Anxieties of a people pleaser

Too many times I’ve found myself ashamed of who I am because I didn’t please someone. Thought’s of “I wish I were different so I didn’t upset them” or “I wish I were someone else entirely because then they would like or approve of me.”  It’s crazy how I can go through seasons and think I don’t care about the opinions of others, but as soon as I feel the slightest push against me from an attitude or opinion of someone – I crumble and begin doubting my every breath.

I’m sure this may sound extreme to some of you reading this, but to others of you, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  We were created to be in and belong in a community of people.  That’s how we share God’s work in our lives and the gifts that he has given us.  But I have to sit on Galatians 1:10 as I think through my people pleasing mindset…

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a serving of Christ. Galatians 1:10

I am reading the book “Girl, wash your face” (I highly recommended by the way!) she often talks about goals, dreams, and living as God so perfectly created us. But in the words I read today it set me on the path to caring less about what people think of me and more on a path of “am I doing all I can with the gifts I’m given to glorify God? Or am I hiding his gifts and feeling ashamed of them because people don’t understand me or that I don’t feel like I belong”?

“Someone else’s opinion of me is none of my business” 

I’m sitting here wondering, how many dreams and goals I’ve given up on because someone told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t? How many of my decisions are based on what other people will say or think about me? And mostly, how often do I hide the gifts that God has given me, or hold them back from giving him ultimate glory because others treat me like I’m weird or too different?

As a young woman it was easy for me to dream big and daydream, but today I feel the weight of others opinions and other words telling me that I’m wrong making it hard for me to even dream or set goals bigger than planning this week’s meals.

They can say what they wish, but my decision to not move forward is on me, not them

People will try to hold us back because of their own fears and insecurities or even because they think what we are doing or dreaming of is way different than anything they’d consider.

Well, you know what, I want to be different.  I accept that being different and standing out is a vulnerable place to be, that it can be tough, scary, hurtful… but I also accept that it is not for other’s or even myself which I live.  It’s for God, and his plans are going to be bold, different, daring and big- I want to be part of that and honestly, pray it’s way different than this world’s view of acceptable.

So, here are a few things I know:

  • I have been given a ‘think big’ mind and God has called me to use it and share it – even if I make others uncomfortable – He wants me to think big for His kingdom.
  • I don’t want my daughters to live ashamed of the way they think, dream, or set goals.
    • And I sure as heck don’t want someone telling them they can’t or shouldn’t do something. (not even me)
    • So I need to live by the example of dreaming big and being unashamed of my bigger than life thinking
  • I can not be ashamed of who I am or how big I dream/think. Of course, I can’t be rude or pushy – but if my bigger than Texas, forward-thinking mind frustrates people – well, that’s on them not something I have to carry.

So, if we are living out our lives for Christ and being proud of how we were created, being kind to others – Well, we need to accept our gifts, live unashamed of them and stop caring if we are making people uncomfortable. God has called us to stand out, and sometimes that means it will make people feel weird, annoyed, frustrated… That’s ok!

Go stand out, think big, dream big and keep in step with the Holy Spirit turning all things over to His bigger than life plans.

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