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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Sunday Snippet: You Really Don’t Have to Listen to those Inner Critics…

January 28th, 2013 · 17 Comments

When I was really young and reckless, and I mean really young and really reckless, I believed that I was quite invincible. If someone beat me in a race, or received a higher grade than me in a test… they had simply been lucky. But even when I was so young I was bothered by the confidence, or the lack thereof in my mother’s friends. In fact I didn’t think they were lacking in confidence, because they did the most amazing things – had incredible gardens, created beautiful handwork, took their kids on amazing trips… I thought they were just really bad at receiving compliments.

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You know a typical conversation: “You look great in that outfit!!!” Followed by, “Oh, this old thing… I dragged it from the back of the donate pile and haven’t worn it in twenty years…” I know for myself that if someone says that I am looking fab on a particular day, I will wonder in my head if they actually need to refresh their spectacle prescription… You have to know what I mean… I am hopeless at receiving compliments and I think women in general are pretty good at deflecting a compliment rather than accepting them graciously. The point is, my mom’s friends not only lacked confidence, but they were hopeless compliments.

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I have come to realise that the lack of confidence is really something that grows on you. Now that I am older, I realise that I am a lot less invincible!!! It might begin with a nasty comment in the playground, and maybe a teacher telling you that your best effort was a pathetic effort. You only need two or three comments like that a year and my goodness the older you get the more your confidence has been chipped at – literally. It is human nature for us to remember all the negative things people say to us, and dare I say, blissfully forget all the lovely things folk say. These negative comments do indeed become our inner critics. And I can clearly see why my mum’s friends had little confidence.

And I have been thinking about this a little bit – who are we to lack confidence… take a look at 2 Timothy 1:7

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

Nowadays, there is perpetual pressure to be someone else, to look like someone else, to achieve like somebody else, to study like somebody else. I think the media has a lot to answer for as through the ages the “ultimate media mother” has on the one hand become quite daunting to live up to. And then again, moms of little ones are often presented as “just bleh” about everything… the dishes aren’t done, the kids are late for bed night after night, the laundry pile is – well let’s not mention it. The truth is, there will always be folk doing things somewhat better than we are and others who are not doing as well as we are. Either way… pondering upon what other folks are up to can really turn our inner critics into a multitude of voices.

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Not to mention, very often as a mom your outer critics can become your inner critics… those little faces sitting around the kitchen table are not going to think you are the most awesome person on earth forever… I know it is a bit of a shocker but you try serving spinach three nights in a row, because the vegi-garden crop has arrived!!! There comes a time when you will say “to-mae-toe” and they will say “to-ma-to…” And consequently, you may not always find a picture of yourself with fairly wings and a crown, gently placed on your keyboard in the morning. It can happen, and there will be times when you were right and you need to hold your ground and there will be as many, if not more times, when you may have been a little quick to react and you need to apologise. And those little outer critics can quickly add to your growing collection of inner critics… Just saying!!!

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For me it is reassuring to know that my confidence, my belief that I can get stuff done – despite the media saying that mom’s have so many reasons not to cope, is that it isn’t up to me at all… Philippians 1:6

…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

The thing about confidence is that it is an inner strength that radiates from somebody… an attitude. The confident person knows what they ought to be doing, they know how to do it and they are doing it. It doesn’t matter if their clothes are off the cover of a magazine or not, it doesn’t matter if their hair-do is trendy. God provides us each with unique gifts and we must use them. But, how often we turn away, in the name of “lack of confidence.” How about not worrying if our hospitality is good enough… honestly it is time to stop worrying about other people think, about what other folk are doing and to claim our gifts and use them to make the difference they are meant to make. There will always be someone who can serve five hundred guests with dinner on silver platters, while all you can rustle up is mis-matched mugs and a cup of coffee… think about it: How often do you need a cup of coffee and a friend to talk to rather than dinner on a silver platter.

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In fact, being confident doesn’t necessarily mean doing something wildly dramatic. Often living a life true to what you believe shouts out confidence to those around us – including those ever watchful children of ours. I think the biggest chips to our self-confidence may well be our own: Doing just one more thing when we really need a rest, fatigue is not the best confidence builder; Comparing ourselves to others; Not getting enough exercise or fresh air; Dwelling on what isn’t working right now… instead of noticing what is getting done. Just not making sure that we have enough fun, can drag us down so low and make us feel so unable to cope… how quickly we become the great domestic martyr, the antithesis of the person God wants us to be.

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Lacking in confidence can cause us to be silent when we should speak out… and can prevent us from fulfilling our God-given destiny, it is a case of know your stuff, train for the event and dare to be different. Right now my children are the champions of the world, it is not something they have to be told… they know it. They own it, they claim it… they know they are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14.) Long may that confidence last. And because they are watching… more than ever I need to be confident, to live my daily life according to what I believe… being disciplined enough to turn off this inner critics and do what I know needs to be done. Not huge projects, not seeking out massive plots and plans that make me look like I am achieving great stuff… just a faithful, daily walk with the Lord. I am relieved to say that it is not up to me to achieve this, but God does say: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

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17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tammy // Jan 28, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    I love that last scripture I am going to write it out and put is next to my bed. I love this post. last night I heard one of my kids saying “I just cant cope…” And I knew it was my words they have heard coming out of their mouths! But I can, well I can with Gods help! So love this thank you.

  • 2 Irene // Jan 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    thank you mother person for that – especially that we are being told to always be someone else…
    good point to ponder.

  • 3 AmyDe // Jan 28, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Thank you. You’re right. We let others take our confidence and we destroy it ourselves by looking outside rather than upward and inside. Thank you so much for this ever gentle reminder to let God rule in our lives. When we doubt ourselves we must remember to focus on God and trust that He believes in us.
    AmyDe´s last blog post ..Progress…

  • 4 se7en // Jan 28, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Hay Tammy, Oh, out of the mouths of babes!!! So glad you love that verse too… Doesn’t it just inspire!!! I hope you have a great week, lots of lekker love!!!

  • 5 se7en // Jan 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Hay Irene… So good to hear from you over here again!!! Isn’t it so true about being somebody else!!! Ponder away and have a great week!!!

  • 6 se7en // Jan 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Hi AmyDe, Thank you so much for commenting… Very true, god believes in us and still we talk ourselves down!!! Crazy when you think about it!!! Hope you have a fantastic day!!!

  • 7 Gina // Jan 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that your posts are SUCH an encouragement to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to share!

  • 8 se7en // Jan 29, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Thank you Gina, I am so glad you are encouraged, honestly I am learning as I write myself!!! Hope you have a really good week!!!

  • 9 Katja // Jan 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Oh,well, you know…i really would love a cup of coffee with you :)…but hey, we live so far away and when i read your post i had actually talked back to you :).This post was my dose of a cup of coffee.Have a great week!

  • 10 aunty muffin // Jan 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Thought-provoking! Thank you!

  • 11 se7en // Jan 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Oh Katja!!! So Glad you enjoyed your cup of coffee!!! Hope we enjoy many more together… you have a fabulous week too!!!

  • 12 se7en // Jan 29, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks Aunty Muffin, Hope you have a great week!!!

  • 13 Rikki // Jan 29, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you for this encouraging post. It doesn’t help that we seem to compare our worst to someone else’s best.

  • 14 se7en // Jan 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Oh Rikki, You make such a good point… don’t we just compare our worst to someone else’s best!!! I am so loving the comments on this post. Hope you have a great day!!!

  • 15 Taryn // Feb 2, 2013 at 8:33 am

    I’m busy catching up on my feed and finds self linking back to your posts to comment again and again. This is a great post. This question of confidence is a tightrope walk sometimes. One can fall off into the abyss of self-doubt on the one side or arrogance on the other side. Nothing causes me to fall deep into self-doubt and worry than being viewed as falling into arrogance. It’s taken forever, and I’m still learning, to separate truth from perception and to know when the perception is helpful or whether the truth adequately informs the perception. It’s the craziest thing when a virtue doubles as a vice, as I’ve experienced in myself. Your posts are filled with confidence that I love. Your ‘just do it’ attitude is admirable and I can’t count how many posts have inspired me into action. So thank you!

  • 16 se7en // Feb 2, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Taryn thank you for the great comment… I think confidence or the lack of it is an abyss we all fall into, sometimes leap into… we know we are going there and we just keep on going… I am so glad you keep on returning to our blog, it is lovely to have you stop by!!! Have a fabulous weekend!!!

  • 17 Se7en's Fabulous Friday Fun #207 - se7en // Jan 29, 2014 at 10:48 am

    […] 2013: You Really Don’t Have to Listen to Those Inner Critics. […]

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