Evaporating Faith

This is a pretty intensely personal post. I don't usually post anything like it, but maybe some of you have dealt with similar issues and will be helped by it.

Let me start off by saying I'm an introvert. I recharge by being alone. So it's a measure of how enthusiastic I am about Young Living that I want to grow my business. Selling anything is challenging for me, but as my wonderful mentors have said repeatedly, there are many different ways to share. At this point, I'm choosing to teach classes about essential oils online. The classic method is to teach in person; I'm not opposed to that, as I've taught library instruction and WordPress for years. I'm also blogging about essential oils and topics related to emotional and spiritual aspects of life.

Honestly, my fear of rejection is great. I want people to like me, whether it's in person or online. In fact, sending Facebook messages to friends personally inviting them to my essential oils classes freaks me out just a little. Okay, a lot. It's not just the fear of rejection, though, but wanting to be authentic. Jumping into someone's life out of the blue doesn't feel right to me. It's made me examine my socialization and how little I interact with even people I know virtually.

One of the aspects of Young Living I've found particularly enchanting is the community of godly women involved with it. I'm always struggling with spirituality. I've been a churchgoer all my life, and I'm a firm believer in God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but it goes back to authenticity. Or overthinking. Or something. I have trouble settling down into faith all the way, like I can't just plop all the way into the bathtub. (If that makes any sense at all.) A very meaningful experience to me was reading and following Monique McLean's 21 Days of Prayer for Your Business. Monique is in my upline (sort of like being my great-great grandmother in the YL scheme of things) and is a Royal Crown Diamond, the highest rank you can achieve. She attributes her success to God and isn't afraid to say so. I was inspired after the twenty-one day experience to continue to really pray about my business. Plus I've had some spiritual experiences that convinced me God is helping me on my journey.

In my quest to develop a team with Young Living, I even began praying specifically for a group of women I mentally refer to as my “dream team.” I won't tell you their names. All but one I know in real life. But I pray for their wellness, that they'll become the women they were meant to be–and that when the time is right, they'll join my team and help me share about the joyful oil life. I've never done anything like this before, pray so specifically and so protractedly for a group of people. Shows you how I'm really trying to do things differently than I have in the past.

All that is background to something that happened the other day.

All that faith, all that confidence just evaporated.

Because of a few words from my even-more-introverted husband.

“You're about as good at sales as I am.”


Yeah, he said it, but he wasn't trying to be mean, just brutally honest. It was in the midst of a conversation about finances, and how I shouldn't reach Star rank all by myself.

The past two days I've been so despondent. What if he's right? What if I can't sell anything to anyone? I haven't so far. Why should I keep trying?

YIKES. All those months of building up my confidence gone in a flash.

Today I'm better. I remember there are always times of doubt. I've been so focused and confident that things would keep going great. But I take away two (or maybe more) lessons from this experience.

  1. Be careful what you say to someone. Be kind. We don't always need brutal honesty.
  2. In some seasons, faith can be a tenuous thing. Strengthen it all you can when you can. In my head a voice keeps saying, “Well if your faith can be blown away that easily, it was a pretty pitiful faith.” But that's not Jesus saying that. We have ups and downs. Don't let the adversary mess you up during the downs.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone. You can do things people don't think you can do. Challenge yourself. But be ready for the pushback of those who think they have you figured out and categorized. And be ready for your own self-doubt to redouble its effort to push you right back to where it's safe.

I could go on, but you've been kind to read this far. I'd love to hear how you cope with challenges to your faith, and challenges to the confidence you've built up for yourself.

(Note: In yesterday's post I said I'd talk about Young Living business, but I'll save that for a later date.)

Time to Lose the Guilt

Let’s talk a little bit about guilt today. I’m sure you have your fair share of feeling guilty. We all do, and it’s not a great feeling. It’s a feeling that makes you feel powerless. It’s not a productive state of mind, and it certainly isn’t a positive state of mine. In fact, when you feel guilty, you focus on all the negative thoughts. That makes it impossible to think positive thoughts while you’re feeling guilty. Can you see why it is important to lose the guilt?

Guilt makes you feel powerless, and it takes away your confidence. Guilt makes you slow down and second guess yourself at everything you do. Guilt keeps you from taking action and making progress in all areas of your life.

Letting go of guilt isn’t an easy thing to do. There are two good strategies that have been working well for me whenever I find myself falling into the guilt trap. You can use one or the other depending on the scenario, or you can use both of them starting with the first one and then moving on to the second one.

Forgive Yourself And Move On

Often your best bet when you feel guilty about doing or not doing something is to acknowledge the feeling, forgive yourself, and then move on. We already talked about the fact that guilt isn’t a productive emotion. Why not make your peace and go get something done?

One way to forgive yourself is to realize that the past is in the past and that you did the best you could at the time. If you feel that you could have done better, take it as a lesson learned and promise yourself to do better or try harder next time.

Focus On Something Related That You’re Good At

Now that you’ve forgiven yourself, it’s time to switch gears and focus on something that you’re good at. Nothing resolves guilt like action and self-esteem. This works best if you can make it something that’s closely related to the thing you’re feeling guilty about.

Let’s say you feel guilty because you didn’t cook a homemade meal for your family after a long day at the office. Shift your focus and appreciate the fact that you work hard and make good money so you can stop and grab some healthy takeout on the way home from work. Appreciate the fact that your kids are fed, healthy, and you have plenty of time to hang out with them before bedtime.

Give these ideas a try, and get in the habit of letting go of guilt.

Essential Oil: Forgiveness™

Forgiveness™ contains an aroma that supports the ability to forgive yourself and others while letting go of negative emotions, an important part of personal growth. Diffuse for up to 1 hour three times daily, and enjoy this blend of Sesame, Melissa, Geranium, Frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Coriander, Angelica, Lavender, furanocoumarin-free Bergamot, Lemon, Ylang ylang, Jasmine, Helichrysum, Roman chamomile, Palmarosa and Rose.

When You Live With Purpose, You Don’t Have Time To Worry

Are you a worrier by nature? Do you spend your time worry about anything and everything that could go wrong? I’ve been there and done that. It’s not the most pleasant or most productive use of your time. When we worry a lot, it tends to paralyze us. We’re too worried about everything we don’t know yet, what’s out of our control and what could go wrong. As a result, we don’t get to the important part of taking action, no matter what the goal or activity was.

When we embrace living with purpose the act of worrying changes dramatically. When you know exactly what you want and have the passion to go after it, everything becomes clear. You know what your first step is and then the next one after that. You get to work and start making progress. You keep going and keep working away to make sure you get done what you’ve set out to do. In the end, you simply don’t have time to worry about all that small stuff and that’s a very good thing.

Most worrying is frankly pointless. It uses up brain space and energy that would be much better spent other places. That doesn’t help you much when you’re busy worrying about anything and everything. What will help you is shifting your focus, your energy, and your passion to something more productive – your purpose.

When you find your purpose and make it an integral part of your life, you’ll simply be too busy to worry. The cure to too much worrying then is taking massive action. Go do something that aligns with your purpose. It doesn’t matter what it is. Start with something small that feels safe. Getting that task under your belt will show you that your worries were unfounded and that you can push through them. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment and that in turn builds confidence.

Confidence is another great weapon against the paralyzing effect of worrying. Confident people don’t worry. With each action you take, you become a little more confident and a little less worried. Build on each success and keep working on your self-confidence. Keep focusing on why the things you do are important to you and why you embraced a particular purpose. Focusing on how it is helpful to others is another great tool that will help you push through and start taking action. That in turn builds confidence and decreases worries. Before you know it, you too will be too busy to worry because you’re taking action toward living a purpose driven life.