I’m stronger than I thought.

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I am learning so much about myself. It’s actually really uncomfortable. You see, I’ve set out on some pretty new endeavors and unknowingly subjected myself to the risk of failure. Up until this point, I’ve mostly stuck to what I know I am good at and enjoyed the safety and  illusion of self confidence. Well, I started training to be a worship leader at my church, started a new job at a bakery, and started a new system of managing my home pretty much all at once and so I got a chance to learn something about my inner voice. I am so hard on myself. Really. For someone who will talk sense and moderation into any friend, I am a ruthless critic of myself. I feel this pressure to prove myself. I always set myself up as an underdog in my mind. As though everyone sees me as this scrappy kid fighting for a spot. Really though, I think I’m the only one who sees me that way. 

I had a tough week last week. It was my first time leading worship for a whole service at church, and it was my first week taking the lead on making all the bread dough for the day at work. Risk y’all. Putting myself out there and literally getting critiqued for it. I thought I was okay until the Monday morning after church. I found myself going over and over music and speaking points in my mind and just getting a pit in my stomach. I finally had to close the conversation in my mind. It was behind me, and it was time to move forward and I wasn’t going to beat myself up anymore. The next morning was bread day. I didn’t do anything outrageously wrong, but I was slow and I felt totally lost as far as what I was doing and what I was supposed to be balancing. It poured over into the next day at work where I ruined an entire thing of cinnamon rolls (this hit close to the heart, Cinnamon rolls are my thing). My boss, Rachel, told me to roll it up and bake it anyway. I left work, took the kids to my doctor’s appointment, and went back to try my ring of failure. It was delicious and hilarious, and I didn’t get fired or scolded. She said as long as I learned something, the loss is worth it. The next evening I had my follow up with our worship leader at church and basically she silenced all of my self doubt and self loathing. Walking away that night left me in shock. 

What is my deal? Why don’t I naturally extend myself grace the way it has been extended to me by others? I don’t have an answer but I do know what Will Smith says,

“When you lose the ability to lose you actually lose the ability to create. Fear is the killer of creativity.” 

So help me, if I let that voice in my head stop me from taking bold chances and putting myself out there. If I let that voice steal the little victories along the way. If I let it steal the bravery it takes to create and challenge and grow. So starting now, I’m starting over and I’m gonna stop bullying myself out of moving forward. 

To help, I’m going to write an encouraging note to myself. (I suggest you do the same, I’d love to see it.) 

Dear Darla, 

Remember that one time you trained for a marathon pushing double wide stroller and then finished the  race a half hour faster than you planned? Remember that time you shot your first buck when you were 5 months pregnant? Hey, remember when you taught yourself to bake french macarons, and homemade ice cream, and pasta, and pies, and breads and more? Let’s not forget the endless trials and victories that motherhood has brought you through. So, basically, you’re awesome, and you’ve grown even more awesome with every brave step you’ve taken in life, regardless of your perceived successes and failures. You’re stronger than you think. Get it? Got it? Good. 

Lovingly, 

Your dang awesome self. 

 

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