How to Thrive in the Face of Fear and Self-Doubt
Fear, self-doubt and self-judgement seems to sabotage so many of us. In whatever area we are trying to change in our lives, fear, self-doubt and self-judgement are the limiting factors that reach up and tear us down most often. At least that is the case for me and many of the other people I talk to.
I have recently been geeking out on some documentaries. The latest one I have been watching is called iThrive. It is a documentary on obesity and diabetes. It’s a fascinating and heartbreaking documentary on how obesity and type 2 diabetes have become a pandemic in our world.
The name of the host and creator of the docuseries is Jon McMahon. At the start of the documentary he shares his story of his battle with being morbidly obese and having type 2 diabetes. He has diabetic neuropathy, has suffered a silent heart attack and struggles with many of the other symptoms that go along with obesity and diabetes.
When he started on the journey of self-discovery of trying to overcome the dreaded disease of diabesity (the combination of diabetes and obesity), his biggest battle was overcoming fear, self-doubt and self-judgement. He didn’t know if he had what it would take to get healthy. He was scared of failing, because he had tried so many times before to get healthy and never had any sustainable success.
I have never struggled with my weight a day in my life and I have never struggled with type 2 diabetes, but that doesn’t mean Jon’s story doesn’t resonate with the deepest part of my soul.
No matter who we are, we all face demons in our lives. Mine just happens to have never been about weight loss. That isn’t my personal struggle. It may be yours and I know from working with hundreds of clients over the years who are struggling to lose weight how challenging it can be. The inner voice of fear, self-doubt and self-judgement seems to rear its ugly head just when you think you have everything mastered. It’s really sneaky that way.
So what’s my battle if it isn’t weight loss? It’s believing in myself enough that I can step into the leadership role that God is asking me to take. To be the inspired leader of a movement of men who want to become Spiritual Warriors. For the life of me I want to keep playing small, because it’s safe. I am full of fear, self-doubt and self-judgement.
My coach, Kimberly Dawson, spoke these words into my heart that shook me to my core. “The safe life isn’t safe because it destroys us.” I experienced that in my pharmaceutical career. It was safe, but my soul was filled with smoldering discontent. It literally was destroying me despite all of the tangible benefits. I knew it wasn’t my life’s purpose.
Overcoming fear, self-doubt and self-judgement is a daily battle for me. The voices inside my head aren’t always kind. In fact they are downright brutal some times.
So how am I going to overcome this battle of self-doubt and flip it on its head so I can fully step into being the inspired leader that God is asking me to be?
PRACTICE SELF LOVE
The first step is to practice self-love. As a self-confessed perfectionist for the majority of my life I have become really good at beating myself up. For the slightest mistake or failure I would ruminate over it to the point it would destroy all of my joy. I would get caught in this relentless trap of being hypercritical of myself. I would literally beat myself up with my words.
I am learning to give myself grace when I don’t do things perfectly. To be more vulnerable and know I can show up in the world less than perfect. I am finally getting to the point in my life where I don’t need any external validation from anyone. I know my identity is in Jesus.
SEE YOURSELF THE WAY GOD SEES YOU
The second step is to see ourselves the way God sees us. Why is this so hard to do? Why do we focus on our flaws instead of all of our gifts? Why do we focus on our weaknesses and not our strengths? What if we actually believed everything that God says about us?
Until I start to see myself the way God sees me, I will not be the inspired leader that I am called to be. I will not make the impact in the world that God wants me to make. It’s so easy to believe the lies of the enemy instead of the truth of God.
TAKE A CHANCE ON YOURSELF
The third step to overcoming self-doubt is to start to take chances. To overcome fear, self-doubt and self-judgement and live from a place of inspiration instead of trying to control our world requires risk. It requires putting ourselves in a position of vulnerability and daring greatly with failure as a very real possibility.
When we practice self-love, see ourselves the way God sees us and start taking chances is when we will lead the lives that make us feel fully alive. Not for our own benefit, but for the benefit of humanity.
The people who are most fully alive are the ones who are living a life of adventure, purpose and vitality. That is what I want for you no matter what battle you are facing whether it be weight loss, finances, career, relationships or any other challenge. I want you to know, you are not alone. There is power in community.
As Spiritual Warriors, let’s unite. Let’s come together to change ourselves so we can change the world all for the glory of God.
Troy Ismir, MS
Spiritual Warrior Coach