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.
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.
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.