Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Doubt and Insecurity

One post in the journalling series was about a new book that talks about doubt and insecurity. So the challenge was to journal about those things. This is what I wrote:

I read a great book by Kevin Lehman (the birth order guy) called What Your Childhood Memories Say About You. In it, he asks readers to finish the statement, "I feel I matter in life when...."

I jotted some ideas in the margin as ways I could answer that, but the one that really clicked was, "I feel I matter in life when I get things right."

My doubts and insecurities are directly related to that core of perfectionism. When I make a mistake, I berate myself, kicking myself over and over about how I goofed. When I'm in a situation where I'm in over my head, I second guess the decisions that led me there. I think longingly of the last place I was where I felt like I knew what I was doing. I hate feeling incompetent.

Several years ago, when I was working daily with recovering addicts who were also mentally ill, I did a session with my clients where I played a Steven Curtis Chapman song called, "Burn the Ships." The chorus and bridge say

Burn the ships, we're here to stay
There's no way we could go back
Now that we've come this far by faith
Burn the ships, we've passed the point of no return
Our life is here
So let the ships burn

Nobody said it would be easy
But the one who brought us here
Is never gonna leave us alone

For addicts, the correlation is clear - they have to leave their old life and old friends behind if they want to be in recovery. This chorus returns to me in those moments of doubt and insecurity. I have to tell myself that I am in the place I'm supposed to be, I will learn what I need to learn, I will build competence in time. I have to close the door on the idea of going back to what was comfortable and embrace the new challenge. Some times that is a lot harder than others!

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