I have been struggling a lot with self-doubt lately. Anyone else?
Let’s be honest and put it out into the light. How to conquer self-doubt is a lesson that would benefit even the most self confident of us.
How to Conquer Self-Doubt
If you are looking for one of those uplifting, build you up so that you can conquer your dreams article, you are at the wrong blog. On the same hand, if you are looking for one of those encouraging “yes, mama, you are doing a good job in spite of what everyone is telling you” posts then this is not for you either. However, I have written one like that which I would love to share with you here at “Dear Defeated Mom”
Social media is full of helpful and not so helpful advice. Every topic is covered and explained and you are forced to agree or disagree. You have people in your face telling you that you can be whoever you want to be and in the next breath telling you that you are doing it all wrong.
Can I stop for a minute and be completely honest?
I want to do it all! I want to be an awesome homeschooling mom with a clean house (decorated for each season), cooking organically with the veggies I grow from my own garden. My kids should be extra smart as proof that I’m doing a good job teaching them. Our days should be filled with fun learning activities and our struggles should be minimal.
How about this blog that I dearly love and pour my heart into? Should I have expectations for it? Shall I compare it to the woman who has 2,000 or 5,000 or 20,000 followers? I thoroughly enjoy my lessons from home family! Why do I feel pressure to make it better when sitting beside the accomplished money-making blogger?
What about my marriage? When was the last time we had a date? Did I hear my husband when he was telling me something that was important to him or did I give a quick nod and run off to make dinner? Do I give him a priority in the busyness I call my everyday life?
The kids are just as complicated. What did I do wrong that sweet Baby Joel doesn’t sleep through the night? Caleb is portraying all the growing pains of a preteen, some of which completely baffles me. Micah acts as if he doesn’t get enough attention-EVER.
Do you hear the craziness that swirls around in my head? So many areas for my self doubt to sneak in. Parenting, schooling, marriage, work and these are just inside my family. I haven’t yet mentioned things like have I been a good friend or simply self-absorbed?
The constant question of am I good enough and am I doing enough never ever leaves my mind. These doubts and fears are stealing my happiness!
Each article that drifts my way on the topic tells me to chase those thoughts away as they are not productive, nor are they from God. These thoughts need to be taken captive by positive thinking and prayer. You can read my post about overcoming self-doubt with faith but I want to take a different route with this post. Could it, just maybe, be possible that my self-doubt is trying to tell me something?
Learning how to Conquer Self-Doubt begins with Recognizing if it is Harmful??
Self-doubt is harmful when it causes you to fear the choices you make or move forward on important decisions. We will always have those question marks hanging over us. If we don’t take chances, make large purchases, or embrace life changes we miss out. You already know this.
The negative side of self-doubt for me is caused by comparing myself with others.
This is dangerous and can cause my thoughts to spiral down quickly. It begins quietly, with a single sentence or blog post, even a commercial or an innocent comment by a friend. It is never caused by people yelling at me or telling me I’m doing a bad job. This is completely mine to own.
The mom that has it all together, working full time while raising kids and taking fun vacations. The homeschool mom who is brave enough to embrace unschooling-running through the woods with her kids and trekking all over the country, allowing her offspring to learn through experience. The homesteader who makes her own soap, sews her curtains, and sells items at the farmers market all with a toddler at her knees and a baby on her back.
These women should impress and inspire me and yet I look inward and compare myself to them. My accomplishments suddenly become not enough. I doubt that I’m useful or adequate. They appear to be more productive-achieving their goals AND loving their families. Maybe I should work and contribute to the finances? Why don’t I know how to sew? What creative field trips can we take this year?
You get the idea. Do you do this too or am I the only crazy one here?
These are the thoughts that need to be chased away. This self-doubt is negative and will destroy your day.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Comparing ourselves to others leads to self-doubt, envy and discontent. That is why Paul says to think on things that are true, just,honest, pure and good!
Learn how to Overcome Self-Doubt by Giving it an Honest Look
The positive side of self-doubt is when you are forced to take a look at yourself.
I don’t mean a pity party kind of look at yourself. I mean a realistic, logical, take a deep breath and observe your life for a moment. There are times when our negative feelings are a result of us getting off track and God pushing us back onto the correct path.
Am I homeschooling correctly? For us, yes. We are enjoying our days (well, most of the subjects!) and the kids are happy and good-natured during our classes. Perhaps I have forgotten why I chose to homeschool in the first place. It is time to refocus and be sure my goals are being met.
Why can’t I be like the women who do it all? Because I’m me! Perhaps it is time to ask for help. Or maybe it is time to prioritize my list of “should be able to” and focus on what is important for MY family. I need to refocus on what I should be doing right now, in this moment. Usually, that “should be” is much simpler than we think it is.
Lastly, sometimes self-doubt needs to show itself so we can let it go. We need to recognize what is troubling us, make the necessary adjustments, and then stop dwelling on it. I just made it sound simpler than it really is, but these thoughts gain power in the secret dwellings of our minds. Bring them out to the open and confess them. Release yourself of their strength.
How to Conquer Self-Doubt
I mentioned to a sweet friend that I compare myself to others too often and she sent this to me. It makes so much sense!
Can you relate? Do you have advice on how do you conquer self-doubt? I’d love for hear it in the comments. Do you have any verses that encourage you through your negative thoughts?
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