Let me be completely honest and authentic with you. Right now I am living the life I prayed for. A happy family of three living in a cozy, pretty home. We spend weekends cooking delicious food and listening to music, taking country drives. Despite all of what happened in my past, my past could not stop God’s blessing for me. In so many ways my life is flourishing. I have never been happier or had more confidence.
Still…my inner critic has a long way to go. I have accepted God’s grace for my past sins and mistakes. I no longer revisit them. God has redeemed me completely and fully. However, I have days where I am running a cruel tape of self doubt about my abilities. I cannot even begin to tell you how far I have come, but I still have so far to go in this area. Women who have experienced past abuse are much more prone to have this vicious inner voice. In addition to this, I have always had a personality that strives for more. From a young age I never let myself truly rest. One of my strengths is my ability to audit, critique, and make something good into something excellent, to add beauty and elevate projects and spaces to another level. My personality type coupled with a past of abuse and divorce is a double hit for self doubt and inner criticism.
My husband and I had an in-depth conversation about this because frankly it bothers him when I doubt myself and pick myself apart. John pointed out that on my blog I share how Christ brings about true transformation. He told me this negative inner voice is another area I need to turn over to Christ for transformation. In fact, he told me in a caring but firm way this negative inner tape of self doubt holds me back from reaching a new level of joy, confidence, and career growth.
As a working mom, I run a tape of negativity if I miss a minor school event for business travel. I didn’t get to take my son to the book fair, am I a good enough mom? (I forget about everything I sacrificed as a single mom to make sure my son had a happy, health home environment.)
Am I still attractive? I am only 34 and my hair would be solid gray if I didn’t go to the salon every month. (I forget about the fact that I see the beauty in other women and think other women with gray hair look lovely.)
There are so many negative thoughts that stem from past hurts, rejections, and cruel words. Unfortunately, it is easy to find ourselves in social or work environments where there are vicious, callous people. Sad but true.
About two years ago, after my prayer time, I felt led to ban all fashion magazines. I have noticed a big boost in self confidence. Looking at unrealistic standards was not serving my higher good. It was a toxic way to spend my precious free time. After cutting out fashion magazines, I experienced a huge boost in my self confidence. You may be led to do something entirely different.
“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” -Happy Place
I have come so far by God’s grace but I still have a way to go.
As I shared, giving my troubles to God while meditating on Psalms 37 is very therapeutic for me. So I am going to take this same approach with all of my negative inner thoughts that I need to let go.
John suggested I write them down each day as they arise, pray and give them to God, and then burn them for a flair of drama. That process of writing down and then letting go is what works for me.
It goes without saying that it is God’s will for us to dwell on what is good, right, what brings peace, is lovely, and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
I truly believe God is capable of changing me and soon enough I will be set free from negative inner talk. (Philippians 1:6) Faith and prayer, and turning things over to God produces results. (James 5:16)
Maybe you deal with a negative inner critic? Or maybe you need to let go of something else right now? Either way, make sure your foundation is strong. Know that God is pleased with you and you are already a success. I am praying for you and you can pray for me as I work on overcoming.