I realize that last week, I was quite vague with my challenge for this past week. Basically, I was doing some emotional soul searching to clear out the cobwebs and look at where I am and where I want to be. I know that I’m a people pleaser to the extent that disappointment can devastate me, especially from certain people, but I wanted to dig deeper in the parts of me I want to address.
First, of course, there is my insecurity. Everyone is insecure about something, whether it’s something about the way you look, something you are trying to achieve, or something you can’t achieve for whatever reason. I’m insecure about all three in the sense that my confidence level isn’t very high in a lot of areas.
I think having a low self-confidence is expected when you start something new, whether it’s an exercise regimen or a new activity. As you start to work at this goal, your confidence grows. Then, as you achieve a new level in that activity, your confidence may falter a little as you gain your footing. However, for me, confidence can disappear for other reasons too. One reason is a lack of preparation on my part as well as procrastination.
For instance, with my running, if I don’t stretch or watch what I eat the night before, my run isn’t as fun or productive. So, this activity requires more than just a mediocre commitment. I have to plan ahead in order to be successful. The same goes with blogging. I find that when I have a level of commitment and forethought, my confidence is much greater. So, one of the things I plan to introduce into my daily life is a greater sense of organization and planning ahead. The goal is to raise my confidence and lower my sense of insecurity.
Confidence, or the lack of confidence, isn’t the only thing that promotes my insecurity. There is also self-deprecation, or putting down myself in my head. I know I need to stop listening to the constant monologue in my head about how terrible I must be at being a wife, or a sister, or a daughter, or a Christian, or a friend, etc. It’s never that general, however.
For example, my husband comes home from a particularly stressful day. Maybe dinner isn’t quite done. Maybe the living room isn’t completely clean. Maybe I don’t have a smile on my face. He enters the house burdened and stays that way until bed. Perhaps there may be a smile or a joke or a hug or a kiss intermittingly, but all I seem to see is the sad, stressed look on his face.
Inside my head, the monologue goes something like this, “Wow, Katy. Michael looks beyond stressed, and it’s your fault that he continues to be stressed tonight. I mean, couldn’t you have cleaned up a little. Can’t you stop thinking for five minutes about yourself and just be there for him? What kind of wife are you that you can’t help him feel better when he gets home?”
I used to cling to this way of thinking, hoping that it would push me to improve, but I realize now how unhealthy it can be. So, I plan to introduce a new character to the this play in my head and make it a dialog. For every negative thought, I will introduce a positive one. If the negative ones are just too loud, then I will 1) Pray immediately, and 2) Write it down to be addressed at a later time and go focus on something else.
This brings me to the third and final aspect that I’m “spring-cleaning”. Not only do I listen to the negativity on the inside of my head, but I have been, lately, bringing in negativity from the outside as well. I’m not just talking about judgmental comments others make about me, although I know I take these to heart. No, I’m talking about unwholesome talk that I see on TV or on the radio, things I read on the internet or just simply conversations that just aren’t very uplifting.
A little disclaimer to this, though. These conversations I’m talking about aren’t the ones where a friend needs some prayer about a situation or person in their life, but if that conversation doesn’t end with a prayer, then it isn’t a conversation that needs to be discussed. If this is just about who said what or what said who, then it needs to end right there and not be picked up again.
So, I want to incorporate prayer in more of my conversations, as well as step away from the negativity I am finding in the music and TV shows I’ve been exposed to recently.
I know this was super long, and I could go on and on, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your encouraging words and uplifting comments lately on my blog. I relate to so many of you, and while it takes me a while to respond to comments and read blogs, I really appreciate the warm welcome you have given me.
Next week’s challenge: Read through the book of Psalms