This blog post has been floating around my brain for a long time and I didn't know if it was worth writing down, but recently I got home from a blogging conference that stirred up these thoughts and I decided I was finally going to address this issue once and for all. Maybe someone will have some insight that I need to be able to push through these feelings and maybe, some of you are feeling the same way.
It started back when Shane was laid off for the first time. Some of you long term readers will remember that when the economy tanked, my husband's firm had to let go a lot of their staff. Shane being the last one hired, was on that list. Over the next three years he would be hired temporarily in the hopes of it becoming permanent only to be laid off again. Four lay offs later, I felt like I was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. If things were going good, I couldn't enjoy it because in the back of my mind, something bad was just around the corner.
There have been moments here and there where I have brushed those fears aside and enjoyed the moment, but I have been surprised at how that feeling has stuck with me like a bad cold I can't seem to shake. The feeling has seeped into all areas of my life to the point that I am terrified of success. I feel like if I grow and succeed in my business, that some other part of my life will fall apart. For some reason I can't picture my business/financial part of my life being good at the same time as my health or personal/family life. You guys, this is sounding crazier and crazier as I type. I KNOW this sounds crazy, but it is how I feel and I am not sure how to get past it.
Every year I attend conferences that teach me skills that will help improve my blog. For the first few days I get super jazzed and want to run home and implement them right away. I think deep down I am self sabotaging because I never fully commit. I never fully push myself. There is always that fear that holds me back. I use excuses like "I am just not the schedule keeping type" or "I like to fly by the seat of my pants" but in reality, I am scared to buckle down and try harder.
Aside from prayer (which I am working on) I would love to hear any thoughts or ideas. If any of you have dealt with similar feelings, I would love to hear your story. If you don't feel comfortable with sharing in the comments, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
I took the week off from blogging this week so I could reflect on what I learned at the conference and to figure out how to make them work for me. I also have been working on the bathroom a little bit. Projects help to calm me down :) I will be back next week with a bathroom update and hopefully a coupe of other projects. It is currently snowing so that may effect some of my projects.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend friends! I appreciate that this has always been a safe place to share our thoughts and feelings.
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I think we as women are our own biggest critic. I too have struggled and still struggle with feelings of self doubt. I have major fear of failure and I fear what others think of me. All of these feelings have completely held me back! This year I decided to be brace. Man- it is sooo hard. But I am reading the book, "You are a Bad A**". The language is kinda colorful, but seriously, I love this book. It's helping me to change my thoughts and feelings about myself and the work around me. Maybe it will help you too! BTW- it was good to see you at Snap!
I'm always looking for a good book. I'll check it out :) Thank you.
It was good to see you too!
You are not alone! It always seems that when one thing gives you a high, something else comes in smacks you down! A friend of mine today challenged me to start making daily goals for myself. Something that is achievable but maybe a stretch. I have really thought about this a lot today as I trudged through appointments and obligations. We always sit down and write annual goals or monthly goals and they often get forgotten or put off. However, when you look at it daily, you really have to pick one thing and see it through. After reading your post it makes me think that today's goal may be a careeer choice, but tomorrow could be about life, or finances, or relationships or health. Breaking it down so you are constantly working on all facets of our well being may help you work through the fear. I know I am going to try it.
I have never tried daily goals before! I have started meditating after scripture study in the mornings so I think I'll add pondering a daily goal to that :) Thank you!
I really appreciate you sharing this post. I've always felt that anxiety and fear, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I thought it was unique to my situation (single mom on a very tight income), but I've noticed as things improve (better paying job, etc.) I still can't ditch that anxiety.
Sometimes just knowing others are experiencing the same thing make you feel less "crazy" and is comforting. Thank you for sharing :)
My mother in-law once shared poignant memories of choosing to have more children after two of her daughters passed away from cystic fibrosis. She felt like her life was one of those checkered picnic blankets: sometimes she was happily living in the light colored moments and wondering how long they would last and other times she would be in that dark colored check waiting for the goodness that just had to be around the corner. She prayed for guidance from God. He refused to promise that her other children would be healthy, but told her it was up to her whether or not to have more children. It was a monumental leap of faith that led to many more ups and downs and doubled the size of their family (only one more child would pass away from CF.) She says it is still the hardest trial she has ever faced but that she is glad she chose as she did.
When I began to feel as you described and could not shake it for more than a year, I finally got counselling for chronic anxiety that sometimes led to months of depression. That has helped me to endure and enjoy more fully the ups and downs of life. I pray that these faith building moments and celestial growing pains will push you toward God and many other successes in life. Embrace them regardless of what is around the corner and try not to let the inevitable downfalls of mortality cheapen the successes. You've already had plenty of both.
For some reason the checkered picnic blanket visual really resonated with me. What an amazing story and amazing woman! Thank you so much for sharing her story.
If you're serious about not only figuring out what your limiting beliefs are, why they are and how to move past them, you need to check out Deb Erickson http://www.icaninstitute.com
I did one of her group coaching programs as part of a previous business and it was very insightful. If you want to understand how to better connect with the women you serve in the "blogosphere" Deb is a great resource.
I still believe that secular coaching needs to be tempered with doctrinal truth- Deb has no particular religious affiliation- so you might want to supplement her coaching with personal study in the areas where you see weakness in yourself.
One of the greatest things I recognized thru her ICan Coach program was that my dominant thought patterns were creating my daily experience. (The fire that you fan grows the hottest). I reloaded my limiting beliefs about money and income and being a "good Christian" were not truth, they were fear.
I also learned that when someone has a "larger than necessary" reaction to something they experience, it is because they hit a psychological "tender spot". (Ex) "Why am I freaking out over this??" And being able to realize that's an issue where you have felt attacked repeatedly; how to slow the onslaught to let it heal so your reactions can be tempered.
The coaching experience also gave me skills to help me be proactive rather than reactive.
Hope that helps; it's a journey, but soooooo worth the personal growth! The best thing we can do for our children is to get all of the emotional skills we can to help us navigate the difficulties of daily life.
I am going to check that out! It sounds like something that would help be get past this mental stumbling block. I have often wondered why my husband and I (who both experienced the layoffs) have had different experiences and feeling after the fact. Thank you for the resource and the thoughts :)
I know the feelings...terrified to really enjoy life, because something will happen. Job or health. We've gone through job layoffs 4 times, due to the economy. Makes you think of all the woulda, coulda, shouldas. But I think we've finally come to realize in all things, we don't need to worry so much. God is in control and we really 'live on God's blessings'.
You are absolutely right, God is in control. I often have to remind myself daily. Sorry you had to deal with the stress of layoffs as well. Thank you for taking the time to comment :)
As Candice said, we, as women are our biggest critics. Growing up I always heard you will be nothing but a failure your whole life. That thought has stayed with me still as an adult in the back of my mind. I have to remind myself that I'm really not a failure as I have accomplished a lot...a Master's degree in education, 3 wonderful, beautiful children (although one passed away in a car accident 10 years ago) and 2 of those children have their bachelors degrees and my 4 beautiful granddaughters (one as of today at volleyball tryouts for college). I had to retire from teaching 2 years ago due to health so that making sure I stay healthy for my family is one of my biggest struggles. One thing I try to tell myself is something my son always told me, Mom, you need to stop thinking you're a failure and live your life knowing you can do whatever you want as long as you have God in your life." I wish he was still here to tell me that more often.
I think the fact that your son is so sweet and encouraging tells me you are a huge success! We as women can be overly critical of ourselves. And we feel selfish or guilty if we spend time doing things that we want to do or focus on our accomplishments. But I think if we realize all we have accomplished, it helps us realize we can do even more. Thank you for sharing your story.
Catherine A Allen
I am currently going through a difficult circumstance following a time which was appearing to be more relaxing and one of those "happy" phases. This seems to be a cycle our family goes through and it is frustrating when I allow myself to look at and compare my circumstances to friends and family who appear to at least, breeze through life with little difficulty. I have made a deliberate decision to consider the stressors as internal mental and character conditioning workouts. I am starting to view these times as opportunities/challenges in becoming a resilient, quiet and powerful warrior. I am careful who i ask for help/advice from and have learned not to share everything with everyone - lack of discernment leads to increasing anxiety for me. I try to surround myself with a few quiet and wise women with life experience. I am also learning that lean times make me think more strategically and economically which makes me at least Feel smarter and a better steward of God's gifts. I don't know if any of this is helpful but this helps me when the "shoe falls"
A quiet and powerful warrior... I love that! If anything, meeting so many different people through blogging has taught me that no one is exempt from trials. I have met many people who at first seemed to have it all and that their lives were easy only to get to know them better and realize their challenges were just as intense if not more so than my own. I guess we are all being turned into warriors :)
God says He hasn't given us the spirit of fear..but of power and of love and of a sound mind!! Ask God what He wants you to be doing...because He wants to take away your fears..n give you peace!! It's not easy; but it is possible with His strength. ..
I totally agree :) It is easy to forget sometimes, but it is true nonetheless.
My husband was unemployed or only found part time work for 5 years. I remember commenting to my mom almost exactly what you are feeling. To keep going, seeing beyond the everyday problems, when you keep getting knocked down takes so much more effort and it changes your perspective. I look back at that time and am amazed at all the help and blessing we were given. We weren't ever alone. We made it through (sometimes just barely). And I know there will be difficult times in the future. This life is guaranteed to be full of trials. We can't control that. All we can do is count our blessings and do all that we can to get through it. That will take care of a lot. And have faith/hope that the rest will fall into place.
I often say that the years that we struggled with unemployment were some of our happiest. Stressful, yes. But we had Shane home and were able to spend quality time as a family. We had to band together and rely on the Lord more than ever. My mom always said that she would rather have financial trials verses any other kind and while I agree, I think it has held me back from trying to be successful with my blog/business. If I don't have financial struggles then that would mean I would have other (harder) struggles. I know I will have the trials regardless, but sometimes it is easier said than done. Thank you for your insight :)
I've felt the same! Sometimes not wanting things to be financially easier, worried that health or other issues may strike. I used to worry about "the other shoe", too. Probably in the years following the stillbirth of my first son. I'm not sure at what point that lessened. It's almost superstitious. Now, I mostly just focus on how Blessed I am and frequently thank God, that for just this moment, everything is ok.
Keep the faith. Just heard a sermon topic and I'd like to share the gist: Knowing who God is, is vital. God knowing who I am -- even better. Knowing who we are in God gives us the keys to the kingdom to tear down what's holding us back. Thank you for your blog and for being transparent.
I love this! Thank you. It almost needs to be a quote on the wall :)
I have felt and still feel that way frequently. With this new adventure I'm on I am full of those feelings. I think you do a wonderful job.