I am married to a real go-getter. In every sense of the word. Brent is the most visionary person I know. He sees what he wants, makes a plan and goes after it. I mean really goes after it. He loves to take risks and doesn’t focus so much on the “what-ifs” and “maybe I’ll do it when…”, he just jumps in. And that goes for work, friendships, fatherhood, marriage…everything. And if he fails, he quickly picks up and keeps trucking along. It has made him an incredibly admirable person in my eyes. I love to watch him do everything with little reservation. He knows he is able. webnicki45

I wish I could say the same about myself. This next lie was the lie that the Lord placed in my heart to write about. My personal, biggest struggle. It ties to so many other lies, but this is one that sows the seed of fear to pursue just about anything. The thought and belief that you are not talented enough to actually proceed, not smart enough to do it, not loved enough to become. Self-Doubt.

Lie #3: You Are Unable. {Self-Doubt}

I’m always dumbfounded when people approach me to head up committees, speak at gatherings or lead anything. I feel the way you feel when someone is looking across the room and waves and you think they are waving to you. Who? Me? So you sheepishly wave back. No way was that meant for me. I sort of understand it, I guess.  I am a “loud” person by every account. I also love people. I love talking to people and including people. But that doesn’t mean I am able to stand in front of people, organize a lot of things that need organizing and be in charge. Who? Me?

This started at a young age. I didn’t want to play any sports because I watched the people around me, bigger, stronger, more experienced, I would surely be the laughing-stock of the 4th grade. I remember so vividly, watching my Jr. High classmates do multiple back handsprings in the gym. The cheerleaders. The popular girls. Only, I could care less of their popularity, I wanted to do the back handsprings and cheer and dance freely. I confided this in a friend, and she very simply suggested that I learn how to do one. Duh. Of course! So, in the secret of my backyard, I tried a few times. There had to be some trick to it, right? Were they born in a genetic freak pool of play dough? How on earth did they flip over. Defeated at my own attempts, lack of advice or counsel from someone who actually could perform one, I shoved the dream out of the way. I would never be able to train myself to do that. So, I watched on the sidelines for the rest of my adolescence always wishing I was bold enough to keep trying, but never did.

A lot of psychology would say self-doubt stems from people in your childhood telling you “you can’t”, or “you aren’t good enough”. This wasn’t the case for me though. My parents were nothing but encouraging to me. If anything, they always thought I could do it all and wanted me to. This was something the Enemy got hold of in me from the start and ran with. Something that until the past couple of years, plagued me. Somehow, I always felt the fear of stepping out on anything, because I felt I wouldn’t be able and I would fail. FAILURE. I doubted so much. I doubted I could go on to further my education because it would be too difficult, trying out for recreational things, making new friends, the list goes on and on. I doubted myself and feared failure.

Failure sort of gets a bad rap. Seriously, think about the results of failure. In certain bigger circumstances, like job loss, marriages and some areas, “failure” is incredibly difficult. However, how often is our “failure” such beautiful time of growth? A time of learning, self-evaluation, change? Yet, it is so incredibly scary to us to do something out on a limb that we give up before we ever start. We probably won’t succeed, therefore, we just don’t. And in the ‘don’t’ we are safe and sound. But are we fulfilled?

Do you know who my favorite person in Biblical history is {aside from Jesus}? It’s not Noah, or David or Paul, though they are all amazing. The most encouraging person to me, is Nehemiah. He was a cupbearer to the king. It was a job of importance because of the proximity you had to the king, but not exactly a highly acclaimed position. This man is grieved for his homeland when the wall in Jerusalem was torn down. This is something of utmost importance during this time. In his grief, he prays only to the Lord for boldness to return home and lead the re-building of the wall. This was an incredibly tedious process that required so much TIME and money and favor from people in charge. And if you read the story, there was incredible adversity from his enemies, but Nehemiah never once wavered. He never once doubted his ability to rebuild the wall that was of most importance to Jerusalem. He had full confidence in himself, because his leadership was ordained by the Lord. He had no choice but to follow through. From my vantage point, he had no self doubt. Even though there were more “important” officials and stronger men, and people with more architectural experience, he knew his abilities were of the Lord. So he went for it full steam ahead.  A calling (rebuild the wall) birthed out of a deep love for something (Jerusalem). While our callings may never be something of that magnitude, how much can we relate to Nehemiah? I think we are absolutely no different.

When I sent out the question of “what are your dreams and goals” to a small group of women, so many of them were full of the “I’m not sure if I could ever do ____________. But if I could, that would be a dream of mine. ” Honestly, I never saw anything weird, or particularly paramount. All the dreams they talked about looked like something completely attainable with time and effort. And every single one of them was something I saw as a result of a NATURAL gifting that the woman possessed. Not impossible, not a selfish dream…these things are God-breathed. A manifestation of physical matter and gifting that ultimately glorify God.

Facing the Doubt

Like me, you probably have several walls you can re-build.

I faced one of mine a little over a year ago. I have always known I am a good fitness instructor, trainer, whatever you want to call it. It comes incredibly natural to me to teach people about their body and how they can move it. And I love to encourage people, and in the fitness world, this can come in the form of motivation. I know this is in me to glorify God. But I was in a place that was not moving forward. I was unable to be creative, had to succumb to crummy hours and take whatever was leftover from the “veterans” on staff. I was safe and happy. But I was wanting to bust out. The crazy part of the whole thing is that for a whole year previous, I had MY OWN TRAINING SPACE. A large, renovated, loaded space just waiting for me. Who can say that? Not many people. But ya’ll, the self-doubt was palpable. Even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I could do it, I was paralyzed by self doubt. I would never succeed because there were WAY more talented people in my area who already had large followings, people who were more liked than me, I don’t look like a bikini model, have surgical enhancements or the most muscular physique. I don’t think I can keep up with demands. What if the stereo goes out? The mic doesn’t work? The A/C goes out? I spill my water? Ya’ll the excuses were mounting. I was out. I was going to stay in my safe place. I am not good enough to do this.

The Lord had really been working on my heart for months. Just showing me places that I was ready to be, yet I would not relinquish control of. Have I shared with you all enough that I do not like change one bit? One day though, I read something that my mentor put on one of her social media accounts. It read something like this, “Your life will have many chapters. Don’t get stuck on one page.” Funny how weird little things like that can speak to you. I imagine God up there saying, “THAT’s what it took to get thru to you, kid???” Literally, in that very moment. I put in my notice, and started to make my own plan. Since then, I have been able to be creative, be available for my kids, and meet some of the greatest people thru the vessel of fitness. I still struggle with self-doubt on my own. There are days I feel like a total failure to be honest. I want to close up and run for the fear of failure. It’s so ludicrous how quickly the Enemy sneak into your thoughts. Be on guard for that! Don’t expect your journey to be easy breezy because it never is.

Fail Forward

Hear me out, sistas. Failing is ok. Holding back is not. If you sit quietly as your talents and ideas stay mustered up inside, only to be suppressed and feared and then to wither and die-that is not fair to anyone. I do not know what your spiritual state is, or if you have one, but let me tell you, YOU are creation. And YOU are given gifts and abilities specified only to you. It grieves your Father to hold back on your calling because you are afraid to fail. If you fail, learn from it, pick up, and move forward. We can’t all do it right every time, all the time. But how will you know unless you pick up that hammer and start to build the wall?

If you are plagued by self-doubt, I want you to take heart. Look at people around you and trust me when I say, they did not get where they are with the first try. Unless they are unicorns. Their children did not become well-mannered because they sent them to time out for talking back once. Likely, they have built a foundation for discipline and respect in their home. The woman with the successful career did not start at her dream job and wake up the boss. They all kept working at it. Kept going for it. Persevering. What things are going to come out of your moving forward in faith? What if it spawns someone else to brave enough, what if you touch someone’s life by example? So many things can happen when you set aside your fears.

So, what is it for you? What do you feel incapable of? What are you afraid to pursue because you feel too timid to fail? Do you feel something bubbling up inside that you just know in your heart of hearts you can do? Don’t believe the lie. You are so very capable. If you have the seed of a vision, He will carry you the rest of the way. Set fourth and do it. Build that wall without a doubt in yourself just like Nehemiah. Go do the back handsprings you were meant to do.