I trust you were blessed by part one of this post series! http://www.hersingledays.com/2020/05/28/quit-second-guessing-yourself-part-1/. In this post I would be sharing with you seven great tips that have helped me in my journey of overcoming second-guessing myself, I believe as you implement them, they would be of tremendous help to you. Before we delve in, it is important that you note that second-guessing oneself is not absolutely bad in itself, there is nothing wrong with that little etch of doubt when you are about making a key decision. The problem is when it becomes demoralizing. At this point you must deliberately and intentionally deal with it. Here’s how:
Rest in God’s love: The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” Sometimes, the reason why we find ourselves in cycles of second guessing is because we haven’t fully grasped the all encompassing nature of God’s love for us. One major reason why we contemplate to step out in faith is fear. We want to know the entire picture before we step out of the boat. But come to think of it, if we know the entire picture, what then is the use of Faith in the first place? When we are rest assured in God’s love we enjoy His freedom. This isn’t a license to do whatever we like, including things outside of His will, but it is a freedom that liberates us to audaciously step out of the boat when we know it is Jesus beckoning on us to come. Because of our understanding of His unfailing Love, we know that despite the raging winds and waves, He will never let us sink!
Take it easy on yourself: Being hard on myself was once my second nature. I was an ardent perfectionist. I would go to unbelievable lengths to make sure everything goes perfectly. Most times, I would rather do nothing once I remotely perceive that what I’m about to do may not turn out perfect. Because of this, when I do not have all I need to carry out a project or when I have an idea or I create something, instead of sharing it with others that may benefit from it, I would rather remain in a state of second-guessing myself or what I have created. In my opinion, its always never perfect enough to be shared publicly. This is not to down play excellence, but It can be really frustrating when you become obsessed with perfection. Excellence should be the goal, and not perfection. If you are perfect, then where is God’s place in your life? Occasional mistakes are inevitable. Give yourself the freedom to make them. Mistakes are only learning opportunities for us to do better next time. God forbid that we take God’s grace for granted, but when we make honest mistakes, we should not punish ourselves rather, we should be confident that His mercy is always there to pick us up and get us back on track. God is not waiting on the side lines angrily looking out for an “I” you did not dot or a “T” you did not cross! God is taking it easy on you, so Beloved, please take it easy on yourself!
Forgive Yourself: This point is actually a continuation of the previous point but I decided to specially discuss it because this is a major reason why some of us find it difficult to step out on our purpose or what God is asking us to do. We know God has forgiven us but the problem here is we are finding it difficult to forgive ourselves which makes us plagued with feelings of being unworthy or unqualified. I know that what you may have done may be so grievous and you maybe currently facing the consequences but Beloved, please take it easy on yourself, God is not mad at You. Don’t make it any more difficult to bear. God calls the unqualified and qualifies them. Therefore, the fact you feel unqualified is all the more reason why you are the exact candidate for the assignment. In Exodus 2:11-22, Moses was trying to defend His Israelite brother when he killed an Egyptian and eventually had to flee into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty years and when God was looking for a leader to liberate the Israelites out of the hands of Pharaoh, Moses was the perfect candidate. The fact He murdered an Egyptian years back did not change Gods purpose for His life. It is important that we note that Moses did not become the perfect one for the assignment at the burning Bush, He was the exact one for the assignment long before He was conceived in His Mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations”. Beloved, regardless of what you have done in the past, so long as you have repented and asked God for forgiveness, He has forgiven you. Relinquish yourself of guilt, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1). I can go on and on giving you examples of great people in the Bible who God used mightily in spite of their complicated and messy past. Please, arise and get going with that assignment God Has laid on your heart. Any time you get burdened by any thoughts from the past, meditate on Psalms 139:5-6 (TPT), it has been of tremendous help to me lately; “You’ve gone into my future to prepare the way, and in kindness you follow behind me to spare me from the harm of my past. With your hand of love upon my life, you impart a blessing to me. This is just too wonderful, deep, and incomprehensible! Your understanding of me brings me wonder and strength.”
Being Indecisive is worse than being wrong: Do you remember the parable of the talents? Matthew 25:14-30 (TPT). Being indecisive as a result of self-doubt can be very detrimental. In Vs. 24, When the master returned, the servant who was given the one talent and buried it said, “Look, sir. I know that you are a hard man to please and you’re a shrewd and ruthless businessman who grows rich on the backs of others. I was afraid of you, so I went and hid your money and buried it in the ground. But here it is—take it, it’s yours.’ He could have done so many things with His one talent but because of ‘fear’, he buried His talent. This is what some of us do. We allow fear of failure, mistakes, opinions, etc. to keep us in a constant state of indecision. Unfortunately, we do not have forever to carry out our assignment or purpose and the more we second guess ourselves, we unconsciously waste the precious time we are meant to use to carry out that purpose. Unbeknownst to us, our failure to use our talents out of fear and indecision doesn’t serve anyone, rather the Bible refers to it as laziness, ruthlessness, wickedness and unfaithfulness. There is always a time for preparation, but we can’t spend forever honing our gifts! Ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment and direction regarding when it is time to step out of your place of preparation. I particularly believe in preparation but I am also of the school of thought that preparation is dynamic, there is no such thing as being hundred percent ready. No matter how ready you are, you will still find out that there is still more learning to do along the way. So I encourage you to move forward, start what God has instructed you to do. It is not all the time God gives us all the details, sometimes it is when we step out of the boat, He gradually unveils our next steps. Regardless of however it turns out or whatever we encounter along the way, we should be “convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfil his designed purpose.” (Romans 8:28-TPT)
Relinquish Yourself of the addiction to affirmations and opinions of others: First, its very important that we note that It is wise to always seek counsel especially when we are at the verge of making crucial decisions. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 11:14 (KJV), “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” Counsel is awesome but one thing we should realise is that a Counsellor will not make the decision for us. A counsellor will only guide us as best as they can as we try to detangle our emotions but the decision and implementation always lies on us. Getting the affirmation of people we love and respect is a great confidence booster. However, when we become addicted to their opinions and affirmations such that we second guess ourselves and subsequently become incapacitated when we don’t get it, there is a huge problem! Our confidence and security should be rooted in God not in the opinions and affirmations of others or even ourselves. Our focus should be to please God. Good opinions and affirmations can’t keep air in your lungs, feed you, pay your bills or fund your vision! If we get the affirmation of others, that’s great! But if we don’t, that shouldn’t deter us from stepping out in pursuit of what God has said. If their opinions of us or what God has asked us to do is encouraging, awesome! And if otherwise, praise God! we are not perturbed because our faith, confidence and security is deeply etched in God and His everlasting love for us. Remember Eve’s conversation with the serpent in the garden? The devil probed her knowledge, security and identity in Christ by asking her, “Did God really say…?” Come to think of it, he uses the same old trick on us till date. We ought not to be ignorant of the devices of the enemy. Any time we find ourselves questioning what God said and weighing His truth about our lives over human opinions, the devil’s aim is to make us insecure, unsettle our identity in God and cause us to doubt. So, once you sense His shenanigans a mile away, you should remember, James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Finally, regardless of the presence or absence of affirmations or encouraging opinions, “God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (MSG)
Diligence: Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.” Over the years, I have realised that one reason I second guess myself especially when faced with an opportunity is lack of preparation. Often times it seems as though we forget that, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (James 2:17 -NIV). We pray for opportunities but we fail to adequately prepare for them. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” We ought to apply this same diligence in all that we do. Don’t wait for opportunities to come along before you prepare, become so skilled and prepared that you can’t be ignored, and opportunities would come looking for you. When you garner information and skills, you you’ll discover that second guessing yourself would be greatly minimised as opposed to when you’re unskilled or unprepared in the face of opportunities. Therefore, work on your talents and gifts, get an education if you have to. Learn the art of strategic diligence; It basically entails tailoring your growth, skills development, and knowledge acquisition to the area of your vision, assignment and purpose per time. Get mentorship for the specific areas you need to grow in. While you do these, also remember to be patient with yourself, give yourself some grace and as you diligently take one step at a time, an amazing life void of unnecessary second-guessing awaits you!
See yourself as a leader: Leaders set the trend and blaze the trail. Don’t be afraid to be the first to start a trend. Even if you can’t see anyone around you already doing what God has instructed you to do or what you’re about to do, it’s okay! The God who gave you the assignment is all knowing and more than able to give you the blueprint from start to finish. Leadership is about influence, and to influence anyone, you must know yourself, your values, your vision and your purpose. Leaders have focus, integrity and humility. Focus on your assignment don’t be carried away by the assignment of other people. Don’t compare yourself with anyone, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV). When you compare yourself with others, you are not wise and second guessing yourself is inevitable. Maintain integrity, when our Yes is Yes and our No is No, we tend to be more confident and bold and others also can easily trust and believe in us. As you strive for mastery and absolute freedom from the habit of second-guessing yourself, also endeavour to stay humble. Sometimes at root of the fear of failure or making mistakes is pride. Pride can make you avoid trying anything new or anything that may burst your ego or make you appear like a failure. But the heart posture of humility is one that is always ready to learn, unlearn and relearn from failures and mistakes. Finally, leaders Pray. Our model and example of leadership is Jesus, and all through the time of His assignment on earth, He always took out ample time to pray. When you pray, it infuses into you supernatural strength and boldness to face and take on any assignment or challenge. Consistent prayer is a sure way to liberation from the shackles of incessant and toxic self-doubt and second guessing.
Beginning from today, as you practice these tips, make sure to start with small decisions, and with the Help of God, I assure you that you are definitely set off on your path to absolute freedom. At this point, I need you to close your eyes for a few minutes while you deeply meditate/reflect on these 3 questions, one at a time:
-Why do I second-guess myself?
-Who am I trying to please?
-What are the things I would be able to do if I was free from incessant self-doubt and second guessing?
Now open your eyes! It’s a new day! “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” – Isaiah 60:1 (NIV)
Thank you for reading. I’d love to hear from you! Please take a minute say ‘Hi’ and share your thoughts below. I Love You! Stay firm in the Father’s Love!!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Marianne Williamson