Self doubt and impatience overshadowed the last half of my 2018. As people starting talking about goal setting and New Year’s resolutions, I already felt discouraged. I’d gotten hung up on my failures as I began focusing too much on everyone else...

“I never finish anything.”
“I always give up.”
“I can’t do it.”
“It will never work.”
“Why am I so lazy?”
“Why can’t I be more productive?”
“Why am I not more social?”
“Why don’t I feel that way?”
“Why can’t I be like her...?”

For months, while I may have hid it on the outside, on the inside I was poisoning myself. Toxic lies like these were suffocating my confidence.

I began to wonder if I wasn’t “cut out” for my skincare business. It wasn’t growing as fast as I HAD PLANNED.

I doubted by humility. Was I not supposed to share my sobriety story with people? Am I showing off? Why isn’t anyone interested in hearing it? I want to HELP!

I questioned my ability to grow/do anything like everyone else is. I’m private, quiet, like my alone time. How can I consistently market and share through social media if I’m uncomfortable? What’s wrong with me that I’m the ONLY one who doesn’t ENJOY being on INSTAGRAM?!

And while I began looking ahead to 2019 and turning 40, I prayed for relief, change of mind, encouragement or direction, as I remembered the major decision I’d made in 2009, just before I turned 30. That January, I decided to exercise for the first time in my life (much to my children’s disgust, I’ve never played a sport in my life).

On our ski trip the last week of this past December, I read Hillbilly Elegy (um..NOT a self-help book, it just happens to mimick my own husband’s childhood). The author, having been raised in the white working class where he was surrounded by the message that his bleak future was already predetermined, talks about what enlisting in the Marines taught him about himself. He describes several accomplishments he never thought were possible, and the strength and confidence it gave him. But most importantly, he talks about his shift in MINDSET.

“I’m not saying ability doesn’t matter. It certainly helps. But there’s something powerful about realizing that you’ve undersold yourself—that somehow your mind confused lack of effort for inability.”

Who knows why THAT flipped the switch, but since then, I’ve stopped focusing on what I HAVEN’T done, and instead on what I HAVE...which reminds me what I CAN:

I’ve worked out regularly for 10 years now.

In 2015 I walked away from a job I loved, that I’d worked 10 years to get,  to take better care of myself and my family.

I’ve not had a drink in 3 years, 5 months and 35 days. If you’re not an alcoholic, this will seem meaningless. Instead, think of the thing you love to do the most, and trying to give it up forever.

In 2016, I started (and am still growing) a business that terrified me for so many reasons.

This past year, I  developed (and am growing) a little platform to share my very vulnerable testimony with the world.

On December 30, the morning after reading that passage by JD Vance, I skied for the first time, since tearing my ACL, after vowing I never would again. It was terrifying. My body wouldn’t cooperate. I felt paralyzed, but I got down the mountain.

Today, I’ve completed 4 days of the strictest, most complicated fitness and nutrition program I’ve ever tried.

My 2019 is going to be defined by, “I CAN DO HARD THINGS.”

Cliche? Maybe. But I say I believe Matthew 19:26, “with God all things are possible...” If I do, then it doesn’t matter what I THINK I can or can’t do. He tells me, “He’s got this...” All I have to do is trust in Him and believe in myself.

Yesterday morning, while still collecting my thoughts for this blog post, I read the Jesus Calling devotional for January 9:

I AM WITH YOU AND FOR YOU. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you. You may encounter many obstacles as you move toward your goal, but don’t be discouraged—never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle. Do not expect an easy path as you journey hand in hand with Me, but do remember that I, your very-present Helper, am omnipotent.

Much, much stress results from your wanting to make things happen before their times have come. One of the main ways I assert My sovereignty is in the timing of events. If you want to stay close to Me and do things My way, ask Me to show you the path forward moment by moment. Instead of dashing headlong toward your goal, let Me set the pace. Slow down, and enjoy the journey in My Presence.

Hm. And there you have day at a time.

Alyssa Adkins