How to Quiet the Voice of Doubt & Inadequacy

How to Quiet the Voice of Doubt & Inadequacy

“I trust you,” I tell my three-year-old all the time.

When she doesn’t want to clean up her mess, share her toys, take her vitamins.

“I trust you.”

No response. But I know my words are lingering. Working their way through her impressionable mind. 

“I trust you.”

I walk away. I leave the mess. I leave the toys. I leave the vitamins. Yearning to parent without shame and constant punishments.

“I trust you.”

Moments later, she picks up her trash, walks it to the garbage, without a word.

“I trust you.”

She hands her toy to her little sister, as I watch from a distance.

“I trust you.”

I return. I pick up the vitamin dropper. She looks up at me, and opens her mouth. 

“I trust you.”

Because there’s a little girl in front of me, and I need her to learn the feeling of trusting herself. Not the feeling of shame, just so I can get a behavior I want. Because that shame leaves a stamp, a stamp with no boundaries.

And when that little girl turns into a woman, I pray that the trust I give to her will be the voice that continues to linger in her mind, instead of the wicked one so many of us carry.

So when she needs her voice, when she’s faced with life-changing choices, when she dares to dream, she’ll be led by her trusting heart, not the voice of doubt and inadequacy.

The voice that leads us down dark alleys, that causes us to do things we regret, that silences us when we so desperately need to be heard. The voice I’ll work to defend my little girls from, every day of my life. Because once that voice creeps in, its poison knows no boundaries.

The voice I’m learning to defend myself from, more and more each day. Ever looking for the antedote. And finding that perhaps the antedote lies within that searching. In the refusal to succumb, no matter how hard the road behind us has been. 

Because there is no quick fix. No pill to swallow. No magic shame eraser.

But if we continue to stamp small pieces of trust onto our hearts, over and over again, perhaps its stamp will also find that there are no boundaries. No limits to where that trust will take us. No fence around the acceptance and courage it will dissolve into our souls. 

Learning to trust my heart has been leading me down new paths. I recently left a job I loved. A job where I played with words, my favorite thing. A job where I helped people every single day, people who were spreading positive messages into the world through their writing. A job that finally showed me what it’s like to work within my strengths instead of having to pretend I’m somebody I’m not.

My wicked inner voice aches to call me a fool. 

But I longed to be a more balanced and less over-scheduled mama while my kids are still so little. I longed to pursue my own dreams in the spare moments motherhood leaves me, dreams that job solidified for me. And I longed to honor the next steps that were calling me forward.  

So I took a leap of faith, and decided to hold trust in the uncertainty. And while I don’t know what lies at the end of this new road, I know that for the first time the voice in my head is one of comfort, trust and love, instead of wicked words of mockery.

And perhaps that’s the point. We don’t need to know the outcome of our courageous moments. We just need to place small stamps of trust onto our hearts, and let them linger. And pray that with each small stamp, our life will align more and more with our potential. 

So that the words that start to linger in our heads, more than any other, become:

“I trust you.”


How can you trust in yourself more today?

If you liked this post, please “like” it, share it and leave a comment.

This post was inspired by the teachings of Janet Lansbury, whose respectful parenting wisdom I hold as sacred.  

Some recent pics w/my kiddos 🙂




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8 Responses to How to Quiet the Voice of Doubt & Inadequacy

  1. Annabell says:

    Lovely, once again.

    I am excited for your girls and know they have an advantage over so many others, myself included.
    Thank you for letting us into your world and giving me nuggets I can hopefully use with my own children one day.

    I didn’t hear or feel the word ‘trust’ when I was growing up. Instead there was always a threat or a punishment waiting for me – and I was a pretty good kid. If only my mother had access – and interest – in words like yours….

    Thank you, Thank you.

    • Liz says:

      Thanks so much, Annabell! And thanks for sharing, you’re definitely not alone. Sometimes we just have to create that feeling for ourselves I think. Not easy of course! It’s the work of life, a job that never ends.

  2. Hey Liz,

    My daughter is 6 months old. When she gets older, I want to her to know that I trust her. I’m learning to trust myself and believe in my capabilities as a father.

    Trust provides the sense of peace you need to move forward into uncertain territory. I learn to trust myself more each day with all new ventures in my life.

    This was a great post.

    Off to share!

    • Liz says:

      Hi Ayodeji,

      Welcome to parenthood! I hope it’s treating you well 🙂 Trust really does provide that sense of peace, which makes the journey so much better. So great that you’re learning to trust yourself more each day. Thanks so much for reading & sharing!

  3. Kim Orr says:

    This happens, “But if we continue to place small pieces of trust into our hearts, over and over again, perhaps its stamp will also find that there are no boundaries.”

    In Sanskrit it is called a Samskara — which means an impression, a stamp — and every time you cultivate that trust in your daughters so that they may learn to trust themselves, you are leaving an impression. With cultivation those impressions become conscious and they flower.

    So you are doing the very best thing you can for them. And, of course, you can do that for yourself as well. Trusting your heart and taking that leap out of your job is just such a thing. I know your students miss your wonderful feedback and support — I know I do — but we are equally delighted that you are trusting your heart on this one:)

    • Liz says:

      Kim, you are a wealth of knowledge! Thank you for sharing that about Samskara. And what you said is so beautiful – “with cultivation those impressions become conscious and they flower.” That’s such a powerful visualization, I will always think of that going forward.

      I miss working with you and the other students, and the whole team, it really was such a wonderful experience. But thank you so much for the encouragement, means a lot, and for sharing such beautiful thoughts here.

  4. I love this blog! You are doing so much good and I appreciate your sharing with us!

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