Welcome We all know we are supposed to have faith in God and His infinite power. I do, and at least I try to live my life as though I do. My problem is that I lack confidence in myself. Sound familiar? Join my discussion about this relatable topic and stick around to the end for a trifecta of mood-boosting foods in my amazing banana bread recipe. Note-I may receive small compensation for advertisements and affiliate links found on this blog. I am not affiliated with any authors or publishers mentioned in this post. For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.
Food For Thought I have spent many years of my life feeling like something was wrong with me. I have always believed in God, His son, Jesus, my Savior, the power of prayer, and knowing the blessings in my life are numerous. But while I have claimed all of this, I felt that I was not worthy or good enough to carry out any sort of special plans that God may have in store for me. In fact, even though I prayed for some things in my life, sometimes I lacked faith that anything would come form those prayers, saying things like I have faith in YOU God, but I lack confidence in myself. Therefore, the prayer probably won’t be answered. That is not very strong faith then, is it? How incredibly sad, yet real. But in recent years, I’ve learned some powerful truths!
First, I want to share the current book I’m reading. It’s another Sharon Jaynes’ book. I just finished one of her books and shared some about it in the More Bad Good Advice post from this summer. Although I found some conflict in a few things in her book Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, it was generally a good book, and I loved her book Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe. My new book is titled “I’m Not Good Enough” and Other Lies Women Tell Themselves. I’m about 25 pages in and it’s already having a profound effect on me. It is reassuring to know that I am not the only woman in the world that struggles with this. Even other Christian women, with deep spiritual roots like myself can battle with these feelings. And the author cleared up a big piece of the puzzle for me. This is a tool that Satan uses to trick us into temptations. He’s been using this trick since the Garden of Eden when he tricked Eve into thinking she wasn’t good enough without eating from the tree of knowledge. Satan is very in tune with our weaknesses, and as humans many of us have feelings of inadequacies. We look for earthly gains to fulfill or compensate these inadequacies, with Satan luring us into temptation along the way. So while it is admirable and desirable to be humble, lacking confidence to an extreme level is Satan chipping away at our faith. Knowing this gives me a new perspective. Instead of finding fault in myself, having constant feelings of inadequacy, or lacking confidence, I need to turn to God and ask Him to steer me down a different path. I can pray for God to intervene with Satan’s trickery and for Him to clear my mind to see His truths. (links verified on 9/13/17 at 12:45 pm CDT)
His Truths make up the second point. Didn’t God create us in His image? Didn’t God create us to be exactly how He wanted us to be, physically, spiritually, and mentally? Didn’t He bless us with talents and gifts to build up His kingdom? I read about these things in scripture, and believe them about other people, but struggle when it’s time to believe them about myself. To overcome this, I must spend more time in scripture reading about God’s truths and His love and acceptance for me.
My final point today is about cognitive distortions. Oh, and the mandatory disclaimer here-I am NOT a medical professional and am not giving any advice regarding your mental health. I am merely sharing from my own experiences and learning. If you have concerns for yourself or a loved one, PLEASE see a professional. Cognitive distortions are exaggerated or irrational thought patterns that are believed to perpetuate the effects of psychopathological states, especially depression and anxiety. I recommend Sharon Martin’s website to find out more. For a long time I did not know there was a name for my irrational thinking patterns. I like knowing what it is so it can be addressed, and to some extent, corrected. I believe it is possible for nearly everyone to have some type of cognitive distortion of varying degrees of severity. I am lucky because my lack of confidence does not prohibit me from living a functional life, like it can disable some. I have included the following infographic about cognitive distortions, because there are several types. Some of them may sound familiar to you. I fall into several categories on this list, which lead to a lack of confidence and being overly critical of myself, even when circumstances are out of my control or not as catastrophic as I am imagining. Overgeneralizing, negativity bias, catastrophizing, and labeling are a few hang-ups that keep me from seeing myself in a true picture.
I share all of this to point out that it is a HEALTH NEED. Do we pray for our friends when they are physically ill? Do I ask God to heal me when I’m battling disease? If we trust God with our physical bodies, shouldn’t we trust Him with our mental and emotional health as well? So if I truly have faith in God, it’s time to start praying about the lack of confidence in myself.
Today’s Scriptures I shared yesterday that I use the book of Ephesians a lot as my life instruction book. I have some verses from Ephesians again today for boosting our confidence.
Ephesians 3:12 “In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
Ephesians 3:16-18 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in you inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”
Ephesians 6:10-11 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”
Today’s Prayer My loving and faithful God, we know of Your power in all things, and that includes our feelings and emotions. God, I ask that when Satan tries to trick us into thinking we are not good enough to do Your good work or unworthy of love, please intervene and battle for us. Restore our confidence and healthy thinking so that we be a light to others throughout Your kingdom. Lord, I ask that You show us Your truths through Your word and bless our studies so that we may discern what is right for our thinking. In Jesus Holy Name, Amen.
Today’s Recipe I have been looking into foods that can help with mental clarity and mood. There are several foods that are thought to help with elevating serotonin levels, as well as other mood boosting factors. I’m going to bring three of these foods together in today’s recipe–Banana Bread with Walnuts and Dark Chocolate. Bananas are a good source of the amino acid tryptophan which your body converts to serotonin. Walnuts and dark chocolate are also listed among the foods that can boost mood while reducing anxiety and stress hormones in the body. If you would like to see more about foods to help with moods, please visit my Healthy Lifestyle page.
Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate and Walnuts (makes 1 loaf of 10-12 servings)
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I used Nestle’)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees; spray loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and continue to mix until combined. In separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this to mixing bowl and beat at low speed until beginning to mix together. Add mashed bananas and vanilla and continue to mix at low speed until just blended. With rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips and walnuts. Spread batter in loaf pan evenly, tapping gently. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle clean. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes before removing from pan.