How to Manage Doubtful Thoughts

My confidence suffered a hefty blow! An event I was scheduled to speak at cancelled. Though their reasons had nothing to do with me, I found my heart sinking down into the pit of self-​doubt. Ever been there? It’s a slimy mess of muck and mire.

While it’s okay to take a tumble into the pit occasionally, you don’t want to pitch your tent there because self-​doubt can quickly turn to self-​pity.

When my confidence is shaken, I find it helpful to have a “self-​management meeting.” I am the CEO of my thought life, and frankly, sometimes I need to take charge of the pesky little thoughts that run wild in my mind! I don’t want to be guilty of throwing away my confidence (Hebrews 10:35), which means I need to manage my thought life.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

My self-​management meeting begins with this question: What is the truth?

Ah, the truth. God is for me! He has no doubts about me. He called me. He gifted me. He uses me. And, He has not given up on me. In fact, the Apostle Paul reminds me that God began a good work in me and will bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6). I can trust that what He started, He will finish. It’s not that I arrive at “self-​confidence,” it’s that the Holy Spirit fills me with “holy confidence.”

The same holds true for you. All of us have moments in our lives when self-​doubt pummels our minds. Perhaps you hear old messages, such as, “You’ll never amount to anything.” Or, maybe you hear the word “loser” reverberating through your mind.

As soon as those thoughts start, you have a choice. You can nurture those thoughts, or you can reject those thoughts and stand on the truth of what God says about you. He says you are “holy and dearly loved” (Colossians 3:12). He says you have gifts that He wants to use (1 Corinthians 12:7). In fact, I would wager that God is more excited about using the gifts He’s given you than you are! Try this out, the next time you find yourself slipping into the self-​doubt pit, have a self-​management meeting, and praise Him that He will complete the great work He started in you!

Questions for personal reflection:

1. In which area of life do you struggle the most with self-​doubt? (i.e. career, marriage, parenting, body image, or friendships)

2. How would you describe the difference between self-​confidence and holy confidence?

3. What have you found to be most helpful in managing your thought life?

About Becky Harling

Becky Harling is a frequently-​​sought-​​after speaker and the author of Finding Calm in Life’s Chaos, Rewriting Your Emotional Script, and Freedom from Performing. In addition to her speaking and writing ministry, Becky serves as a women’s ministry consultant, a spiritual life coach, and […]

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  1. Crystal G Abner says

    Thank you!

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