Thursday, August 25, 2011

Living Joyfully-Confidence

I'm a sensitive person. I always have been. I once had to sell candy bars for my elementary school sports team. I took my box 'o candy and stood out there in front of the grocery store. My first customer-hopeful was a nonagenarian, bless her heart, who said "no, thank you," to my product. I cried. And cried. And my dear mother ended up purchasing the rest of the entire box of candy bars. As I got older, I remained sensitive, and unsure of myself. "Writing Critique" classes in college were torturous. If someone didn't return a smile, it would ruin my day. I took every criticism personally, and allowed other people to determine my self-worth.

Finally, it took motherhood to snap me out of my taking-everything-personal attitude. The first time friends and family tried to criticize me for my parenting decisions, I questioned everything. I felt bad that everyone didn't agree with me. But, in this growing process, I have come to several conclusions:
  • Don't Let Anyone Else Determine Your Self Worth
    • You are fearfully and wonderfully made. God said that. And, He tells the truth. People are not always nice, so it's impossible to live a joyful life when you're constantly riding that roller coaster of gaining approval from others. 
  • You Can't Please Everyone All The Time
    • I'm in this thing to please God, and take care of my family. If I am doing that, and others do not agree with me, I can be confident that I am still doing the right thing for us. There was a time when I would try to justify every move I made, to lessen some criticism from others, but now I understand that doing what's right and best for my family might not be the most popular. 
  • Life is Too Short to Be Petty
    • I wish I had learned this earlier. I wasted so many hours worrying about what other people thought of me that I care to think about. I would rather spend my days thinking about how to bless others and how to best serve my family than I would being tossed about by seeking to please those around me.
Being sensitive can be good, because it helps you be compassionate towards others. But, being overly sensitive can rob your joy and your confidence. Joy is steady, but the affirming words and thoughts of others are like a roller coaster. Your self-worth should come from the wonderful qualities you have, not the qualities other people think you should have.

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