Trust Yourself by Can Stock Photo / PixelsAway
Trusting yourself will mean facing and replacing your self-doubts. You can do it!

Trust yourself more.  That’s what I’m about to do.  No, change that.  I’ve already started trusting myself more, and I’m excited to see in 2019 what happens when I believe in myself more fully. 

How about you?! I invite you to think along with me, about how you can trust yourself more in 2019 and beyond.  Seriously, right now…think about it!  What self-doubt are you battling, and are you tired enough to say goodbye to self-doubt in 2019?

Self-doubt that holds you back

Unsurprisingly, self-doubt is something I hear about so often and from so many people.  For various and typically painful reasons, people don’t fully believe in themselves.  They don’t trust that they’re capable, that they’re attractive, that they’re desirable, that they’re going to rebound from depression and anxiety, that they’re going to be okay, that they’re valuable, that they’re enough.  And, on and on.  Do you hear yourself in this short list?

Here’s one of my greatest self-doubts…

I doubt that I’m able to accomplish my dreams.  There, I said it.  Now, my good friend Dr. Joy Greene says I need to stop doubting and dream bigger. (I’m working on it!) Certainly, Joy is dreaming big and, with God’s help, accomplishing His plans for her little by little each year.  By the way, Joy is amazing, so y’all check her out if you don’t already know about her.

While you’re googling, look up For King and Country’s song, Burn the Ships.  I love the whole song, but I especially love the line, “So light a match, leave the past…”  And, then the ending—“And don’t you look back.”  I love that!  That’s how I feel.  Perhaps you, too, are ready to light a match, to burn “the ship” of self-doubt, to begin to believe in yourself in an all new way.

What if you “light a match”?

Unfortunately, you and I are long-time self-doubters.  We’ve spent so much time in life building strong cases against ourselves.  We’ve convinced ourselves why we’ll never succeed, why we’ll never measure up, and why we’re right about all the things we’ll never be or do.  And, fed up as we are with this same old stinkin’ thinkin’, saying goodbye to self-doubt is easier said than done.  But, what if you and I start small and work our way up and out?  What if, we light a match by taking action rather than continuing to allow self-doubt to hold us back.  For example, what if you…

  • Put on an outfit you feel confident in, and tell yourself, “I’m beautiful!”  That’s what I’m talking about–Light a match.
  • Speak up.  Let folks know about the idea you have rather than hold back, only wishing you could share your ideas.  Light a match!
  • Break the tension in your relationship.  Surprise yourself and the other person by thanking them for something positive that they do.  Light a match!
  • Stop putting off fun and physical activity.  Take more walks.  Join a class of some kind.  Or, my favorite—dance!  Light a match!
  • Battle back against depression and anxiety.  To do this, talk with your doctor and a counselor.  As importantly, choose to believe that depression and anxiety cannot defeat you.  With help, you not only can cope; you can thrive.  Believe that.  And, live like you believe that.  Light a match!

Think positive for a change

Through important steps like these, you and I can slowly reverse the negative “what if’ing” we’ve learned to do over time.  Yes, it will take time and effort, but with each step, we light a match. And, with each step, we burn “the ship” of self-doubt. Consider the possibilities! As we adopt more positive thinking and more positive self-believing actions, we begin to believe and say things like…

  • I AM beautiful!
  • My ideas ARE good!
  • I CAN do some things to improve this relationship!
  • I DESERVE to have fun!
  • NOT TODAY, depression and anxiety!

Now is the time to trust yourself more

What are you waiting for?  You and I both know we’re not getting any younger!! Now is the time for us to make the changes we need to make to live the life we want to live.

I’ve reached a sweet spot in life where I realize more clearly now than ever before…NOW is the time!  I’ll be 45 in March and am preparing for a big year.  I’m hopeful, committed, and excited to see what’s going to happen.  For starters, I’m optimistic for another year of family health and happiness. I’m also enthusiastic about my teaching at Wake Forest University and my counseling at Triad Baptist Church

As for my ministry, I’ve got more speaking engagements lined up.  I’m doing my first-ever Facebook live series (every Saturday morning in January via Triad’s Facebook page).  I’m releasing a very homemade-but-filled-with-love-and-encouragement YouTube series all about building relationships (that’ll release on my birthday, March 7).  And,…big drumroll….Dr. Gary Chapman (the 5 Love Languages guy and my friend and mentor) have co-authored another book that will release in June.

Of course, that’s just some of what’s going to happen in 2019.  For all the other known and unknown that will happen, I’m open and believing that God is going to surprise me in ways that I can’t even imagine.

Faith over fear

Dreamer by Can Stock Photo / iqoncept
Dreamers can be doers. We just have to “light a match” and burn “the ship” of self-doubt.

As excited as I am for the year ahead, I’m still NERVOUS and having to practice everything I’m preaching to you.  Remember, I told you that my self-doubt is about not being able to fulfill my dreams.  It also relates to my fear of dreaming too big.  What if I can’t….NO, NO, NO…I’m changing my thinking: What if I light a match?!  What if I choose faith over fear and TRULY believe…that my God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I can ask or think, according to the power that works within me? (Ephesians 3:20-21)

This is another major change for me in 2019.  I’m already grounded in my faith, but I’m prepared and committed to live out my faith more boldly.  Not only am I going to trust myself more in 2019; I’m going to trust the God that made me and calls me continually to walk with Him, to trust Him, to shine for Him.  One way I’m going to do this in 2019 and beyond is to be even more open with my faith in my daily interactions with others.  Plus, I’m going to write and speak more boldly for God’s glory.

Undoubtedly, it’s God’s glory that matters most to me. Don’t get me wrong! I love positive feedback. However, my glory or my fame are not the goal.  I want to be known to the degree that God wants to be known through me.  Period.  I can’t afford to worry about the timeline or the outcome. Instead, my measure of success is this: do I and will I really believe that He loves me, has a plan for me, and is working out that plan in surprising ways without me doing more than simply cooperating with His plan?  YES, YES, YES….I believe it!! I hope the same for you!

What about you?

Understandably, acknowledging and talking about self-doubt can be scary.  But, if you’re courageous and feel able, share with the Hope to Build On community in the comments section below.  More specifically, say what your self-doubt is and how you plan to “light a match” this year.  What little (or big) steps will you take this year to begin changing how you think about yourself and how you live your life?  Or, if you’ve already been working on saying goodbye to self-doubt, say what you’ve done to trust yourself more and what progress you’ve made.

Thanks for posting comments.  I’ll do my best to get those posted as quickly as possible.

Before you go

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Finally, scripture references in this article are from the New American Standard Bible and linked to