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Three Truths That Pulled Me Out of a Pit of Insecurity

Last week, my husband and I were blessed to be surrounded by some incredibly talented thinkers and doers at the Launch Conference. Truly, my mind felt like it was about ready to blow up most of the conference.

There was so much collective wisdom to capture. So much combined experience to soak up. And so many amazing people to converse with.

But you know one of the things that stuck out to me most about the entire conference? It wasn’t the wisdom, or experience, or knowledge… it was that many of these amazingly talented people struggle with fear and insecurity.

In fact, two of the people I would consider to be some of the most accomplished individuals at the conference both confided in me that they felt so out of place.

And I totally got it, because I felt the exact same way. At each meal or round table discussion, we’d meet someone else who had done so much with their lives — and I’d want to sink smaller and smaller into my chair.

At one point in the Q&A discussion, I’m not sure what possessed me, but I raised my hand to share something. As soon as they gave me the microphone, I literally froze up with fear.

In that split second, terror registered in my brain: Who was I to think I should have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion? Why on earth did I raise my hand? Could the floor please open up underneath me and swallow me up?

I somehow managed to say something semi-coherent, handed back the mic, sat down, and felt like a colossal failure. More thoughts flooded through my head: Why am I at a conference on launching a speaking business? I can’t even stand up and say four sentences without failing. Why am I saying “yes” to these speaking opportunities? There are millions of people out there who could do a thousand times better of a job than me.

In that moment, I realized I had a choice: I could sit and sulk over my inadequacies and shortcomings. Or I could choose to focus on the truth.

The Truth: I Am Enough

I am a child of God. He loves me. I don’t have to do anything to earn His love. I am complete in Him.

The Truth: I Have a Story

My story is different than every single other person on the planet. This gives me unique perspective and insight that can bless and impact others in a way that someone else with a different story might not be able to.

The Truth: I Have a Purpose

I might not ever be as amazing of a speaker as some of the people I’ve met are, but that doesn’t mean I should stop talking about the things I’m passionate about.

I want to improve. I want to challenge myself to grow. But I don’t have to wait until I’m polished and perfect to start sharing the message God has put on my heart — otherwise, I’ll be waiting forever! 🙂

These three truths pulled me out of a pit of insecurity and gave me confidence to keep going. And I share them with you in hopes they might encourage you, too.

You are enough. You have a story. You have a purpose.

Camp on those truths and it will change your life!

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83 Comments

  • Angela says:

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of comparison and feel insecure, especially for me, in the blogging world. Your words encouraged me and I’m thankful for your transparency. God made us perfectly unique and when we think we aren’t enough, it’s like we’re telling God that he made a mistake.

  • Elisha says:

    I’m in the exact same spot today. I’ve recently began serving in ministry and I feel so inadequate! Every failure seems magnified and I find it hard to carry on some days. Thank you for sharing these truths.

  • Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet says:

    This was so encouraging to me, as I often (always?) find insecurity, or a lack of confidence dodging my steps. Thanks for sharing openly and personally!

  • Vicky says:

    Exactly what I needed to read as I have to do something tomorrow that I feel totally inadequate to do.

  • Brooke says:

    What a beautiful post! I love it! Thanks!

  • Shannon M. says:

    Thank you for sharing something so personal. I feel like this all the time now. I am 45 and have raised my kids. (still raising them, but they are older now) I am immensely proud of my family, and the part I took in bringing them to where they are. Yet, I am trying to re-enter the work force, and feel like such a colossal failure. I need to be reminded that I am not a special case, and am exactly where my Father wants me to be.

    • annie says:

      i started my first full time job in 20 years last week; made my first big mistake today. i’ve been sulking all afternoon. i really, really, really needed to read this.

      thank you crystal. and shannon, you go get ’em tiger. raaawwwrrr!

    • Crystal says:

      Yes! You are enough, Shannon. I just prayed for you that you would have wisdom, direction, encouragement in your job search. {Hugs!}

      And Annie? I just prayed for you, too. Can I encourage you that I’ve made many, many big mistakes, too? Truly, any success I’ve had in life has come from standing on a big ‘ole pile of failure. Tomorrow is a new day!

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you for sharing. I don’t have many friends (well close ones) and so I am always comparing myself to those on the outside. I always feel like I’m falling short and I thank you for giving me more insight – I look at you and think you have it ALL together and never in a million years would’ve guessed you go through the same things I do. Thank you and God Bless!

  • Deanne Welsh says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve read countless biographies and I find this theme throughout their pages. Insecurity plagues us all, but it does not have to hold us back.

    It’s true. We are not alone. Thank you for the timely reminder.

  • Kathi Lipp says:

    Your comment was so helpful and insightful. It makes me feel so much better that you felt exactly the same way I did. God is so good and he is using you in such amazing ways. It’s an honor to watch it.

    • Crystal says:

      Love you so much, friend!

      So blessed to know you and cannot wait to see what big things God has for you just around the corner!

      {Hugs!}

    • Michele Cushatt says:

      What Kathi said. 🙂

      I’m so proud of you, Crystal. I, too, felt small and “not enough” last week. Wasn’t even sure why I was there. But your truths are spot on, and I need to remember this every day. Thank you for your courage in sharing your struggle with the rest of us!

  • Laura at TenThingsFarm says:

    I have felt that way many places in my life. I still do. Thank you, Crystal. You are a blessing!

  • Nancy says:

    Thank you, just what I needed to read tonight. May God bless you and yours.

  • Melanie says:

    Tears snuck their way to the back of my eyes when I read the words “I am Enough”. I’ve been asking myself for years what is enough? When will I be enough? Maybe another way to phrase it would be “When will I ever be adequate or even just feel adequate?

    But…I am enough. I have been given enough to do what God has called me to do. I feel so much like Moses, who even protested to his Creator, I cannot speak, I am not enough.

    Thanks for the encouraging words! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      You, my friend, are complete. Whole. Enough. Loved.

      Can I encourage you to write out some Scriptures on the above themes and hang them around your home? Then, when those feelings of doubt and insecurity creep in, go read these verses and claim the truth in them.

      Christ in you = the hope of glory! You are complete in Him.

      {I’m preaching to myself here!}

      • Melanie says:

        Thank you Crystal for replying. I checked back tonight because I knew you had replied to some comments when I posted mine, and I thought there might be a chance you’d come back and reply to more. I definitely should put some verses up around my home. Not just for me, but for my daughter too. She is only two, but I never want her to feel the way I have felt at times.

    • Rachel Wojnarowski says:

      I have a list of verses for when you feel “not good enough”. Not that I’ve ever had to use them or anything. ha. 😉 http://rachelwojo.com/bible-verses-for-when-you-feel-not-good-enough/ Just thought this might help you with Crystal’s suggestion!

  • Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing that, it’s exactly what I needed to hear 🙂 I just started a blog and I can’t help but wonder the same thing, do I really have something worth sharing?

  • Rachel Wojnarowski says:

    I love the last point the most. Thank you for being so honest and encouraging!!

  • Tonya says:

    Boy can I relate. When I attended the In(RL) conference in back in April I was nervous enough going to the home of a successful author with a bunch of women I’d never met. When the writer of a popular decorating blog walked in my insecurites got the best of me. These was some of the sweetest women you’re going to meet but all I could see was my failures. I wrote about my feelings that day…http://www.crownsandclay.blogspot.com/2013/04/believing-god.html.

    I appreciate when successful women share openly about this. We all feel this way and it is encouraging to be reminded we are in this together. Over the last few years I’ve overcome a number of personal and health issues, and as I close in on 40 I often feel behind the game as I begin to persue my dreams. It is so easy to get discouraged when I see younger women so much further along on their journey but I am learning to trust that God has been in control of my life all along.

  • Lacey says:

    No matter how you feel inside we all think you are amazing. Thank you for sharing the things a lot of us think inside. To know we are not alone is the first hurdle and making ourselves believe that it’s not true is the second. Without you, we would just be alone with our thoughts.

  • Mona says:

    Amen! I know all of that, but needed to be reminded. Thank you for sharing! May God bless you!

  • Carrie says:

    It helps me to remind myself that insecurity and self-doubt are often tools of the devil. He would love for us to feel so unworthy that we quit.

    I was flipping through Jon Acuff’s book Quitter last night (I read it a couple of months ago and wanted to see why I had dog-eared all those pages!), and a passage hit me. It said something like this: “90% perfect and done is always better that perfect and not done”.

    We have an obligation to put our stuff out into the world. We’re created in God’s image and part of that means being creative!

    (And it’s unfathomable to many of us that someone like you would ever feel inadequate.)

  • CARRIE says:

    Crystal, thank you so so so much for sharing the work of God in your life and in your heart. I am wondering if you would allow me to publish this post (or at least the outline of truths) in a monthly newsletter for the local chapter of MOPS (Mothers of PreschoolerS – a non-denominational mom’s group) which I attend in Cambridge, MN. I write the newsletter for our group, we are about 40-50 moms who meet twice a month to encourage, and learn from one another. Your words just perfectly sum up our overall theme this year : “A Beautiful Mess: Embrace your story.” and I would love to share it with our group. thank you for your consideration. Peace- Carrie Peltier

  • Anonymous says:

    I’ve only recently realized how much insecurities effect everyone. It’s not something that is usually discussed, so I thought it was just me and I should “suck it up”. I’m in graduate school and have a class this semester that’s forcing us try some things well outside of our comfort zone. We have had the chance to have some candid discussions while working on (or venting about) the assignments; it’s been comforting to realize I’m not the only one that experiences these frustrations and doubts about my work.

    Watching the progress as a group of people, who already have skills you respect, learn something new has highlighted the problems my own expectations for myself. No one is perfect on the first try, most of us are pretty terrible actually. It’s hard to admit that when the only source of comparison for your work-in-progress is someone else’s finished product. Seeing other people go through the same process makes it easier to accept my own work and abilities at each stage.

    • Crystal says:

      “No one is perfect on the first try, most of us are pretty terrible actually. It’s hard to admit that when the only source of comparison for your work-in-progress is someone else’s finished product.”

      THIS. Such wisdom!

  • Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for this Crystal. I have been struggling so much with these feelings lately. My husband is very sick and it feels as though our life” on hold” will never get better some days. I see life go on for all of those around me and sometimes it’s just so hard. I know this is our season right now and I try hard to embrace it, but being a go-getter personality this sitting still stuff is very difficult.

    The last line of your post made me cry. I so needed those words spoken into my life right now!

  • Jamie Rohrbaugh says:

    Amen! Preach it, girl! 🙂

  • Melanie @ carmelmoments.com says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart Crystal. So many times I feel that way but not about speaking but blogging.
    Who am I to think I have anything worthwhile to write about? Who am I to think that anyone will come to my blog or keep coming back for that matter?
    But I try to remind myself why I do what I do. I try to remind me who sustains me and what my purpose on this earth is.
    Thanks!

  • Lora C says:

    My first thought after reading this was “Girl, you are awesome!!!!!” You have done more to help others than you will ever know. The fact that you are willing and able to share these types of experiences helps us to know that we are not alone when we face similar struggles. There is a saying that goes something like this: “When you help someone up a hill, you help yourself up the hill as well.” Thank you for helping me and others up so many of life’s hills. I am so glad that God blessed me to find your site and connect with you–it is a joy to get up the hills with you.

    • Crystal says:

      You are a sweet blessing in my life. You have no idea how much your comments of encouragement have meant to me!

      And I hope I get the opportunity to meet you in real-life sometime soon!

  • Diane says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. It’s exactly what I needed to read today. I’m in the middle of a job change, and I’ve been feeling nervous and a bit overwhelmed.

  • Team Southerland says:

    Thank you so very much, Crystal. It so often seems like you have it so together. The Lord has used you so mightily! I appreciate a peek into your heart, and the transparency of your soul. It is so encouraging when I see some of my favorite bloggers open up, and share their struggles. May the Lord continue to use you to bless others! 🙂

    • Crystal says:

      As those closest to me can well attest to, I’m such a work in progress and so, so far from having it “together”! But I’m grateful that my struggles can encourage others to know they are not alone. We’re in this journey together!

  • Jennifer says:

    Loved this post. So true. Thanks for sharing so openly.

  • Cate R. says:

    I must confess, Crystal, it’s hard to believe that you could feel unaccomplished. I don’t think I do in a year what you do in a week. But it’s good to remember that God isn’t looking at our list of accomplishments deciding how much he will love us. Truly, everyone is in such a different place with abilities, circumstances, calling. Sometimes I feel like the years just keep passing and my life resume increasingly looks more pathetic. Part of that is sacrificing things that the world considers impressive in order to “just” be a mom/ wife/ homemaker. But anyhow, thanks for sharing your heart with us.

  • margaret c says:

    So glad I read your blog today. I’m on my way to share my experience, strength, and hope at an AA meeting. Even though I know all I need to do is be honest and let God speak through me I still get nervous. Gives me hope to know that you do too.
    Thanks 🙂

    Margaret

  • Melissa says:

    Reading those words “I Am Enough” just brought the tears. I struggle so hard with this and I want so badly to just accept it and know it. I have a lifetime of negativity to overcome before I can believe it. Thank you so much for sharing this. And thanks to all the other commenters too. This community of women that you’ve joined together is so inspiring and needed. You never know when you’ll touch a life. You are such a blessing to me!

  • Jennifer Faris says:

    I recently finished Beth Moore’s ‘Breaking Free’ bible study with a group of women from my church. Going in to it I wasn’t sure what I needed to ‘break free’ from but very early on it was revealed to me it’s my insecurities. They have disguised themselves so well as part of my ‘normal everyday life’ that I wasn’t even entirely aware of them. Now I’m realizing how they’ve held me back but more importantly, what LIES they all are.

    In the short amount of time I got to know you, you told me of how God is working through your life and transforming you. Thank you for sharing your journey Crystal – I look forward to following along and watching Him reveal to you who he created you to be. I am cheering for you and praying for you!

    Jennifer

    • Crystal says:

      Jennifer! Thank you for how you blessed me last week. You were patient and gracious in the midst of my insecurity and that meant the world to me. I was so blessed to have a chance to meet you briefly!

  • Sarah @BakingWithMom says:

    Wow. Thank you. I love reading or hearing things that make me think, make me ponder them throughout the day. I appreciate that post.

  • Rebecca says:

    Were you reading my mind? It’s like you wrote this just for me. Thank you! 🙂

  • Crystal @ WisdomSeekingMommy.com says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’m feeling very called to start speaking – and I’m scared. I got to do a bit at my Church’s Women’s Retreat this past weekend – and honestly I struggled a lot. But I also got to see God use the story that He has given me to help and encourage others. I’m still uncertain of how to move forward in my calling, but I’m taking it one day at a time – and these reminders – that I am enough in Christ, that I have a story and purpose – will help me as I move forward.

  • Dawn says:

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. I can definitley relate to the feelings you describe.

  • Ramona Nowak says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Crystal. I always think that other people always feel confident and sure of themselves but in reality, that is not the case. I just want you to know how much of an inspiration you have been to me and countless others. You have no idea how you have impacted other people’s lives. I would have loved to hear every word you said when you stood up at that conference to speak as I might have learned something!

  • Mama Murrey says:

    Crystal, I’m shaking my head over this one, because just this week I was thinking about you and how much you have accomplished and thinking what a big impact you’re making.

    See, I used to read the articles you wrote for a certain teenage girl’s magazine back when we both were in our teens. The editor of the magazine grew up and became my midwife and you grew up and became MoneySaving Mom. And I grew up and haven’t done anything big. I know I’m doing what God has called me to and I don’t even want to be a big-name blogger. But I’m just shaking my head at the idea of you feeling small and insignificant.

    I’m glad God is working on you about feeling inadequate, etc. You ARE making a big impact in many ways in many lives. You’re living His destiny for you, both as a wife and mom, and as a blogger. And really, fulfilling His plans for us is all He asks of any of us.

  • ClareC. says:

    I am enough. I have a story. I have a purpose. What beautiful 3 thoughts, Crystal! I am blessed to have a job where I work with 36 high school age girls, (one of whom is my eldest child 🙂 It is a creatively demanding position and I often struggle with feeling inadaquate. I believe that God calls us to do things where we feel we can’t make it on our own. Only then will we surrender to Him, seek His help and guidance, and give Him all the glory and honor for the results. So chances are, if you’re feeling less than confident about a situation and wondering “Why would anyone select me for this task,” you’re probably on the right track!

  • Kandice says:

    THIS is why I read your blog every.single.day. Thank you.

  • Crystal @ Serving Joyfully says:

    I find myself in that place a lot! Thanks for sharing.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Crystal, thank you so much for this. As a working wife and mother with a lot on her plate, I struggle every day with insecurity despite the world’s feedback and the truth of God’s pure love for me. I know this is a personal struggle that involves vanity, defensiveness, and prioritization of the world’s feedback over a true relationship with Him. It’s heartening to know that so many others share in this, and that we are working together for a more godly life and pure happiness in Heaven.

  • Diane Long says:

    I can’t see any reason in the world that you should feel insecure! You have built the most amazing career for yourself and are admired by many. I do thank you for this message as it speaks to what I’m dealing with right now.

    If I recall, didn’t Moses have a speech impediment that made him question why God was calling him into greatness??

  • Tshanina @ Thrifty T's Treasures says:

    Amen, amen and amen Crystal!

    Insecurity is something that I also struggle with and this post definitely hit home for me! Over the past few years I, too, have learned that, although it may be difficult, sharing my story is exactly why the Lord allowed me to go through tough times! I’m so thankful for the freedom that comes with learning to love myself and believing that I am enough!

  • Amanda Crecelius says:

    Thanks Crystal for all you do! You are inspiring and a blessing. I like how you mentioned that each of us has a unique story and perspective to share and bless others with. God bless!

  • CJ says:

    I really needed to read this today. Thank you for your transparency, it is so very encouraging.

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