LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF
LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF — 2 min read
by Markey Motsinger
10 years ago, someone told me that people view me as an overly confident person. Feeling anything but confident I was shocked. I would never, in a million years, have used the word confident, let alone overly confident, to label myself.
I began walking around on eggshells. I was afraid of offending people, appearing prideful, or causing people to feel less than. As a people-pleaser, I wanted everyone to like me, so I decided to tame my personality. Instead of being a blunt, organized, focused gal who sees things in black and white, I decided to be a quiet, fun, and free-spirited. Needless to say, it was a miserable time in my life!
I now realize that even though I was making a few people feel good, I was doing everyone a disservice by not allowing God to use me in the way He created me. Coming to terms with the fact that not everyone would love me was hard. But it taught me that when people harshly judge others personality, it often times has more to do with their insecurities and less to do with the fact that I am who I am. No, not everyone loves a woman with my personality, but I was becoming ok with that.
Since then, I have done a lot of soul-searching and, to my surprise, have realized that I am confident. And I don't apologize for it. The reason I didn't think I was confident in the beginning was due to my insecurities. I still have a lot of insecurities but have learned that confidence doesn’t mean an absence of insecurities. Being confidence means I don’t allow my insecurities to run over me. It means my insecurities don’t dictate what I do or who I am.
Are you insecure about a part of your personality? Can you pinpoint why? So often our insecurities come as a result of other people's judgments of who we are. Somewhere in the depths of our soul, we want people to accept us. And that’s not wrong. What’s wrong is when we let others insecurities, judgments, and unacceptance of us dictate who we will be and how we feel about ourselves.
We all have things about our personality that can be developed. With my personality, I'm continually learning to put people before tasks. We all have areas that can be developed. As we grow in these areas, we learn to communicate and interact with more grace and love, and Jesus becomes the focus instead of us.
I love what Jennie Allen says about people pointing out these areas of change. She says, "We need people in our lives that will call us up, not out." People who will help us identify and develop areas of our personality, instead of puting us down for all of our imperfections. We will offend people, we will even accidentally hurt them, but there is grace to forgive ourselves and truth to learn for each mistake. We don't need people to put us down and make us feel bad for our imperfections. We do that enough ourselves.
We have to learn to take all feedback, even when it's given by someone calling me out instead of us, and ask God to show us if there is anything He wants to use to shape our lives. But, what we can't do is allow people who are calling us out judgementally to change who God wants us to be. Take the truth and leave the judgements at the door. It's not always easy, but as we learn who our trusted friends are, the ones who will call us up with love and grace, we become less and less offended by the feedback. When we find these friends, we actually begin to welcome the feedback, knowing they want us to become the best version of who God created us to be.
Do you have boundaries set up for the people in your life who call you out, instead of up? Do you have a trusted group of friends that you allow to call you up? Do you allow them to speak into your life without getting offended?
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