It is so easy to get caught up in the B.S. of day to day life. It comes in the form of shares and likes on social media, office politics, and those little justified judgments of others we make. It’s fears and insecurities portrayed as being confident and in charge. We don’t have all the answers, but we want others to believe that we do. But what most of us want more than anything is to be loved. When we were children, “…we learned how to get attention, and to a child attention equals love. In fact, if you never learn any better, you’ll go through your entire life believing that to have someone’s notice means you are loved.”¹ This observation from Rachel Hollis’s book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, also points out that this association with attention and love can later become a problem fleshing itself out in other behaviors.
“…we learn at a very early age that there are things we can do to hold on to attention, and even if the specifics of how we do it morph and change over time, the overarching way we’re taught to gain notice as a child—from being entertaining to being an achiever, chronically sick, overly angry, or always in crisis—often remains the same and affects the way we seek attention as adults.”²
These expectations whether perceived or real, get in the way of us living out our true selves. “As women, we’ve had a lifetime of lies fueling our fears. We’ve had a lifetime of believing that our value lies primarily in our ability to make other people happy. We are afraid of so many things when it comes to our dreams, but the biggest fear is of being judged for having them in the first place.”³ These false beliefs can be a stumbling block. Today I was listening to Bob Goff and his audiobook, Everybody Always. It’s about being love to everyone. Not because your goal is to make others happy, but because when we do things out of love instead of out of expectation we get love back. We go from getting validation, to God’s love being the validator.
Let me tell you a story. There were two kings. The first king loved being a king. He loved being honored and adored by the people. He sought acceptance and love from the people he ruled. This eventually made him kind of crazy and he became very suspicious of those around him. He didn’t do things out of moral integrity or because he believed that they were right, but because how he would be perceived. The second king had a deep love for his God. He sought out to do the right things and not because of what people thought of him. He did not need to be validated by what others thought, because what God thought was more important than anything. He was not perfect and he did mess up, but he had a heart after God, always turning back to Him. The first king lost his kingdom and his life. Which was when second king received his crown. The second king’s lineage was blessed with a king even greater than himself.
The moral is that pleasing people makes you crazy. Why? Because people change their minds way too much. You can fall in and out of favor with them at any time. Pleasing others is a dangerous trap. Character always wins out. God will always love us. His love isn’t tied to our actions. It’s unconditional.
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Vigilant Poster Girl
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- Hollis, Rachel. Girl, Stop Apologizing (pp. xv-xvi). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.
- Hollis, Rachel. Girl, Stop Apologizing (p. xvii). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.
- Hollis, Rachel. Girl, Stop Apologizing (p. xx). HarperCollins Leadership. Kindle Edition.