was it a single incident or more than one? That confidence and self-worth is still in there, friend, it’s just buried - a perennial waiting for the thaw.
All of this leads to my second question:
Whose voice has taken residence in your head?
Because God’s voice desires only to console and encourage you. When God challenges you, He does so because His will for you is growth.
On the other hand, self-doubt and deprecation are desolations. They simply aren’t a thought of God. They want to keep your light under a basket and your path away from God’s plan for you.
When you think to yourself, "I’m not capable; I’m not worth it," none of that is true.
So - final question:
How do you dig yourself out of this desolation?
How do you turn down and turn off the self-doubt?
Well, the first thing is to apply a little brain training to the equation.
When that voice says you aren’t worth it or can’t accomplish something, you replace it with a positive thought. (Instead of: I’m a terrible mom and I’ve ruined my children, say I’m having a hard moment and with God’s help we’ll be all right.)
- Once you’ve got that down, start looking for positive reinforcement.
- Go back to a hobby or talent you loved and pick it up again.
- Find and display evidence of your accomplishments.
- Turn off social media and any other triggers that assail you.
- Set aside time and space for yourself.
Friend, there is a reason God put you on this planet. He believes in and has a plan for you. The doubt you carry is a weight you don’t have to deal with.
There is so much more to you than self-doubt.
Copyright 2021 Ginny Kochis
Image: Unsplash (2020)