Things They Can’t Say: Struggling with Self-Doubt

things they can't say Jen Bardall is really bad at writing her own bio. You can find her sharing recipes and slices of life over at The Misadventures of Mrs. B, and at, where she encourages women to live their best life – one loving choice at a time. You can tweet her at @JenniferBardall.

It finally happened. I finally found something I can be passionate about, something to devote my heart to and throw my energy and determination into.

See, I spent the ages of 5 through 25 with absolutely zero self-esteem, culminating in a nasty compulsive eating problem, not to mention the idea that I wasn’t worth much of anything. My dreams were for naught, I’d never find anyone to love me, the whole nine yards.

Then I changed my mind. I wrote another life story. I turned it around. And now I want to help other women turn their own inner stories around so they, too, can live their lives.

I feel amazing. I create a newsletter and a new Facebook page and have my husband build a website. I write and design my own e-book from scratch with no previous knowledge of InDesign. I even create and test a month-long beta program which I want to eventually launch to the public.

I have a mission and I’m on a roll. Look out, world…

…and then it starts. That whisper in my ear.
You’ll never be successful. You know that, right?
Screeeech! Forward progress stalled.

Just because I found a way to mute or drown out the hurtful, scathing inner voices I know so well doesn’t mean I conquered them entirely.

What makes you so special?
Well…what does make me so special, anyway? I mean, so many other people do this sort of work. And they’re amazing. What will set me apart?

Will people know that I feel like a fraud? That there are still times when I want nothing more than to escape into a package of cookies and not come up for air until they’re all gone?

“No! Stop!” I say. Don’t even go down that road. You have a lot to offer. Your story. Your struggle. Your triumph. It’s worth sharing, even if it helps just one woman.
Right. Who do you think you’re fooling?
I put on my Virtual Earmuffs and “lalala I can’t hear you” my way through it. I put my head down and do the work.
I could tell myself that I’ll wait until I completely conquer my inner critic…but I know that will never happen. I know there will always be part of me that’s the obese girl, no matter how much I weigh. I’ll always be the girl who didn’t see herself as a real woman, who cried herself to sleep, who consoled her aching heart with food and more food until she weighed over 280 pounds and thus hated herself more than ever.

But I’m not that girl anymore. She’s in the past – part of me, but not all of me now. I’m not afraid to run my own life anymore. I’m pursuing my dreams. And I am determined to make it possible for other women to do the same.

It’s just a matter of getting that inner critic to shut up already. And making sure the cookies are out of my reach for now.



  1. says

    Jen – wow!! I love your post!!  Its something I think we all struggle with but are afraid to admit it publicly. You put into words what so many are thinking. You will be successful in this because it means so much to you!! 
    Krystal recently posted..Accountability: Week 3My Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much for those sweet words, Krystal! And yes, I think if we’re all transparent as to what we’re really going through inside, we’ll all get along a lot better. Because we *all* have bad times when we just hate ourselves for one reason or another, and even if we seem different, our bad times are so similar at the heart of them. We need to get rid of the idea of separateness. 
      Jen Bardall recently posted..Your Breathing Sucks (Here’s How To Improve It)My Profile

  2. says

    I need to print this out an ready it daily because that’s exactly the voice I hear. I love the virtual ear muff idea. I think it’s wonderful what you’re doing, and you ARE special. Keep it up!
    Alaina recently posted..My aversion to petsMy Profile

  3. says

    I used to always criticize myself and had no faith in myself essentially and it has taken a long time for me to be able to finally say, “I’m good enough just as I am” and believe it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t doubt myself, or get scared and nervous all the time. Or hate how I look sometimes or want to lose 40 lbs. But at my core, I do believe that I am good enough as is. You’ll get there. You will. 
    Marta recently posted..Night Like That.My Profile