Does stress impact our confidence? Today I’ve asked my friend Tracie Miles, author of Stressed-Less Living to share how stress once diminished her confidence and threw her into a pit of doubt causing her to question her ability to fulfill God’s plans for her life.
Although it was seven years ago, I remember it as if it were yesterday. Every morning I dragged myself out of bed, dreading another stressful and emotionally draining day at my job. A job which I had grown to hate, working for a supervisor whom I had grown to fear.
Not only was I overwhelmed with job stress, I was trapped in a deep pit of despair that was filled to the brim with doubt, low self esteem and zero confidence.
My heart and my mind were ravaged with turmoil. I had a demanding and stressful workload and a supervisor who used continual harsh words and often unwarranted criticism.
Even though I gave 100% and tried to do my best, I started doubting whether or not I was good at my job. Eventually my doubts began to creep into my personal life as well. Thoughts like “maybe I’m not a good enough wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend…” plagued my heart. Self condemnation started consuming my thoughts, and eventually I hit an all time low in self-confidence.
Juggling all the stress and pressures of the workplace was nothing compared to trying to carry the crushing weight of self-doubt.
The time finally came when I admitted I needed to make a change in my life. You see, I knew God had been calling me for several years to lay down my job, and allow Him to lead me into new places, but I had been too afraid and too insecure. But change was necessary, or else my physical and emotional health would continue to decline.
I resigned from that position, and although I no longer had the stress of corporate responsibilities, my life was still filled with many other stressors. Yet, upon leaving my job, I picked up my Bible more than ever before. And when I started making my walk with Christ a priority, I came to realize that even though my life was still stressful, my heart was at peace.
Why? Because as my faith grew, my self confidence grew with it. You see, I was coming to realize that my value is based on who I am in Christ, not who a supervisor said I was. I embraced the acceptance and value God promises, tucked in Deuteronomy 14:2, which says “You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” (NLT)
As my heart slowly healed from the brokenness of a broken person’s words, my spirit began to soar. God helped me understand that my value lies in Him, not in the approval or acceptance of the world. I need not base my self worth, intelligence or value based on what man or woman says, but on what God says about me instead.
It was a long journey, but the more I kept my eyes focused on Christ, the more my self confidence increased. I not only discovered my confidence again, I also learned that God is the answer to our stress, no matter what form it comes in.
And I finally found a calmness in my spirit that was not present simply because I left a stressful job, but because I had embraced my unstressed God: a Savior who loved me, despite my mistakes, sins and imperfections. My Jesus who told me I was His precious treasure, even if nobody else saw my worth, including myself.
God not only showed Tracie the path to acceptance, self-confidence, and worth in Him, but He used her experiences as the training ground to build a story in her life which is now the basis of her new book, Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World.
Today we’re giving away 3 signed copies to three of you! Leave a comment below this post and share with us something that is currently causing you stress. I’ll share too.