What To Do When You Disappoint Yourself

What To Do When I Disappoint Myself

Kristin left this comment on my post on What To Do When You Disappoint Someone:

Honestly, it’s myself that I am always disappointed with; I wish I were friendlier, skinnier, and less grey. I go to bed every night feeling like I’ve failed my children and my husband and my Lord, random strangers on the internet, and probably my in-laws, too.

But I’m just not perfect. Not even half the time. I’ve been trying to ease up on that internal critic lately and I think I’ve been sleeping better. -Kristin

Kristin, can I just tell you that you are so not alone in this? I spent years of my life disappointed with myself… that I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, funny enough, eloquent enough, confident enough, and on and on it went. No matter what I did or didn’t do, I’d be frustrated with myself that it wasn’t enough.

I’d regularly think, “If only I were more this or that, then people would like me.” I was my own worst critic for years and I wholeheartedly believed the lies that my head told me that I wasn’t good enough.

What you believe determines how you live and these beliefs held me back from so many different things. From close friendships, from opportunities, from stepping outside my comfort zone, and much more. I lived in fear, guilt, insecurity, and shame, always feeling like I didn’t measure up and was a perpetual failure.

The past few years have been years of major transformation for me. It wasn’t an overnight change, but a gradual process of growing and healing. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been so good.

Also? It’s incredibly encouraging to realize that I’m not the same girl I was a few years ago. Yes, I might still struggle with insecurity from time to time (and if you read this post, you’ll know that I’m definitely a work in progress!), but I feel much more healed and whole.

I no longer see myself as a misfit who isn’t good enough. Instead, I believe with all my heart that I’m beautiful in God’s eyes. I know in the depths of my soul that He’s created me for a specific purpose. In Him, I’m whole, loved, and 100% enough.

I don’t have to strive to be someone I’m not. I don’t have to work hard to change my personality. I am enough… exactly as I am.

What To Do When I Disappoint Myself

This new-found confidence and wholeness has permeated all areas of my life. It’s inspired me to step outside my comfort zone and love doing things I thought I would never, ever, ever do (hello, public speaking!).

It’s produced so much more depth of joy and fulfillment in the my life. And, best of all, it’s given me courage to be authentic and vulnerable in relationships. This has resulted some really deep and dear friendships with people who love me for exactly who I am and who challenge and encourage me to be the best version of me I can be.

Here are some specific things that have helped me on this journey:

1. Recognize the Lies

The biggest transformation started for me when I began to call out the lies I was allowing to swirl around in my head. “I don’t measure up.” “I’m not good enough.” “I’m a failure.” “No one likes me.”

These are all things I’ve allowed myself to believe in the past… and every single one of them is a lie. That’s a strong word, but when I began to recognize these things as lies, it started me on the path to being able to change the way I viewed myself.

2. Refuse to Believe the Lies

I made a commitment two years ago to stop believing the lies. For me, this meant that every time a thought popped into my head that was something about me not being good enough or being a failure, I immediately made myself say, “That’s a lie.”

There was something utterly life-impacting in naming these statements as lies instead of believing them and allowing them to taunt me as truths. This exercise caused me to stop beating myself up over something that wasn’t true.

What To Do When I Disappoint Myself

3. Replace the Lies

It’s not enough to just recognize the lies and refuse to believe them. I had to take it one step further and replace these lies with truth.

It might sound silly or weird, but I actually make myself speak phrases of truth any time I start hearing lies swirling in my head. If I start to think, “I’m just not talented enough.” I’d immediately make myself say, “No, that’s a lie.” And then replace that lie with a truth.

So in that particular case, I might say something like, “I may not have the gifts that so-and-so does, but God has gifted me in these areas. He loves me just the way I am and wants me to embrace who He has made me to be instead of wishing I had different gifts and talents.”

This simple act has revolutionized my thought life — and my entire life. It was a lot of work at first, but it has now become second nature to me to replace the lies with truth. Not only that, but I’ve realized that I’ve had a lot fewer lies swirling around in my head because I know and believe the truth in the core of my being.

What you think determines how you act. So make sure that you are filling your mind up with truth… and that truth with set you free! Free to no longer live in shame, guilt, and insecurity but to walk in confidence, fulfillment, and joy.

Note: If you struggle with insecurity and/or guilt, I encourage you to get a copy of my new book, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. In it, I share my story of hitting rock bottom as a result of trying to please and impress people. The book not only chronicles my personal struggles and journey over the past few years, but gives you practical and actionable steps you can take to replace your own fears and insecurity with confidence. Pre-order your copy here.

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  1. West says

    Great reminder to not let negative thoughts win! Thanks for a warm, insightful post.

    One thing that’s really helped me, that I read in a Buddhist book, is to label the thoughts as exactly that. This could be about angry thoughts, self-defeating thoughts, any kind of thoughts. So when you think something like, “I’m so worthless,” label it to yourself as, “Having a thought about being worthless.” Or if you find yourself being angry at a coworker or family member, instead of “I hate so and so,” label it as “having a thought about being angry at so and so.” It really helps you realize how much of these things are just thoughts, not reality.

  2. Roma says

    When the enemy makes me feel guilty I think of scriptures and go and pray asking God to search me. I have changed so much since putting my faith in Jesus Christ. I truly am no longer the same. Although the old me will creep every now and then but that too brings me to my knees. I know God is still working in my life and chiseling out the imperfections. I am a work in progress. I have a dear friend that God has brought into my life that will be honest from a biblical stand point. When someone says something that is unkind I go and search God to see if what this person said is true or are they just being ugly. Sometimes they are true but I like to think that God is allowing this person to show me the areas I still need to work on. Everyday I am to strive to be more like Christ. Praise God He is still working in my life. Thanks for this post!

  3. says

    I’ve always struggled with that insecurity with my writing efforts. Despite all that, God keeps pushing me to write. So the truth I replace all the “I’m not good enoughs” with is, for some reason God wants me to do this. He must see something in me that I don’t see yet. So I do my best to press on.

  4. Ann says

    Thank you for writing this. I’m going to stash this away for one of those days when I feel like I fail at everything.

    Too bad you can’t have the Casting Crowns song “Voice of Truth” playing while people read this post!

  5. Michele says

    Crystal, thank you so much for sharing this. It was just what I needed today. Most of the time I don’t feel like I measure up. Today has been an especially bad day. Whether it be at work, or with the moms at my son’s preschool, or just being a mom in general. I can totally relate to feeling not thin enough, not friendly enough (I’m shy), just not enough period. I know I need to replace these lies with God’s truth but it seems like the negativity always wins out. This coming year I am really going to try hard to overcome this. I know it won’t happen overnight, it will be a gradual process. This post was very encouraging to me. Thanks again for sharing!!

    • says

      {Hugs!} I want you to know that I prayed specifically for you today… that God would give you the courage to stop believing the lies and start claiming the truth in the days and weeks ahead.

      You are loved, you are forgiven, you are beautiful. In God’s eyes, you are enough.

  6. Martina says

    Might also add, to separate yourself from people that causes this kind of feelings in you, its no good when you have to pretend the be a different person, which you are not. I feel bad every time I go to my homeschool fellowship because we are not the well-off people, the ones with the nice car, nor the ones that can send their kids 3 days into the co-op program which cost 200$ per child/month. This post is just another encouragement to me, to break off the chains.

  7. Kathy says

    Thank you….I hope to make changes because I am missing out on so much….I have gained so much weight because of the same things you talk about and then I feel worse about myself….thank you for writing and posting.

  8. Sarah says

    I was recently told there are two sides to pride – the boastful arrogant side that we all know, and this other side. The “I’m not good enough, I can’t measure up” side. We tend to spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on me, myself and I. Or, at least I do! =)

  9. Vicky says

    Thank you so much for writing on this subject. I have always had to deal with my negative self talk and recently I started challenging myself every time I said something unkind. It does take a lot of work as far as catching myself. I was really sad when I noticed how much I do talk negative to myself. You are right, it is all lies. I wouldn’t like someone else to say not so nice things to or about me so why do I allow myself to do just that? Once again, thank you!

  10. Becki says

    As Christmas is quickly approaching and I accomplished probably less than half of what I wanted to and let my kids down countless times, this was an article I needed to read. In light of celebrating Christ’s birth, do I really need to complete this list or do I need to spend time with Him? May I stop just beating myself up over my shortcomings and look to the One who loved me enough to be born as a baby and die for me!

  11. says

    Beautifully expressed! Thank you so much for shedding light on this widespread struggle. May I also suggest a four-part series I recently posted on the same subject? http://adivineencounter.com/say-goodbye-to-that-girl
    So much of our self-disappointment comes from our tendency to compare ourselves with others. The steps I suggest for overcoming this tendency are very similar to yours; however, I do think knowing the truth first is essential in our ability to recognize the lies.
    Thank you so much for your vital ministry of encouragement. God uses you to bless many!

  12. says

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I love your specific steps… I recently started recognizing the “lies” in my head and decided I should treat them as such. I plan to make “truth cards” to help make what’s real a part of my regular thinking.

    If your book addresses these issues in more depth, I’ll definitely be getting a copy! Thank you! :)

  13. says

    What you think determines how you act.- Genius statement!

    I’m dealing with teens and pre-teens now and this will be in my next pep talk!
    Loved this- great job Crystal!

    • Nicole says

      This article was just what I needed to hear. I’m always thinking about the blogs I read and all these creative people and..yes…the duggars….during the day and it makes me feel like a huge failure all the time. I am really trying not to feel this way but it seems like every few days I start getting into that feeling like I’m really not doing everything I’m suppossed to be doing. I’m constantly feeling disorganized..and it’s so hard to make myself a schedule because my husband has weird hours and his schedule is never the same. Our upstairs is just one large room so with our three children (3 and under) it has been very hard to be able to get up early without waking them up. For some reason my 3 year old has been super cranky lately. We currently don’t have a church and we have’nt for awhile. I can’t drive because I didn’t have my lisensce when we got married and between possible moves and the lack of money I still don’t have it. That and more including my “four month postpartum” body are just discouraging me day after day. If its not one thing its another. Reading these comments and article were just what I needed and I may have to bookmark it to remind myself that IM NOT THE ONLY ONE. Thank you so much.

  14. Alysia says

    I will try to remember this post, but for some of us it is a lot harder than just repeating a mantra to make it better. I am kind of a difficult person because I struggle with control and plans and having things go my way. For example tonight my husband is annoyed with me because I wont let our 5 yr old spend the night with her cousin. I have been at work all day and I haven’t seen her since last night when she went to bed. I HATE last minute plans and I miss her! But instead of understanding that this is how I am and always have been, he’s rolling his eyes at me etc. and my sister in law is making fun of how I won’t let her stay the night. Now I feel like if I were just more easy-going or relaxed, they wouldn’t be annoyed with me. So it’s also a lot of not measuring up to someone’s expectations and being disappointed in yourself because I’m not what others want me to be. So next time, I will probably fake like I am ok with the last minute plans or not getting to see her just to avoid all this. It’s a lot easier than feeling like you’re not what someone wants you to be!

  15. Shelley says

    You are so wise.
    I so look forward to these types of post on your blog.
    I find them relatable and alway encouraging.
    Thank you

  16. Anna says

    The best thing I learned this year is that nowhere in the Bible does God ever say He is disappointed in something we’ve done or not done. He is displeased by sin but never disappointed in us. So why should I be disappointed in myself? I am doing my best to remember that and to teach that to my young children.

  17. says

    I loved this post.I am a victim of deep rooted insecurities.I fight these demons on daily basis sometimes.I am more blessed the 70% people around me and yet I am always eyeing my inadequacies.You said replace the lies.You know what stops me from taking this one step?The fact that I have seen just so many people around me lying to themselves to boost their own egos and inflated sense of self importance.The results are ugly so I don’t want to be that.As a result I end up on other side of the spectrum.Any advice for this problem would be welcome and much appreciated.

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