I have thought it before, and still do at times. I see a fellow blogger and friend get chosen for an opportunity that I would have liked, and the first thought that triggers an avalanche of negative others is, “What’s wrong with me that I wasn’t chosen? Am I not good enough?”
But what if I told you I’ve written my post 3 times? As in, I have 3 distinctly different drafts written for the one that was due today. None of them made it here. This one did.
The reason there are 3 drafts is not because I’m a terrific writer, but more like a terrified one. And it’s failure I’m afraid of. And the problem with fear is that it’s not from God.
What if I told you I feel like a tidal wave of self-doubt has overwhelmed me, and rather than be writing right now, I want to run and hide my words? Would you still think being an Allume blogger makes me better than you? Oh, I hope not, friend. I hope that you find I’m just a person like you. I’m a women who still struggles with self-doubt, comparison, distraction, and competition.
I confessed it to a friend, though it scared me to, “I have a love-hate relationship with being a contributor or guest posting because I feel pressure to please and perform. The numbers, the Facebook likes and shares, tweets and pins, they show everyone, and boast my success or shout my failure.”
It’s not because anyone else has imposed that pressure, but because I have. It’s debilitating and draining, and I know it’s prideful, wayward thinking, self-doubt and fear talking. And I can’t be passive about it.
What do I do when there are moments and months when self-doubt hovers like a heavy dark, brooding cloud over head? There are lies that incessantly seek to penetrate my mind, and beckon to be believed and acted upon to lead me to an end. To end this race I’m running. And to end writing about it.
I must look at my fear, not only as a weakness on my part, but an attack, and a very real temptation to be overthrown. <– Tweet
While I’d like to tell you the battle is over, I cannot. But I’m going forward — courageously afraid. And this is part of what a Christian writer can do with self-doubt. I’m practicing.
- Speak Truth: God’s word is our only offensive weapon listed in our Armor, so wield the sword of the Spirit. (Eph 6:17) Speak aloud His word because faith comes by hearing it. (Rom 10:17) And it renews our mind, as we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor 10:5) “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Rom 8:37)
- Go Low: Surrender it all daily, hourly if necessary. Sometimes we really are in the midst of a spiritual attack and the devil prowls like a lion seeking whom he may devour. (1Pet 5:8) After we submit to God resist the devil because he must flee. And “…don’t try to impress others. Be humble.” (Phil 2:3) For God gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)
- Obey God: If God has called us to do something than our success is as sure as our obedience, though He measures success differently than us. I’m almost certain He’s not counting our Facebook likes, but rather lost souls that have found Him because of our courage to write His message.
- Be You: We don’t need to try and be anyone except who God created us to be. When we do, the world misses out on the facet of God that He’s chosen us to display. We are accountable to live the life He gave us, and no one else’s.
- Be Vulnerable: Hiding our weaknesses can isolate us, because we are afraid God or others will see them and wound or judge us by it. But we need to know we are not the only ones struggling. “Our vulnerability draws God to us. Our helplessness reveals His Presence. Our weakness makes known His strength. Our confessions prompt His grace.” — Dr. Les Parrott
- Write Afraid: Sometimes what we fear sharing most, is what’s most important to share. “We are more naked and needy before words that we write than perhaps anywhere else. We fear this, so we avoid it. But reality is where God shows up. Reality may be painful, but if we want to meet God we have to go there.” — Dan B. Allender
Do you ever struggle with fear or the temptation to quit writing? Will you tell us how you overcome?
I’m trusting Him,