I went through a Chinese drive-thru the other day, and of course, I can never wait until the end of my meal to crack open the cookie to see what “words of wisdom and fortune” I will find inside. I set aside my dinner, grabbed the cookie and cracked that sucker open. Do you know what was inside? Nothing! No fortune! No words of wisdom! Heck, not even lucky numbers to go play the Lottery with!
The Voice in Your Head
Some people would freak and think something bad was about to happen. They might think they’d never find fortune and happiness in their lives. Me? I started giggling to myself because over the past few days, I’d been struggling with self-doubt. That nagging little voice in the back of my head had been telling me I had no idea what I was doing, I wasn’t good enough to start a new career as a Life Coach for other widow moms. You probably have one of those voices too.
I wasn’t really getting the words of encouragement from those I love most in the world, so I started second guessing myself and doubting what I firmly believed is my purpose in life now. I thought if others didn’t trust or believe in me to grow a successful business maybe I was a fool for even trying. Was it a pipe dream to do what I love as well as provide more time and flexibility to raise my kids without so many of the stressors of working in Corporate America?
Four Steps to Get Rid of Those Negative Self-Doubt Thoughts
Getting rid of those negative self-doubt thoughts is not easy. It is actually pretty hard, but these three things helped me shut down the negative and get back on track. I know they will help you too.
1. Pray About It
God has been with you every step of your journey in life thus far. He’s watched you make mistakes, helped pull you out of some really dark places, allowed you the free will to make choices and decisions. Some of those decisions worked out and some didn’t. He was still there. Even when your heart wasn’t open to hearing God’s voice guide you. He was there. Pray with an open heart and you would be amazed at how quickly those negative thoughts recede.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Think back to a time when you were so excited because of an accomplishment that meant the world to you. Was your heart open? Could you feel the hand of God on your shoulder? Well, I could. Other times, I felt completely alone, depressed, hopeless. If you know that you’re following the path the Lord has created for you, you will be successful in whatever He’s leading you to do.
2. Believe In Yourself
You are enough! Mama, look what you have been through…you lost your husband, your partner in life, your children’s dad, your lover, and your best friend. You are raising amazing kids, as a solo parent. Every decision of your kids’ lives, you are making! You’re the financial provider, home repairman, nurse/doctor, teacher, spiritual leader for your family. You! The strength within in you is 10 fold. No one really understands what that means…but I do! And I’m telling you, believe in you, and others will as well!
3. Share Your Heart
Time to put on your big girl undies and keep moving forward. Those people in your life who may not be providing the encouragement you feel you need, aren’t doing that because they don’t love or believe in you. It’s just the opposite. They’ve probably been the ones with you throughout your grief journey. Watched your highs and lows. Seen you at your breaking point with the amount of stress you’ve go through, and have felt so helpless. They just don’t want you to get hurt, emotionally or financially or add to everything you already have on your plate. So if they aren’t showing the interest in things you’re doing to better yours and your kids’ lives, it’s most likely their afraid for you and just don’t understand.
Share your heart with them. Help them see your purpose in life, the way God did for you. Include them in the steps you’re taking, so their fear of the unknown for your life can be put at ease. And if that doesn’t work, go back to Step 1 and 2!
4. Take Action
Some days it can be hard to move. You are weighed down with grief and life and decisions. On those days you need to take action. You need to get up and go for a walk, you need to pick up the phone and call a friend or a counselor, you need to do something to pull yourself out of that dark space where all of that negative self-doubt talk lives.
The longer you stay in the space, the longer those thoughts have to take roots. They are like weeds blowing through your mind. Let them sit on your brain and they will grow into something ugly. I remember days when all I wanted to was to curl up in the bed, sleep all day, feeling sorry for myself and if I didn’t do something, I would never be able to move forward.
No Fortune, No Problem
No fortune in my fortune cookie? I’m okay with that! Because I know that was God telling me that I don’t need a slip of paper with massed produced fortunes printed on them to know my life will be a success…with His love and guidance, I’m the one who makes my own fortune. If I lean on God, believe in myself and Him, and share my heart with my support network, I don’t need a fortune, I am already blessed.