Selling Myself Short

Right now, I’m working toward my MDiv with a concentration in Advanced Biblical Studies. This simply means that I will (or should) be proficient in biblical languages when I have my degree, and it’s meant to prepare students for PhD programs. As I was looking at the classes I will have to take to finish my degree, I was… overwhelmed. And scared. On top of having no money, wondering how I’m going to pay for classes, trying to make friends, trying to find a new job, and suffering from a case of chronic discouragement; I decided I could change my concentration to something less daunting.

But as I looked over my high school and college career, I began to notice a pattern. Between 10th and 11th grade, I switched from honors English to regular English even though I made good grades. I only applied to UNF (a safe school) instead of UF because I was afraid I wouldn’t have gotten in (even though I most definitely would have). I decided against architecture because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do the math (even though I graduated high school with 6 math courses under my belt). In college, I settled for a BA in psychology instead of a BS because the additional research scared me (even though I made A’s in the few research courses I was required to take). And the list goes on. What makes this list really ridiculous is that I’ve alway been near the top of my class when it comes to grades. I also realized this week that if I had pursued a master’s in counseling, I would have just finished it last month.

I think I’ve sold myself short, and I greatly underestimate my abilities.

Not only have I done this with school, I’ve done this in my relationships as well. I constantly fear that no one really likes me, and I’ve always feared this. I feel that as a 24 year old man, I should be done with this. Whether or not I should be simply doesn’t matter because I’m not. I’m afraid to reach out and care for others because I’m afraid that my love will be more of an annoyance than a blessing, and I fear that I am viewed as a ministry instead of a friend.

All of this kind of sounds like humility, but it isn’t. I’m not humble; I’m simply too self-absorbed to risk failure, and I’m so self-absorbed that I worry more about whether or not I am loved than whether or not I am loving.

With all of this being said, I shouldn’t look back on anything with regret. I say this simply because 1) I can’t change what’s been done; and 2) God is sovereign, and I trust I am where He has planned for me to be.

Since God is sovereign and has me where He wants me, the question now is where to go from here. Well, I’m going to stick with the MDiv in Advanced Biblical Studies and pursue my PhD (I’ve even considered going back to psychology and getting a degree in counseling or even clinical psychology). The point is: I won’t let my brains go to waste any longer. And as for the part about my relationships, I’m working on it.

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About Andrew T.

I graduated from the University of North Florida with a BA in Psychology with a minor in Studio Art. I am now attending Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC. I enjoy psychology, theology, and art (now I sound redundant).
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3 Responses to Selling Myself Short

  1. debii says:

    Andrew,
    Fear of failure is crippling.
    I still suffer from this phenomenon at times, but years ago I figured out – as you are doing now – that the “failure” is not in being unsuccessful but rather in missing out on so much that life offers.
    If we hold ourselves back (whether we are capable of the task at hand or not), how can we grow; how can we be our best?
    Dig into your faith: would God have you drift through life always winning the easy battles or would He rather have you attempt and possibly fail (but probably not)?
    It sounds like He’s given you the best of tools; He probably expects you to use them.

    • mymind1086 says:

      Thanks, I really enjoy reading your comments. They’re always encouraging.

      -Andrew

      (And I know this comment is long overdue, I haven’t had much time to focus on this blog over the last month.)

  2. Blake says:

    I don’t like you…I LOVE you. You’ve been a wonderful friend and I’m grateful to have you in my life. And you’re very intelligent and capable, so yes, you’ve been selling yourself short.

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