A New Month and Struggling with Self-Doubt

You ever wish there was a pill you could swallow and your whole life would magically morph into what you’ve always imagined it should be? Yea, me too. The thing about our imaginations, though, is that they are never as good as the best possible outcome, so creating the life we imagine is actually quite limiting.

2021 is flying by much faster than its predecessor. We’re almost halfway through the year, and yet, not much has changed for me. One thing that has changed, though, is I am in a much better mental state than I was in January. With that, comes the clarity of self-doubt.

For much of last year, and the beginning of this one, my mind was clouded in so much anxiety that I couldn’t see much else. Surviving day-to-day was the only thing I could do. I showed up here, and that kept me moving, but moving and moving forward are not the same. All of my writing is cloaked in self-doubt and fear. I’ve decided to stop making (or not making) decisions out of fear, but that is still more a practice than a one-time decision. What can I do in the next seven months to push myself forward? What do I want my life to look like?

I was on a call yesterday regarding a program that could alter the way my career looks… the way my life looks. After the call ended, I sat and thought through all the things I was afraid of about joining the program and emptying my savings to pay for it. One of the things that came to mind as I was talking to myself and God was that none of the things I am most proud of have come out of my jobs. The things I have been most proud of, the things that have made me feel the most accomplished, are the things that have come out of my creative work.

My work is covered in self-doubt, wrapped up in fear, and that’s a large part of why I haven’t finished self-publishing the book I’ve been working on the past couple of years. The manuscript is done. It needs cover art and interior formatting and ISBNs and to be published. It needs my confidence rather than my fear. I don’t hold the delusion that this one book is going to make me a famous author. What I do know is publishing this book successfully will give me the confidence to publish the next one and the next, and at some point I will have the shelf full of books with my name on them that I’ve always imagined.

I am stuck in some logistical things, so I can’t say it’s all doubt and fear holding me back, but the doubt and fear help to keep me from creating a solution for the logistical speed bumps. Getting over those humps means I have no excuse not to finish what I’ve started (and have been talking about for months). The truth is, I’ve been afraid to really invest in publishing this book. I’ve been treating it as a hobby rather than a starting point in creating the life I want, the first building block, if you will.

It’s kind of ironic that the book is about making my voice heard, and I’ve been so afraid of being loud in creating it. Being loud draws attention, and I’ve been hiding. Hiding from judgment, hiding from my responsibility to use my gifts, hiding from myself. Making decisions from a place of fear has held me back in significant ways, and I don’t want to do that anymore. I know I will have days where I feel inadequate and unsuitable, but I can’t accept those narratives as the basis for my decisions anymore. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy—I’ve been making fear-based decisions most of my life—what I am saying, though, is I’m starting to understand the risk is worth it. Putting myself out into the world is worth it. It has to be.

I was offered what seemed to be a pill that would make my life better. And it might have, but I think it would’ve done so in a way that is inauthentic to who I was created to be… to who I am becoming. The fact that I even recognize that is growth.

Thank you for hanging in here with me. Whether you’ve been here from the beginning, or you’ve just recently found my space, I appreciate you hearing me.

Happy… -ing!

Angie Smith: What Women Fear

I don’t often write about books I read as devotionals on this blog—I usually leave that for Insert Adventist—but this book spoke to me on so many levels that I had to share.

I’d never before read a book that I identified with so much. I have talked about the anxiety I experience over on the second site, and although I am learning how to articulate my emotions more effectively, I’ve spent a lot of years not knowing how to describe what I’m feeling.

There were several instances where she would describe her fear—especially the fear she had as a child—and I would have an “it’s me, it’s me!” moment. And it wasn’t so much that I was excited about the fear she was describing, but I finally felt like someone else knew what I was experiencing and could actually put it into words. There were quite a few tears during the first half of the book.

One thing I really appreciated in this book was Angie’s honesty. She was honest about the fact that having faith in God doesn’t make every fear go away. She said that it’s more of a balancing act—leaning into God and away from fear.

This book didn’t solve any of my problems, but it did encourage me to seek out ways to figure out how to better manage them and to ask for help with things that are beyond my ability to control. And it’s scary sometimes, accepting that I can’t do it all on my own, but I also know I’m not alone.

Since I am neither married nor a parent, there were parts that I could not relate to, but overall I found this book to be very helpful. It is a book that I may actually read again, and I certainly don’t do that often.

If you’re looking for a discussion of fear and anxiety from a faith-based perspective, this may be the read for you. She talks about fear experienced on different levels—as a child, as an adult, as a mother, as a woman. She talks about the fear that her mom would die if she left her side as well as the heartbreak of losing one of her own children.

This book could not have come at a better time for me. And honestly, I still have no clue how it ended up on my Overdrive wish list, but I’m glad it was there.

What book are you reading (or have read recently) that had you in your feelings and encouraged to seek change in your life? Let me know. And as always…

Happy Reading!