3 Mindsets That Make You Feel Like A Failure (when you are not)
For the last few years, I’ve battled hard against anxiety. The kind where I walk into a grocery store and get overwhelmed with where to start. Or walk into a party and feel like everyone is staring and find a quiet corner to just survive. Or stand in front of a room of people almost in tears with nerves to present during a staff meeting.
Strangely enough, the one place I felt free was traveling overseas. The place where most people would see anxiety skyrocket, I found peace. And here’s what I discovered … my anxiety was all about expectation.
I had put myself through a lifetime of unrealistic expectations, and I always fell short. I made up stories of how people laughed at me or, maybe worse, felt pity on me and gave me compliments.
I was chained to what others thought of me, and it started manifesting physically — ulcers, rashes, weight gain, and migraines. I was falling apart and I couldn’t see a way out. But God provided His Word.
This verse helped me see that I was chained in fear and could let it go … because He’s already set me free:
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery". [Galatians 5:1]
I was letting the Enemy steal my joy and freedom with fear. And God helped me to break free again. It’s still a struggle each day, but we defeat the Enemy more often than not. And that, Dreamer, is a victory!
Today, I wanted to share 3 things that I see others let steal their joy and keep them from celebrating and help you break out of it. So we can see ourselves for who God made us.
This is my #1 source of stress as an entrepreneur — seeing others have success (or the appearance of success) and feeling less worthy.
Why would someone come to me? How will I make it? Maybe I can just be the low cost alternative to the person they really want to work with.
Those were all thoughts I legitimately had. So I had to start doing a few things differently:
- I found my special sauce — my uniqueness. Now I know there really isn’t anyone like me.
- I stopped following the ones that were messing with my mindset by unsubscribing and leaving lots of groups.
- I started connecting and celebrating so that my “competition” became my friends, advocates, and prayer warriors so we all grow together.
My big problem these days is that I don’t stop. I keep going forward and looking at the next thing. And that leaves me in a constant state of worry.
What if I don’t make it? Can I really get that done? What about the next thing? What if this thing falls apart, then what?
You can worry about everything, and often it means we overwork ourselves too — but I think we need to shift that into a place of surrender. Here are some of the ways that I’ve done that:
- Prayer. Anytime I catch myself worrying, I turn it off by praying. I surrender it and then get back to work.
- Find stillness. This is what I’m really bad at, but I find a time each day with no music, podcasts, or information. Just silence, me and the Lord. It really grounds you.
- Daily gratitude and celebration. Every day I write down 3 new things I’m grateful for, and I make sure that I track metrics weekly so that I have even more opportunity to celebrate. It keeps me focused on the good instead of the worry.
Have you ever prayed this prayer: God, please do _______ if it’s your will. Um, I have. A lot. But what I’m realizing now is that God wants our biggest and boldest prayers because that says we believe. With that though comes expectation (which is why we put that little clause at the end).
Sometimes we start defining God’s best on our terms. That only leads to disappointment. God knows your need, and He will provide. But we have to be willing to let Him do it His way.
So while I like to get specific in my prayers, I now like to add something about how He can do more than I ask or imagine. That way I remember that He can surprise me and I will still be grateful. Here are a few ways you can do it:
- Set goals for growth, income, audience, whatever and pray over them daily.
- Start praying for bigger things that you can even dream right now.
- Ask God to make His presence known through His provision.
You are successful already because you’re following God’s call right now, every day, in the trenches of your business. So we need to embrace Him in our lives and stop letting these mindsets hold us back.
Which of these 3 do you struggle with the most?