As we kick off our Unrestricted Summer series, I want you to know I read (and reread) your comments slack-jawed. Truth be told, I expected crickets and silence but instead, you poured out your soul. I was giddy. I said, “Amen” and “girl, me too” finding myself completely pumped because each comment echoed, “I am so ready to be free from this.”
That statement alone is the beginning of something powerful.
Freedom begins with bringing our issues into the light, we “out” them instead of ignoring them. We make a pact with God and our tribe here that we are ready to move forward.
We’re ready to be honest, but even more than that, we are ready to let go.
I promise you this I will address everything in each comment for the next three months. If it takes longer, that’s cool, too.
This comment, in particular, stood out to me:
“I would love to dive deeper into how to shirk our prideful need for approval from others. How do we stay focused on God when we live in a world where checking our number of LIKES on Facebook can become an obsession…?”
Girl, you are so right. We live in this “check to see how many likes” obsessive and approval-seeking world. And, since we know this is the world now- overly connected to a screen- we need better tools when we feel like we are accepting this world’s ridiculously low ranking scores.
So…what do I do with my “disease to please and my “approval idol?”
First, let me say this, all of this comes from a sweet and sincere place.
You want to make others happy.
You want God to be pleased with you.
You want to make a difference in the world.
All of that is good. But, when our security is based on the affirmation and approval of others we are going to be a HOT AND UNHAPPY MESS.
Wanting to please others leads to overthinking everything and second guessing every single move you make and every word spoken. It’s like the worst playlist ever on repeat.
Insecurity used to be a constant companion of mine. Because of my disease to please, I found myself in the pit of depression and had “performance anxiety” in every facet of my life.
I was tense, worried, and miserable until I called it out.
Okay, so you’re super sweet and want everyone to be happy with you. Um, have you met all the people? There are “people” in your life, work, and SWEET JESUS even in your home and church that will never be happy with your effort. Enough will never be enough. Your kind acts and well-intentioned heart will most likely go unnoticed when others respond and process life with a negative filter. It’s like goggles that have a laser focus on a few things that were less than perfect instead of highlighting the twenty things that were amazing. That has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Since you can’t please them, you can simply love them and take them off your radar. Their input cannot be your measuring stick. Like, ever.
You may feel unnoticed by others, but God sees that beautiful heart inside of you and he rewards us for our faithfulness. Does that mean your blog will go viral or that struggling business of yours will skyrocket to success overnight? Maybe, maybe not but I can assure you knowing your worth even in the delayed “not yet” and “maybe” is the best reward ever.
Insecurity has been woven into the fabrics of hearts from day one. We become fixated on feedback, but it’s the negative feedback we seem to always feed until in grows bigger than the vast blessings we’ve forgotten to notice and count. The Harvard Business Review said it takes six comments for every one negative comment. That’s a 6 to 1 ratio that lets you know that we are all playing into the measuring game.
Look, you might go daaaays without hearing someone say one nice thing about you, or gift you with affirming words that help with the sting of that one-ugly-comment.
So what do you do with that?
You deal with the mean girl in your head, first. If your inner voice is talking truth that’s awesome, but if she is talking trash…she has to shut it.
Take those thoughts captive instead of entertaining them. (2 Cor 10:15)
We can deal with our insecurity-driven life by looking to our only source of real security in Jesus. His love for you is constant, not flighty. God’s grace-filled love, truth, and even conviction and correction as believers is because we are loved and we are His. That never changes, darling. Never.
One day your life will be faith-filled, not insecurity-driven. Your decisions will not be fear-based decision, you will live with a soul on fire for the gifts God has given you. You will spend them unapologetically and wildly. And, those comments that used to torment you will become easier to let go of and hold very little weight because you know who you are in Christ is not dependent on how others view or respond to you. You consider the source and make a choice to let it go because you know your source.
He is your constant source of stability;
he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom;
he gives all this to those who fear him. (Isaiah 33:6-8 NET)
So, you feel like you have more issues than Vogue…you’re in good company. Been there. Done that. But, I’m over it.
I have a prayer for you below, pray and leave me a comment. I will post a video blog as a follow up to your feedback and comments. Let’s keep the conversation going. There is so much to cover on this. I’ll share my heart and part of my story and struggle with this and how I kicked insecurity in the face. I want to point you the power in Christ we have. Almost free isn’t freedom at all.
Keep going, sweet friends.
Today I will be fierce and faith-filled. Fear will no longer control my life, thoughts, and responses. I need your help letting go of the words that have hurt me. I want to please you. I want you to be my source- not the opinions and approval of others.
Help me to let go of_______________________________________________.
I believe you are able to free me from my approval addiction.
Help me to forgive________________________________________________.
Help me to forgive myself for_______________________________________.
Thank you for blessing me with____________________________________________________________
I’m ready to move on.
In Jesus Name,