LaKeisha Rainey Collins: Beauty for Ashes Column
Be confident! Don't let self-esteem issues stop you from
pursuing destiny
Blog by Lakeisha Rainey Collins
Posted September 27, 2017
File Photo
My oldest nephew from my husband’s side of the family is the first grandchild to go to college. He
attends Southern University and is a part of the marching band.

Since Jeremy’s family has a history of playing instruments and participating in the band, and
oldest son broke his heart with his lack of interest in both, he is ecstatic about his nephew’s choice in
this extracurricular activity. He has a copy of Southern’s game schedule saved on his phone, and
whenever one is remotely close to us, he makes plans for a family road trip.

Because of my husband’s excitement, we’ve managed to make our way to two games so far to see our
nephew march, and although I am not at all a fan of football, outdoors, or large crowds, there is one
game I am too thrilled to attend next month. It is Southern University versus Jackson State University.

What has me so excited about it? Well, JSU, whose awesome marching band is known as
The Sonic
Boom of the South,
was my college of choice while deciding my course for after high school. My plan
was to attend Jackson State in my endeavor to become a Psychologist and Pediatric Nurse. Yes, I had
major dreams! Whenever anyone would ask me about my plans after high school, I would proudly say,
“I’m going to Jackson State!”

I applied and received an acceptance letter, but, y’all, it
never happened. I never even laid eyes on
the campus.

I graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA and an Advanced with Honors diploma. Academics never
posed a problem for me; I could ace a class with minimal effort. Clearly, not being
smart enough didn’t
stop me. I had the smarts, but what I didn’t have was self-esteem. I had the intelligence, but not the

Retrospectively, I can see where I had a habit of desiring to achieve certain goals, taking that initial
step, but then talking myself out of the whole thing when it was actually time to do it.

In my head, I could totally rock out at anything, but when it came time to actually rock, I would stand
still and slowly back away. In pretty much every goal I attempted, I found a way to talk myself out of it.

The rifle team in JROTC.

The dance girl team in 10th grade.

The cabinet of student officers in 12th grade.


A long list of other things that continued into my adult life.

Aside from my lack of self-confidence, it also didn’t help that I do not come from a family of high-
achievers. I never witnessed anyone around me speaking about or reaching for dreams and goals.
Everybody just settled into a life of complacency and mediocrity. I probably have two older cousins
who graduated from college, so who was I to think that I could do anything differently? I had to be
crazy to think that I could actually succeed at achieving anything, when no one else around me had
done so.

Truthfully, I can’t even place total blame on my environment, because although I believe environment
does greatly affect one’s evolution, it is very possible to become more than what or where you come
from. My issue was my issue; I’m able to own that now. I simply had zero belief in myself, and when
you lack confidence, even when it’s something you desire, you subconsciously teach yourself to reject
every opportunity for self-improvement.

Low self-esteem is a thief. It robs you of all things good for your life, and ultimately causes you to live
beneath God’s plan of destiny. It makes me think of John 10:10 (AMP) which says, “The thief comes
only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in
abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”

Satan does not want any of God’s children to do, have, or be anything remotely close to who or what
God has destined, because when we walk in the fullness of His plan for our lives, it illuminates God’s
glory, and that light then shines into the darkness of lost souls, ultimately ushering them into the
Kingdom. So, the enemy often works in our psyche to turn us against ourselves, using our own self-
esteem as his tool to defeat us. This is why you constantly find every reason why you should not go
after something that is really a God-desire.

Think about it: When you want to consume the whole box of cookies, justifiable reasons are not hard
to find. You rationalize that you need them, because you’re stressed, you just need a little something
sweet, or you deserve it as a treat. But, when your mind says, “We need to adopt a healthier lifestyle,”
reasons to reject it pile high. You say you can’t because healthy food is too expensive, you don’t have
extra time for all that meal-prepping, or working out is not hair-friendly.

You see that? For the thing that’s not-so-good for the longevity of your life, there’s no thought
stopping you, but for what is beneficial to your health, your thoughts reject it. If you really give it some
thought, you will see how the
thief is robbing you. Good health is part of God’s plan for you, verifiable
through 3 John 2 NKJV – “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as
your soul prospers.” This is only an example; however, it speaks to the issue of self-esteem, because
we only talk ourselves out of going after what we believe we do not deserve. For some, that includes
good health.

You can only grow from this mindset when you embrace the truth that whatever God has willed for
your life is not a matter of
deserving, but of destiny.

What dreams and desires have you rejected because you don’t think you are good enough? How
many times have you initiated the first step in achieving a goal, but then backed away from it because
your self-esteem talked you out of it? How many books, or businesses, or ministries, or good
relationships, or amazing ideas are sitting on the shelf of your heart collecting dust, because your
inability to believe in yourself keeps your feet cemented to the ground? What passions have you
failed to pursue? How many lives are waiting on you to believe in yourself so that they can receive the
impact that God purposed them to obtain from you?

I implore you to give it second, or
fifth, thought. This time, instead of giving yourself every reason why
you shouldn’t or can’t, think about (And write down!) all the reasons why you can and you will. Then,
act on it from a mindset that says,
I am good enough.

Pursue from a place of knowing that when Jesus carried the Cross, endured pain and anguish, died,
He did it because YOU were good enough. Low self-esteem, on your behalf, was nailed to the Cross.

Leave it there.

Read last week's blog: A lesson in God's love from my battle with a skin disease

LaKeisha Rainey Collins is an Mobile, Alabama-based wife, mom of three boys and one girl, Founder
of Beauty for Ashes, Inc. and author of two books --
Beautiful Me and My Baby Has Wings. Learn
more about her
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