The lies that we tell ourselves

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Tica
Posts: 26
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

The lies that we tell ourselves

Post by Tica » 05 Aug 2019, 00:34

I had my annual review at work this week. It was good. I have a wonderful job and amazing boss/supervisor. I somehow landed in a profession and job that really stretches and teaches me (in a good way). I am a better person and a better parent because of it, and I have felt divine guidance and approval of my schooling and career at various places all along the way.

Anyway, in the course of my meeting with my supervisor, she noted that in many areas my confidence and perception of my own competence are below what she observes. And she asked the question... "What lies are you telling yourself that are holding you back?" She didn't expect an answer right then, but the question got me thinking.

Tonight I had a sort of lightbulb moment. I realized that after all these years I still believe(d) that the only reason that I felt divine approval to be employed outside of the home is because I am somehow deficient and have more to learn than most mothers. That I needed this job to teach me skills that come naturally for other women. When I think about it rationally, I don't think it's true. But it feels true. I think this lie may have originated when I was trying to defend my decision to go to graduate school and pursue a career to my very kind and supportive, but also really orthodox parents. I think I have trotted it out on occasion in an effort to make others feel comfortable with my choices and to make myself feel like I could make these decisions and still fully belong to my religious tribe. Maybe I always really felt that way. I'm not sure. Whatever the case, I don't think this lie is serving me in my career, parenting, personal progression, or in my pursuit of a relationship with deity. So I guess I have some work to do to let it go. I imagine there are a host of other lies in my brain as well.

What lies do you tell yourself that are holding you back?

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Gerald
Posts: 391
Joined: 29 Sep 2011, 04:57

Re: The lies that we tell ourselves

Post by Gerald » 05 Aug 2019, 06:02

I hope you don't mind me commenting on an issue that is probably unrelated to the true message of your post. We all struggle to evaluate our own competence...it's actually part of the human condition. https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy ... c8700a5d7c

Of course, there is a difference between an inability to self-evaluate effectively and a more conscious self-deception. I took a slightly longer time to get through my education and told myself it was because I was spending more time with my wife and children. True, but I also had some significant fears about leaving the structured safety of school and moving out into the "adult" world. I can see that, in retrospect, I would be further along in my career and personal development had I not dragged my feet...had I not told myself one reason for doing it when it was probably another reason.

Yet, who knows? Maybe I'd be exactly where I am. Maybe I'd be in some different, less positive place (careerwise and personally). In many cases (but not all), there are no "good" decisions or "bad" decisions, just decisions. What becomes important is how we deal with the consequences.

Hope that's not too far afield from your original question but it's what came to my mind.
So through the dusk of dead, blank-legended And unremunerative years we search to get where life begins, and still we groan because we do not find the living spark where no spark ever was; and thus we die, still searching, like poor old astronomers who totter off to bed and go to sleep, to dream of untriangulated stars.
---Edwin Arlington Robinson---

Roy
Posts: 5640
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: The lies that we tell ourselves

Post by Roy » 05 Aug 2019, 09:56

We in the LDS church have a bit of a quandary. If stay at home motherhood is the ideal then anything less than that is something less than best - like shooting for the terrestrial kingdom. SWK compared putting worldly pursuits ahead of immediately prioritizing marriage and family to idolatry. Since then it has been less harsh but still the family proclamation gives little cover for women who work outside of the home.

(As an aside, Hawkgrrrl once shared a story of a stay-at-home Mom extended family member. This person was resentful that Hawkgrrrl and her family seemed to be blessed with financial independence while this persons family struggled financially. They reasoned that since they were living the more righteous life [by having a stay at home mom], shouldn't they be more entitled to the blessings of financial independence? :crazy: )

A common way to deal with this is to state or imply that the woman/mother would prefer to stay at home but that this is not possible due to life or economic circumstances. Tica, you appear to have settled upon a twist on this theme - that you need advanced training to prepare you for motherhood that some others might have naturally. In this way you avoid confronting the community assumption that stay at home motherhood is best.

I believe that the church is slowly getting better on this issue by presenting the idea of personal revelation and "individual purpose" for young women.

Elder Ballard gave this basic message in a talk in a BYU Women's Conference in 2015. He recently shared an edited quote from that talk of his on Facebook.
Once you know the Lord's will, you can then move forward in faith to fulfill your individual
purpose. One sister may be inspired to continue her education and attend medical school,
allowing her to have significant impact on her patients and to advance medical research. For
another sister, inspiration may lead her to forego a scholarship to a prestigious institution and
instead begin a family much earlier than has become common in this generation.

Is it possible for two similarly faithful women to receive such different responses to the same
basic questions? Absolutely! What’s right for one woman may not be right for another. That’s
why it is so important that we should not question each other’s choices or the inspiration behind
them. And we should refrain from asking hurtful and unsupportive questions. We can all be kinder and more thoughtful of the situations in which
our sisters throughout the world find themselves as they seek to follow the will of our Heavenly
Father in their individual lives.
This was also the theme of an amazing speech by Eva Witesman at a BYU devotional in 2017:
https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/eva-m-wi ... e-god-see/
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

Tica
Posts: 26
Joined: 14 Jan 2018, 21:38

Re: The lies that we tell ourselves

Post by Tica » 05 Aug 2019, 16:31

Gerald wrote:
05 Aug 2019, 06:02
We all struggle to evaluate our own competence...it's actually part of the human condition.
Yep, I totally see that Gerald. And I'm not sure that getting rid of this perception will definitely help me evaluate my performance more accurately. However, I wonder if could... just maybe...help alleviate some of the constant inadequacy that I feel though. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. I also wonder whether if I could move past these (apparently subconsciously) ingrained ideas if it would help me move forward with goals, passion and purpose instead of hesitancy and self doubt.

It was so surprising to me that the church rhetoric about a woman's role still affects me so much. I had thought I was past that.

I agree with Roy that the church is moving towards a more flexible and less harsh approach to this. It is somewhat helpful but doesn't undo all of the internalizing I did during my formative years ...

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