How To Combat Self Doubt

Courtesy of Shahram Sharif/Creative Commons Licenses

How long were you in ministry before you encountered that first bit of self-doubt? Was it before you walked in the door?  Was it the moment you were first questioned as a leader? The answer for me is three weeks into the job. I had just started my job as middle school youth minister and one of my first responsibilities was to assign 6th grade students to small groups. I thought I did a good job, considering I didn’t know too many people; however, a parent strongly disagreed. She told me that it was an “injustice” because her son was not in the same small group as his friend. On the sign-up form this individual had not indicated that he wanted to be with this specific person; therefore, how was I to know that I was committing an “injustice”?  I grew angry, upset and then when the emotions subsided I began to wonder, “Am I going to be any good at this?
As youth ministers we face tough decisions and tense situations that force us to step up. And even if the right decision is made, we find:

  • Parents that questions your intentions for their child. 
  • Pastors who second-guesses your decisions. 
  • Teenagers that leaves for another ministry. 
  • Ministers who won’t do what you say. 

All you need is for one of these situations to occur for you to question your gifts and abilities. It’s a case of SELF-DOUBT and it will eat you alive unless you:

  • Recognize The Battle – God’s voice is a whisper filled with love and encouragement. Satan is constantly yelling in your ear that you are worthless. Many times we forget that there are battles going on internally, ones that go beyond the surface. If we acknowledge the fact that the thief wants to steal, kill and destroy our joy, then we won’t get lost in a battle of self worth. 
  • Surround Yourself With Love – Outside of your family is there someone who pours into you? We all need someone to love on us and check-in when life is at it’s worst. We need people holding us accountable and cheering us on, when life gets rough. Surrounding yourself with love isn’t about finding people who are going to kiss you butt, it’s about finding people who are going to help you get spiritually fed when you are empty. Start by looking at men or women that you can trust to be that sounding board; yet, have permission to call you out of your self-doubt. 
  • Remember God Chose You – The largest reason you feel self-doubt is because you lose sight of your purpose. God chose and designed you, for a specific role, he knows that you are qualified. By remembering that God has called you into ministry you remember that He is in control. When you face a tough decision, He is there. When you face a tense situation, He is there. He is everywhere you need Him to be because He wants you to know that you are worthy of His plan. We often preach this truth to our teens; yet, forget it applies to us as well. 

You are always going to face obstacles and adversity; therefore, asking the question, “How can I avoid it?” will never be fulfilled. What you need to ask yourself is, “How will respond to it?” By recognizing the battle and what God has blessed you with, you can give yourself the confidence to overcome anything, even the voices of self-doubt in your life.

How do you battle self-doubt?