One of Our Biggest Obstacles as Writers

Have you ever asked yourself “Who am I to be doing this?” Or told yourself “I’m not good enough.”

If so, this message is for you.

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Overcoming Obstacles

In order to achieve the goal of publishing a book, or finishing writing a book, there are many obstacles that come our way. Personally, I have overcome so much in order to write and publish over 40 books.

It hasn’t come easy. I wasn’t born with this silver spoon in my mouth, and I’ve had to overcome so much. I know a lot of what you’re overcoming as well, because of the authors I coach on a daily basis.

Overcoming Shame

As writers, I really believe that the number one thing we have to overcome is Shame. I said it. It’s one of those things that most people will never talk about.

Brené Brown wrote a book that I love. I’ve been reading it; it’s called “The Gifts of Imperfection”. It’s a great book if you haven’t read it yet.

She says, “Many times people are just appalled.”

She’s a shame researcher and they really don’t want her to come and speak on shame. It just seems weird, and yet in order to be able to become shame resilient and overcome it, we have to start talking about it.

So what is Shame?

Shame is the voice that says,

“You are not good enough”

“I’m not good enough”

“Who am I? I’m not qualified. I don’t have the credentials”

“Who’s going to listen to my story? I’m not good enough.”

I had an experience last weekend. I recently shared it on my personal Facebook page, as well as I sent an email, so you may have heard this story already.

It resonated with so many people that I wanted to share it with you here on my training.

I recently taught my first, in person art classes. I taught two of them in the library system here in Colorado Springs. It was fun! Oh my goodness!

I have years and years of experience in teaching and speaking, but I had never taught art in person before. I’ve been teaching on SkillShare online, that’s my comfort zone, but it was so fun.

People came up to me afterward and thanked me. I could see some ah-ha moments and the creativity.

In my second class, in the middle of class and in front of everyone, a woman say this to me,

“I can’t believe you’re teaching art without an art degree.”

I was sharing my story then. I was sharing how I got into art and why I’m now teaching it. So she said that.

Now, I will say, I don’t think she meant to shame me or to cut me down. But immediately shame rose to the surface inside of me.

“I’m not good enough. Who am I? I don’t have the credentials. I don’t have the qualifications. Who am I to be doing this?”

I could have let it stop me. But I’m not letting that voice stop me.

So many times we hear these voices, whether it’s our own voices or someone else’s voices. It’s the voice that says, “Who are you to write this book? You don’t have a college degree. You don’t have this, you don’t have that.”

I don’t have any reason that I should have 40 published books or that I should have sold hundreds of thousands of books. There are no credentials, no nothing!

I was talking to someone from a really big national ministry, and she was considering having me speak to her people, her tribe. She asked, “What are your qualifications?” I said, “I don’t have any, except for my experience.”

Let’s go back to the art class.

I was standing in front of all of these students, and she just said, “I can’t believe you’re teaching art without an art degree.” I proceeded to share a story from my friend Kimberly Delcoco.

I recently met Kimberly at a conference. Live events are powerful. If you’re not attending them yet, choose one or two per year and attend them. You’ll meet the most amazing friends, business connections, and so forth.

I met Kimberly and she told me her story. She said, “Shelley, I had a really rough, rough growing up and I dropped out of high school around ninth grade.” So she’s around a ninth grade dropout.

She said, “And yet, I have been in jobs in big companies and just kept rising through the ranks.” She rose up to where she was a manager of a huge department, managing college educated people.

She should have never had a job like that without a college degree. She was a high school dropout, and yet she was doing amazing things. Now she has gone on to speak all over and she had coached women to have six figure careers.

It is just amazing her life and her story, and what she has done without even a high school education.

So I shared her story and said, “You know what? I have experience teaching and speaking. I’m gifted at teaching, and I’m a beginner. I just started this journey 11 months ago. I know what it feels like to be a beginner, so I feel that I’m able then to break it down and teach that to those who beginners are also.”

Now, God is showing me I don’t have to defend myself. I don’t have to say this or that. I’m still 42 years old, and I get people who still think that I’m too young to be able to teach them anything. So they disrespect me because I look young. I’ve had that before. I’ve had other instances where I have not felt good enough.

Not About Credentials or Qualifications

What I want to tell you today is that God is reminding us that it’s not about credentials. It’s not about having a certain degree or being qualified in a certain way.

If you’re writing a book and you have a story to tell, allow God to write that story through your life.

I was talking to my sister just a week before this art class. I was texting her, and at that time I was feeling these same things, asking myself, “Who am I to be doing this stuff?”

I’m really sensing that God is taking my art into a new area, and going to take me into places that I don’t even know yet. I’m just sensing that it’s going somewhere.

So I’m sitting here thinking, “Oh my goodness, who am I? I can’t do this!”

I was texting her and asking for prayer, and my sister reminded me. This was the week before the in-person art workshop, and I think God was preparing me. He was preparing me so that statement wouldn’t crush me and wouldn’t stop me.

She reminded me of the story of Moses [Exodus 3].

Do you remember when God came to Moses and asked him to lead the Israelites out of captivity? When He told Moses to lead them out of slavery; to go back to a place where he had run away from and to go back and be a leader?

What did Moses say? “Who am I? [Exodus 3:11]”

You know what God’s response was? “I Am the I Am.”

It’s not about us and our qualifications. It’s not about who we are, what we have to offer, or what we have to bring. It’s not about us, it is about The I AM. It is about God and us.

Can you tell I’m getting ready to preach?! “I Am The I Am,” he said to Moses.

I want to say to you right now,

“Where are you hiding?”

“Where has shame told you that you are not good enough?”

“Where do you feel like you cannot show up in the world in your gifting, in your talents, and in the things that God is doing through you because you are just not qualified?”

“What area is it that shame is stopping you because you don’t have that piece of paper, that degree, or you don’t have someone’s approval?”

“Where are you hiding?”

I have decided that I am letting go of that shame. I am letting it go.

It has been my constant companion for, I think, every day of my life for 42 years. I don’t remember ever not feeling good enough. It’s been kind of my driver for being a workaholic. I have to prove myself, and it lead me to actions.

Sometimes shame can lead you to action and to prove yourself. But it can also lead you to inaction and hiding.

God has told me recently, “Shelley it’s time to let that go.”

At first, I was like, “Oh, what am I going to do without that? It won’t drive me to succeed, or to do things.”

God said, “Uh-uh, you’re going to be even more fruitful. You’re going to do even more than you have ever done before.”

Ephesians 3:20 says,

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”

Letting Go of Shame

Are we willing to let go of the shame?

I have to admit that when God was bringing that up to me the other day. I was listening to a podcast by Revelation Wellness, and that’s their theme.

It’s an amazing ministry, by the way, fitness teachers, and gospel preachers. They’re taking the gospel to the nation through fitness. Their podcast and their ministry have impacted me so much.

She was saying these things, “Where are you hiding?”

Leading us to talk to God about it, having us put those spots on trial. It was so powerful, and when God was like, “OK, are you ready? Are you ready to let go of this shame that you are not good enough?”

I have to admit. I am 42 years old, and it was like something that has been a comfort to me.

It was like a comfort zone of, “I don’t know if I want to get rid of that” because that’s been my constant companion. It has felt comfortable, and it’s what drove me in so many ways to succeed.

I literally felt like I had tears in my eyes. I felt like I had to hold the Holy Spirit’s hand. I know it sounds weird, but that’s how God works. I see things in pictures and I was holding His hand.

The Holy Spirit is our comforter, and I literally visualized Jesus shackling this thought, this accusation from the enemy, of shame. I visualize him shackling it in that courtroom.

When I put it on trial, Jesus is the judge and the Holy Spirit is the jury. In spirit, I watched Jesus shackle its arms and legs, and put it behind bars and lock it with a key.

The enemy says, “It’s going to come back, you’re not going to be free.” I felt like 100 pounds had been lifted off of me.

The Holy Spirit immediately said, “You will be free. All you have to do is continue to bring those accusations to trial, into the courtroom, and in front of Jesus. Continue to do this process. Continue to do this each and every day that you have those accusations, and you will be free.”

I didn’t realize I was going to share all this right now, but it just came out of me. I just have a feeling somebody needed to hear this today.

You Can Be Free

We can be free of this whole concept of shame.

Brené Brown said, “Everyone has shame. Everyone walks around with that feeling of not being good enough, and it’s not something that we’ll ever just be free of all the time. We learn to be shame resilient. We learn to have shame resilience.”

I highly recommend her books, “Daring Greatly”, and “The Gifts of Imperfection.”

As Christ-followers, we are to take every thought captive. We are to take all of these accusations that the enemy is bringing against us to trial.

These thoughts that say, “You are not good enough! Who are you to write this book? Give it up! You don’t have the money. You don’t have the finances. You don’t have what it takes. Quit!” Who else has ever heard those accusations go through their mind?

I have heard them every day of my life, and I’m done.

I. Am. Done.

I’m free and I’m going to continue to stay free.

Who is in this with me? Who wants to be free today? Who wants to walk in the freedom of who you are in Christ and impact a nation, people, nations! Who knows?

With the gifts God has given, who wants to not be held back, or pushed forward with this message of “You’re not good enough”?

The answer is, I have died, and Christ lives in me. So that accusation of “Shelley Hitz is not good enough,” it doesn’t even hold up in the court of law because you cannot bring an accusation against someone who is already dead.

I have died and Christ now lives in me. So, we can move forward and overcome in Christ Jesus.

I want to encourage you today. Whatever has been stopping you, whatever has been holding you back, dig deep, speak it, talk to God about it, and get serious about it! Let’s not keep it in. Do not let it stop you anymore.

Let’s move forward. Amen?

I hope this has encouraged you today.

If it has, make sure to share this with someone you know who could benefit from this message. I hope you have subscribed to my podcast, my YouTube channel, to my Live videos on Facebook, and my blog.

I want to help you. I am in this with you, walking with you each step of the way, and I know that God has called me to this ministry. I know I am called to minister to you, and to minister to Christian Authors and help set the captives free.

So let’s do this, we “Can do all things through Christ who gives [us] strength” [Philippians 4:13]. Amen?

Until next time!

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10 thoughts on “One of Our Biggest Obstacles as Writers

  1. Thanks Shelley for the reminder that we are always good enough to be doing what we are currently doing – and for what we still want to do. Certainly we can continually learn and improve and we can start anytime from whatever point we are at. I’m 66 and still have a little voice that sometimes gets too loud and I have to tell it that I don’t believe the words being spoken. Sometimes I’m slow to believe in myself when trying something new but if the interest is high enough, I do it.

    • You’re welcome Virginia! We all hear that voiced and it often tries to stop us. I pray that God continues to bless your writing abundantly more than you could even think or imagine.

  2. Thank you again Shelley, yes we all walk around battling those lies we hear. I’m so with you though, Done thinking negatively and trusting that God puts the story in my heart for a reason. awesome. You are our Moses. Leader of the pack

  3. I needed to hear this today! Thank you so very much for providing a new perspective on the feeling of “not being good enough.”

  4. Thank you, Shelley, for this encouraging message. I really needed it today. Last year, after I obeyed God and finally published my first book–Overcoming Suicide’s Force of Darkness–my own children tried to shame me into feeling guilty for telling the truth about my worship pastor/husband’s choice to end his life 17 years ago. I have received a lot of positive feedback from readers, but my relationships with my own children are currently broken. Though I have started 8 or 9 books this past year, I have stalled out, and have not known exactly why. But you have hit the nail on the head with this video teaching. I know God has put a number of ideas into my head for additional books on various topics, and I am grateful for your holy boldness as you spoke the truth in love.