The “Me Too” Factor: Letting Go of Self-Doubt

by | Oct 30, 2013 | Uncategorized


In April of this year, I traveled to Nebraska and spoke about self-doubt at Jumping Tandem: The Retreat.  I spoke about self-doubt, not because I’ve nailed it, but because God changed my mind about how I see it while taking a shower one day.

Don’t we do our best thinking in the shower? I know I do.

I was circling an old patch of self-doubt I revisit from time to time, beating myself up about it, when I had these thoughts I believe were God’s questions encouraging me to think differently, like any good coach does with a leader.

What if self-doubt isn’t negative, like you think it is?

What if it’s the marker in your life alerting you to a new season? 

What if the way you respond to self-doubt becomes the stepping stone to the next page of your story?

What if I see something in you that you don’t see in yourself?

What if self-doubt is actually the neon sign sitting on the curb of your life with flashing lights that reads, “Get ready, I’m about to do something in your life that is bigger than you are.” 

Six months later, I’m on my knees, leaning into the arm of a chair at the Allume Conference with tears streaming down my face as the woman my friend and I are praying for says she is overwhelmed. But not in the way you might think.

Through violent weeping, she manages thoughtful words through gasps, “I just can’t believe it…. Everyone is being so kind. I can’t believe people would know my name. I can’t believe they would want to have lunch with me. No one’s ever done that for me, before.”

She was overwhelmed by God’s love for her revealed through the kindness of others because she lived her whole life isolated by rejection, even by her own parents. And after she recited a litany of reasons why she felt inadequate, I thought about what God revealed to me about self-doubt, our watery eyes met and I said, “Me too.”

“Really,” she replied through a deep exhale, a pause in her waterworks. “You feel that way too.” She couldn’t believe my friend and I were nodding. Empathy was doing her work.

When I am nauseated by fixating on myself, when I have convinced myself that I am the only one who struggles with _____, when I admit that I feel like I’m not enough, I embrace a  writing sisterhood who chant “me too” and the cloud of shame and doubt evaporate.


Jennifer and Emily

IMG_9478-2Michelle and Lynn





me & amanda


The “me too” factor sets us free to be ourselves.

Because most all self-doubt is rooted in comparison, that fear of insignificance that petrifies.

I think it’s why the story of Moses resonates with so many. When he responds to God’s assignment to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, Moses says, “You want me to do what? Who Am I?” It’s the “me too” mirror at work when we read about his story in Exodus. God radically used Moses to shape the Kingdom, a man full of self-doubt, weighed down by comparison, feeling inadequate.

Somehow, that seems hopeful.

The next day, when I saw that same woman we prayed for, she was smiling. Her cheeks reflected the pink sweater she was wearing, huddled by women exchanging their business cards. She looked up at me through the sea of heads with those “me too” eyes, walked over and wrapped her arms around me.

“Thank you so much for praying for me,” she expressed, standing as a living illustration of transformation.

Sometimes we learn humility through the school of adversity and that makes us distrust in our qualifications. Like what we went through to get to this place isn’t normal or proper or valuable because it’s not how someone else got there.

And just like Moses, what we think about ourselves or what others think about us doesn’t really matter, does it?  God has anointed you and I  for such a time as this. He thinks we are right for the job, and that’s all the assurance we need.

How do we quiet the voice of self-doubt? We practice the “me too” factor, call out those things we see in one another and let empathy set us free from the tyranny of the lies we tell ourselves.  The pivotal moment lies in the center of your self-doubt. What are you going to do about it?

Pssst . . . we need your gifts that don’t look like someone else.

rb31daysdeepbutton2Join us in the comments and for further discussion at Redemptions Beauty Book Club on The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown as we talk this week about Letting Go of Self-Doubt and “Supposed To” and Being Cool and “Always in Control” to cultivate meaningful work, laughter, song and dance. This is day 28 of 31 Days of Letting Go in the Deep End. Find out more here and join us for daily posts delivered to your inbox by adding your email address to Subscribe in the sidebar. It only takes a few seconds and it’s painless, I promise.


Linking with Jennifer and Emily.


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  1. Megan Willome

    Oh, good, because my gifts are unique indeed.

    • Shelly Miller

      Yes, they are and I love every one of them. And you.

    • Nancy Franson

      Yes they are–and they are awesome!

  2. Tara_pohlkottepress

    love you. love all the glorious swirls of thoughts and emotions and life experiences that have led you to this place.

    • Shelly Miller

      Thanks Tara, that means so much to me. I value your friendship more than you know.

  3. Deidra

    These are my people. For real. My “me too” people. Love you!

    • Shelly Miller

      I’m so thankful for your “me too’s” Deidra. They have buoyed me over the past two years. Love you too!

  4. Kris Camealy

    I needed this. Tonight, the self-doubt rages. Thanks, Shelly. XO

    • Shelly Miller

      We need to talk soon Kris, missing you.

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Me, too, Shelly! Me, too. This is my credo. Whenever I admit that I struggle with the same thing with which my sister struggles, we find commonality and community at the foot of the Cross. And when I admit something that they are afraid to admit, then they can chime “Me, too,” sans shame or fear. It’s all about transparency and opening ourselves up to empathy. Truly, you do that so well. You had such a special ministry at Allume, one you weren’t even asked to have (at least I don’t think so, specifically), but you made yourself available. You said, “Me, too,” and that opened wide the door for impact and love.
    I love you too, Shelly.
    PS You sneaked that photo in on me!

    • Shelly Miller

      Yep, sneaked it in. I like it.
      I wasn’t asked, Emily and I kind of invited ourselves to pray for people but it was definitely a highlight for me. I love praying for people and being in God’s presence that way. I’m not sure there is anything more fulfilling actually. Thankful for you Lynn.

      • Lynn D. Morrissey

        Praising God for how you offer the generosity of prayer and care.
        Saying ugh to that photo! UGH!

    • dukeslee

      I love that photo of you, Lynn! It’s so fun to see you in these photos. You are so dear to so many of us!

  6. Laura Boggess

    Amen, Shelly. And thank you.

    • Shelly Miller

      Love you Laura. I had such a great time getting to know you better and our sweet roommates.

  7. pastordt

    I love these words, Shelly. And I love the sweet spirit of openness and divinely-inspired confidence behind them, too. And those pictures?? Oh, my, YES.

    • Shelly Miller

      I love the way you “see” things behind the words. And you are always right you know? You have such a lovely gift of discernment and wisdom. I’m thankful to have you in my life Diana.

  8. Dena Dyer

    Love this, sister. Love YOU. 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      Thank you Dena, you know I adore you right?

      • Dena Dyer

        Awww…thanks, friend. The feeling is mutual.

  9. DeanneMoore

    “…for such a time as this..” and “me to” as you know so well…love you friend of my heart

    • Shelly Miller

      You are in my heart Dea, praying for your Dad this morning.

  10. Kim Hyland

    Self-doubt, not negative, a stepping stone, a neon sign?! What a paradigm shift! You’ve opened a new window in my soul, Shelly. Thank you!

    • Shelly Miller

      I’m glad to know that Kim, and to know you. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. dukeslee

    Dear God, I love these women. Amen.

    • Shelly Miller

      I second that prayer.

  12. Angie Ryg

    I love this and I loved meeting you! To remember that God can use whatever we have for His glory is a gift. Thank you for giving that hope to us in that way today. You are a breath of fresh sweet fragrance and I am honored to now call you a friend!

    • Shelly Miller

      What a gift to meet you Angie. Who would’ve thought four almost strangers would room together in a hotel and become heart friends in the process. Only God.

  13. Sandra Heska King

    Big. Deep. Sigh. For love of your words. For love of these women. For love of you.

    And this shower epiphany: “What if it’s the marker in your life alerting you to a new season?” Whoa moment.

    • Shelly Miller

      I’m remembering my own epiphanies often Sandy. Need to tattoo them onto my head!

  14. Debbie Keady

    Thanks for your transparency! Please take a look at my facebook page. I am honored to be a voice for women who have no voice. I love your heart and thank you for sharing from your beautiful heart!

    • Shelly Miller

      I own ViBella Jewelry Debbie, just liked your page. I’m familiar with what you do because I’m friends with Jennifer Lee. Love it. So happy to meet you here on the blog, what a gift.

  15. Shara Nelson

    This is great! I hope to be at allume one year and be a “me too” as well!

    • Shelly Miller

      It was my first time Shara and I would go back again, for sure.

  16. Diane Bailey

    “The pivotal moment lies in the center of your self-doubt.” I love that part. The answer, a way, a light, a pivotal moment! Beautifully written, Shelly! This is encouragement!

    • Shelly Miller

      So glad it encouraged you Diane.

  17. Leigh Kramer

    Your words are good for my soul, Shelly. xoxo

    • Shelly Miller

      I’m glad to know that Leigh, always love seeing you here.

  18. Duane Scott

    How many times have you and I, on the phone, had this same “me too” exchange.

    Half the battle is won when we realize we aren’t alone.

    • Shelly Miller

      I know, that is the truth isn’t it? You always bless me when we talk. I often walk away inspired. I think, especially in writing, it is easy to become insular in my thinking. Talking with other writers always gives me perspective. Thanks for believing in me and encouraging me Duane. So glad we are friends.

  19. JViola79

    This was beautiful! Amazing to realize how many of us struggle with self doubt. Thank you for sharing!

    • Shelly Miller

      I know and really, that’s the point. None of us are excluded from self-doubt. But we often feel like we are the only ones, right?

      • JViola79

        We definitely feel like we are the only ones. I think that is what I found so humbling. I was moved to tears to see those that I have read & admire have many of the same feelings as I do. This post felt like a balm to my soul this afternoon.

  20. Lori Harris

    so true, so lovely, so what i needed tonight. fighting those ugly feelings of feeling left out of a party that i was invited to attend,but unable to make. =) thank you for your honesty and authenticity.

    • Shelly Miller

      I know it is easy to feel left out Lori, especially when so many are sharing their pictures and stories but I have to believe that God knew you needed to be right where you were that weekend, like all of us. Thanks for joining me in this series, you have been a blessing in the comments, your perspective is needed and your words matter to me, they do.

  21. Emily

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing! I could answer “me too” myself. That’s one of the things I was so amazed by at Allume- there were tons of people like me! I usually feel like the oddball 🙂

    • Shelly Miller

      I heard it over and over, how accepted people felt at that conference. They were overwhelmed by how much they experienced God’s love through the generosity of people. Awesome!

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