We’re already a few days into the new year and if you’re like me, you’re already starting to feel like you’re behind. Behind in your new year resolution, behind on social media, behind in life. The changes you want to make, well they’re already falling apart before you even started. That’s just the issue, you haven’t started yet.
Why do you feel like you’re already behind and it’s only been THREE DAYS into the new year?
Social media. Everyone is posting their new year’s resolution and already off to a great start. They’re enthusiastic and happy about starting a new year. And you? Probably still thinking about what you want to improve… or rather how to do it.
This brings me to the fourth item on the list of insecurities that hinder us from doing God’s work – or even wanting to do it.
A history of being overshadowed by others:
This can cause a person to be preoccupied with people who are smarter, wealthier, nice looking, and more successful than they are. When this happens, it also creates doubt in a person’s ability to achieve not just in life but when it comes to God’s work the person’s mentality will lean towards thoughts like “someone else will do a better job than I.”
I’ve had thoughts like that before and sometimes I still do. I have doubts about my ability to achieve and I often compare myself to others and find myself falling short (you can read about some of that here). I fear I’m not good enough or I am being judged and compared to others. Many times in my younger years, I held back from leading a project or just speaking out my thoughts because I felt I wasn’t good enough or that my answers were not smart answers. I felt this way because I grew up being compared to others. The phrases below were common phrases used by my parents whether we were out in public or in the privacy of our home:
“She’s beautiful. Groom yourself to look like her.”
“She sings really well. You are off-tune.”
“Her handwriting is so beautiful. Practice your writing.”
“She’s really smart to get into that school. All A’s. You need to focus and do well like her.”
“Wow, she learned how to dress up beautifully, you’re still the same.”
I hated when I’m being compared to others and the publicity of how lacking I was humiliated me. I would hide in the shadows when I’m surrounded by confident beautiful people because I didn’t think I’m up to snuff with them. Being wrong can be forgiven if you’re beautiful…but if you’re wrong and not beautiful? It’s just an embarrassment, no? Those were my thoughts.
When I found God, I really loved stepping up and doing God’s work in the church. However, there were many instances when I faltered, when I didn’t want to do something because I felt inadequate due to my appearance and my doubt in my knowledge of God (having forgotten about the strong relationship I had with God). I overthink when I’m leading worship with the worship team and constantly mess up. I was a coward and blinded. When I saw someone else’s light shining, I dimmed mine with self-doubt.
This is wrong. We should be happy when others’ light shine and add our light to theirs so our world would shine bright with God’s light.
This goes back to gaining self-confidence. You need to know your shortcomings and be okay with it, but also know your strengths. Only then will you be confident to step forward with your knowledge but also gracefully give way to others in the areas you do not know. It is also why God calls certain people to do certain duties and others to do other duties.
God has blessed me with many talents and I’ve learned to use them and encourage others to use theirs. Most importantly, I’ve learned to listen and learned from others whether it is an area of knowledge that I am familiar with or not.
No one is smarter than you about your experience than you are. When God calls you to testify on what you’ve experienced, it is because you are the only one who knows of God’s greatness in that moment. When God calls you to teach and no one seems to be paying attention, it is because only one person needed to hear you and that’s all that matters. When God puts you in an uncomfortable position with people holding university degrees beyond what you attained, it is because those people needed to be humbled by God in you. God in you cannot be overshadowed by all the beauty or intelligence or wealth in the world.
“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in Him, there is no darkness at all.”
-1 John 1:5
Honestly, there just isn’t, and will never be, a way to be perfect – at least not to someone else’s standards. So set your eyes on the Lord and be content that He sees you as perfect because He made you exactly as He needed you to be.
Going back to establishing goals and resolution for the new year. Take your time to figure out what you want to change for the new year, what you want to accomplish. It doesn’t have to happen right away. Don’t listen to what you see on social media and feel like a failure just because everyone is already busy accomplishing their resolutions.
In 2019, I planned to find a church that I could call my home church, volunteer, blog consistently, and travel. I didn’t have a plan for any of it. It wasn’t until May when I finally traveled to Thailand (and that was my one travel of the year and it left me dreaming for more). I volunteered here and there throughout the year but haven’t established a routine and an organization, yet. I didn’t start blogging consistently until August 2019, after I quit my job and focused on all the blessings God gave me. It wasn’t until November 2019 that I started attending a church regularly and joined a small group for women.
It took some time, it took some praying, it took courage, and it took discipline (I still lack complete discipline, but I am definitely getting there and holding on tight to God for control!).
I encourage you to find what you want to improve in your life, pray about it, and take your time getting there because it will be more rewarding than something you can accomplish in a day. Do not look at other people’s timelines and get discouraged. You are different and need to follow a different timeline for your needs.
My friend, do not get discouraged by others’ light that may shine a little brighter than yours. Do not hide your light because of it. Instead, work intently on making your light brighter. The Lord is with you.
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Here are the links to the previous three insecurities, in case you missed them: