Monday, January 20, 2014

Overcoming Insecurity, Guest Post by Michelle Wilson

Michelle Wilson has a new book out and I recently reviewed it here. I liked the message of this book and Michelle's great narrative voice so much that I invited her to guest post on my blog. Let's hear what she has to say...

Thanks so much Rachelle for having me on your blog today!
The topic of overcoming insecurity and finding happiness within ourselves is one that is dear to my heart.  As a teenager, I had my struggles. I felt awkward and alone. I even allowed myself to feel stupid. These feelings pooled into my heart, causing it to feel heavy and sad.
Not only did I allow myself to feel bad, but I chose to act the way I felt. My grades in high school were a testament not of my potential, but of my performance—and that performance was bad. I then allowed my poor performance to validate my initial feelings of worthlessness. It was a vicious cycle! Thankfully I was able to pull myself out of it, but not in time to resuscitate my high school GPA.  
Now that I am twenty-plus years removed from my teenage years, it is easy for me to see that my perception of low self-worth was just that: a perception. Back then I thought I knew who I was, what I was worth, and what I was capable (or not) of—but I was wrong.  My perception, or opinion, of myself wasn’t true to the reality that God knew about me.  I am, and always have been, an intelligent, valuable individual. I just couldn’t see it.
We women tend to underestimate ourselves. We mistake humility for self-deprecation and often apologize for who we are because we aren’t like we think we should be. We compare our (perceived) worst with other women’s (perceived) best, and deem ourselves less than.
The sad thing is that we often act in accordance with those feelings. When we don’t feel confident we can shy away from opportunities and experiences. We are blinded to the talents and gifts God has given us, and underplay the talents we do see. When we struggle with confidence we can feel unworthy to be loved, and in turn we avoid letting people love us.
I tell my children, “Opinion doesn’t change the truth.” That is an important thing to learn and understand, especially as women. The way we view ourselves is often based on our own opinions not who we really are. The only Ones who can see us as in total clarity and truth are Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I mentioned before that I was able to pull myself out of the cycle of feeling bad/acting accordingly/allowing my actions to validate bad feelings. This happened as I began to prepare for a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I stopped looking around me and started looking up to God for my worth.  Then a really great thing happened: I started to see myself as He saw me—and I believed Him!
Since then He has patiently worked with me as I have fought the temptations of the adversary to compare myself to others, doubt myself, feel unneeded guilt or shame, and so on. I have come to realize that I have many gifts and talents that He has given me, and I’ve found great joy in exploring and magnifying them. I have a greater sense of purpose,  joy, and confidence in knowing who I am, where I came from, and where He knows I can go.
Jacob teaches us that “to be spiritually minded is life eternal” (2 Nephi 9:39). He’s right. Getting and keeping a spiritual, or eternal, perspective is the key to fulfilling our purpose and reaching our potential. If we could all see ourselves as God sees us, I am sure we’d be amazed! For we truly are greater than we know, stronger than we realize, and amazing in every way!

*Thanks, Michelle, for sharing your wonderful insight with us.
You can purchase Michelle's book at Deseret Book here and at other bookstores/online.

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