Day 29 of my 40 Day blog Challenge (I found out today that Lent this year has more than 40 days, it has 46!! So my 40 Day Challenge is actually a 46 Day Challenge!!), who knew?! And if you did, why didn’t you tell me! 😉 This means there is plenty more room for your contributions 🙂
Today we have a lovely story from Susie about overcoming serious self-doubt:
I overcame self-doubt
Seriously, I think that as you grow, people’s perception of you can have a big impact on how you see yourself. As I grew up, surrounded by a family that had very little expectation of me, and not being pushed to do well at school or in any area, I never really had any confidence in myself or my abilities.
Added to that, I am not naturally competitive, I am fairly gentle and meek inside, which meant that I was pretty easy to bully or pick on.
I ended up spending years, not believing in myself, and most of my friendships were based on me looking for affirmation from people, and not often getting it. I was the recipient of many put downs and comments that led me to believe that I would never amount to much. These feelings of self doubt were compounded by fear, and sometimes I wouldn’t leave the house, I dreaded the school run and the feelings used to consume me.
Several years ago, things started to change, I had been overweight and I managed to lose a considerable amount; I became slimmer than some of those friends. They didn’t like it and my friendships became strained. I started to realise that some of those friendships that I relied upon, were not actually with people that wanted the best for me. Then as a family, we had some difficulties and whereas once, I would have confided in those friends, I realised that I actually couldn’t.
It was a lonely journey, working through those difficult times, we just had to get our head down and get through, and I’m thankful that we did, and we are all a lot stronger. During that time, I started to work for myself. I had very little confidence in my abilities but I kept going, knowing that the only way forward was to try and carve a better future for us as a family, along with my husband. I had to stop listening to the voices of doubt and keep going, even though the fear of failure and self doubt were screaming at me like a raging banshee. I also knew that if I shared what I was doing with certain people, they would ‘pee all over my fireworks’, so I kept quiet and just plodded along.
Over the last few years, especially the last two, I have become liked and respected locally in my trade. I started to earn enough money to actually bring our family into a comfortable place. Recently, I had to figure out all of my earnings, and it was much more than I had thought. I was so pleased with myself. I felt like I had been climbing a mountain in the fog, got to a high point and someone had said to me, “Now turn around and look at the view”.
I am really pleased to be able to say that I have a lot more courage now and very little self doubt. I see myself differently, this comes form listening to a God who, I think, has brought me into this spacious place of freedom, but also from an understanding that how we think about ourselves has such a bearing on how we shape our lives. I’m glad to say that I have all of my old friendships in tact, I do love my friends, but I had to change the dynamics of the relationships, and their opinions of me now hold less weight.
There is a quote that has kept me going:
“The voice inside that says “you can’t” is a liar.”
It’s my reference point whenever I start to doubt myself, and it pushes me forward.