“What do you think you are doing?”
“You’re not good enough.”
“You don’t know enough to be helping her.”
“What makes you think you can do this?”
I was meeting with a new client in an hour or two and thoughts like this kept coming into my mind. Satan was doing his best to pull me down and keep me from doing what I felt called to do. I felt the darkness coming in around me and in that time, I turned to God.
Moments like these come at different points in our lives. It may be while speaking in church, meeting with your ministering sisters, serving in a church calling or in your community, being a mom and all the responsibilities that go with that, or in the different trials that we face with grief and pain. Darkness comes into our lives. Yet, in those moments, if we turn to God, His light comes in and strengthens us.
I remember being in the MTC and going through a similar experience. The anxiety of what I was doing as a missionary was weighing on me and thoughts of self-doubt were bombarding my mind. I talked to one of my MTC teachers about it and he shared something that has since changed my life and helped me to see the self-doubt that I felt in a different way.
My teacher shared with me this scripture from Joseph Smith History 1:15, “…I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak, Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.”
Joseph Smith has this experience, right before the glorious first vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Satan was there doing what he could to keep Joseph from praying and receiving the revelation that would change the world. My MTC teacher then told me that that was what Satan does to us as well. Right before we are about to do something amazing, Satan tries to stop us. He fills our minds with doubt, he tries to drag us down into darkness. He does not want to see us succeed.
The anxiety and self-doubt that I felt in that moment, were tools that Satan was using to keep me from moving forward in my mission. He was trying to keep me from having an impact on those who came to Temple Square. He was keeping me from being a force for good in this world. And at times, it really did feel like he would “bind my tongue so that I could not speak” and that there was “thick darkness gathered around me.”
However, God is there. And He is so much more powerful than Satan. When we allow ourselves to choose God, to break through the bonds Satan would put upon us and call out to our Heavenly Father, God answers, He strengthens, He opens up a way for us to then believe in Him and in ourselves.
Since that experience in the MTC, I have come to see my anxiety as an indicator that I am about to step outside my comfort zone. And those thoughts of self-doubt? Those tell me that Satan is trying to keep me from doing an amazing work for the Lord.
In Jeremiah 29:11, The Lord says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil…”
The Lord does not see you as less than or unworthy. He thinks thoughts of peace toward you. When thoughts of self-doubt and not feeling good enough come into our minds and hearts, they are not of God. God sees our true divine selves, and He desires you to see that too. God’s words are filled with comfort, with hope, with repentance, and with the power to overcome.
As I prepared to meet with my new client, I prayed, I asked God for help in combatting the self-doubt that was surrounding me. I meditated, focusing on connecting with my true and divine self, feeling God guide and direct me in seeing myself as He sees me. I allowed myself to feel my fear and then was able to release it and allow God’s peace to come into my mind and heart. I allowed the Spirit to guide my thoughts as God showed me what I was capable of.
God helped me to then be excited about meeting with my new client. I felt ready and I like I had won. I did not give in to Satan’s power and I did not allow Him to keep me from doing what I was meant to do that day.
So, when you feel those thoughts of, “I am not enough.” “I don’t know what I am doing.” “How can I do all that the Lord asks of me?” Remember that the Lord thinks thoughts of peace toward you. He sees who you truly are and He knows what you are capable of and He is there supporting you and cheering you on.
Karen has grown from being a shy child who wouldn’t say a word to stepping outside her comfort zone each day to inspire others to see what they are capable of as they put their faith and trust in God. She loves the simple joys that life brings and has learned that they are ways that God shows his love for his children. You can find her free “Recognizing God’s Love” gratitude course on her blog.
Karen has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brigham Young University Idaho and is a certified life coach where she is devoted to helping families realize their divine worth and potential. She has been passionately studying personal development since she was 15 and loves to share the things that she has learned. On Instagram each week she shares affirmation videos for recognizing your worth and potential as well as tips for deepening your connection with self, family, and God.
She and her husband, Jordan, are enjoying their life together with their 3 girls who give Karen much of her inspiration. She recently wrote the book, “Raising Super C Kids” where she shares the things that have helped her to teach her kids confidence, courage, compassion, and connection. Karen currentlay calls California, USA home.