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.
To find out more, be sure to visit Tracie’s Stressed-Less Living website: www.stressedlessliving.com . And if you purchase Stressed-Less Living between Sept 30-Oct 7th you’ll receive 7 FREE GIFTS.
Kathy Fanus says
I have to deal with stress and depression on a regular basis. Recently we lost our health benefit coverage and I’m working with the rx company to get my medication. A month’s worth is over $400. They switch to a medication I took before, but does not work near as well. I trust in God that he will get us through this difficult time. Any extra tips or stratigies are always welcome. I do love to read.
Stressed With No Way Out says
Thank you in advance for reading my comment. I think it’s absolutely wonderful when people like Renee can get out of their stressful corporate work life, but unfortunately I feel I have no way out. I am a christian & have been since I was a child. I grew up in a Christinan home. I have a young daughter and work full-time. My work is all consuming. I used to work 6 days a week but since my daughter was born I now work 5. I wish I could quite my stressful job and pursue more godly things, but I can’t. My family needs my income. I can relate to the women’s comment about praying every morning before starting work. I pray every morning in the bathroom when I get to work and at least several other times during the day. I feel so badly that I am so miserable and so does my husband but there is just no possibility of me quitting. There is nothing my boss/owner can do either to lessen my work load. I feel as if I am a bad mother because I don’t get to spend as much time as I would like with my daughter. I cry every morning when I drop her off at the babysitter. Everyone always says it’ll get better, but she just turned one and it still hasn’t. i have been praying for years that God please do with my life whatever he wishes and for my clarity to understand and see that. While my daughter was of course one of the biggest blessings of my life, I just don’t understand why God has put me/allows me to have such a stressful job. I have also been praying that since my job can’t change that God alter/change my emotional state of mind, but things just keep getting worse for me emotionally instead.
I am a kindergarten/ esol teacher in a title one school. I am single and live on my own with my cat. I have had to make a position switch from kindergarten teacher to ESOL position. Leaving my children and teacher assistant behind and trying to explain why this has to happen has been hard and sad. Administration has been negative and not very supportive. I am learning to rely on what God thinks about me. That He loves me with an everlasting love and will never leave me nor forsake me. Also that His Grace is sufficient in my weaknesses and to do everything unto Him which helps my attitude. That He does see it all and my worth is in His love for me. The Confident Heart Book by Renee Swope has been such a blesing to me and a good reminder that my self worth is based on God’s thougths toward me which are good and He believes in me even when others do not.. I would like to win this book on how to destress or will plan to buy it. Thank you again for reminding me that God is for me and not against me and still has plans and purposes for me in my life.
Truthfully I am not sure what is creating it, but my nonstop eating has me stressed to the max. Something is creating me to eat all day long, but I don’t know what the hidden problem is. I now need to lose 50 lbs and can’t stop on my own. I need help.
Wow did I ever relate to what Tracie shared, only my position was eliminated; this occurred the same week my Dad passed away. It’s been a challenging past few months but I have used this time to draw closer to the Lord and make Him my number priority. I too am growing in the areas of confidence and self-worth. Thank you so much for sharing this.