Women are notorious people pleasers. How about you?
In our American culture girls are indoctrinated to be hyper aware of other people's feelings. And the message is consistently given from parents, teachers, and media--"Be a good girl.", "Don't bother people.", "Sit quietly over there and be good." and so on. *A good book on this is called Playing Big by Tara Mohr.
What messages and statements did you hear most as a child?
I'll never forget the day my mother told me: "I shouldn't have asked her to do that. I should have known how much of a bother and burden it would be to her."
The message I took away from that moment is that I should be aware of and responsible for the emotions and burdens any of my requests make on another person.
Do you feel responsible for other people's emotions and choices?
Why should women calculate out the "burden" of a request on another adult? Aren't they an adult fully capable of choosing what they will and will not do and the consequences of those choices?
Why should women be responsible for how others will perceive and feel about our requests or choices?
Now, hear me right friends, I am NOT talking about this selfish craze where people excuse their brash and rude behavior as "This is just me, take it or leave it. I'm just being myself." No, I'm talking about being hyper responsible for the thoughts and outcomes others choose to feel and think.
When men are asked to do things and they say "NO" they don't even give an explanation of why. It's simply a statement and no other explanations or emotions are needed.
When women are asked to do things, we give excuses or talk about how we can adjust our schedules and so on. Why do we feel the need to take on more than we can handle? Why do we feel the need to explain why we can't do something? Why do we feel the need to pretzel ourselves to move things around to accommodate the request?
It comes down to IDENTITY. We want to identify as the "perfect" wife, mother, coworker, neighbor, etc.
When our identity is wrapped up on how others see us and judge us then we make all manner of poor choices and broken boundaries for ourselves. We become victims not victors and leaders that bring positive change to ourselves, our homes, our organizations, and communities.
When our identity is firmly rooted in being a beloved, forgiven, and free daughter of the most high God then we no longer need to seek affirmation and "love" from others in unhealthy and dysfunctional ways. We don't have to experience a lackluster life of broken dreams, anxiety, and anger at every circumstance of life.
When our identity is firmly rooted as a bond-servant of Christ then we can choose to make decisions for ourselves from a healthy hierarchy. I filter all my decisions from the hierarchy of serving God first, my husband and children, then others.
When our identity is firmly rooted in God's word and love then we are unshaken by other people's judgements of us and our life choices. We can freely say "NO" with no explanations needed unless we WANT to give them. We no longer need to fill an empty cup up with accolades from others because our heart and mind are overflowing with the knowledge that we are loved, worthy, called, and empowered by Jesus Christ!
When our identity is overflowing with the power of God's love and word then we seek to please only God first and can lead others with kind courage not despairing that they won't like us. We become the victor and expect others to rise up to victor status instead of victim minded. This creates the positive changes in ourselves, others, and our communities.
We are the light showing others the way. We show others by our confident "No, thank you." that it's okay to allow others to be responsible for themselves, their emotions, and their choices.
Confidence flows from confidently knowing our identity in Christ Jesus. There is no more need to manipulate others into our will and way. We can confidently let the outcomes of all circumstances be in God's hands. And by that be confident leaders that can make decisive decisions instead of wallowing in indecision because we fear being wrong, making a mistake, or being embarrassed.
Leadership grows from our identity in Christ because we are no longer bound by fear for our future. We can be confident that we can advocate for our thoughts and ideas because God will always provide for us even if we "lose that job" or "make that person upset with us."
When our identity is in Christ, we no longer experience an emotional roller coast of fear, anxiety, and insecurity because we are so worried about the outcomes of our choices and what others will think of us. The overwhelming and exhausting cycle of writing and speaking in such a way that other's aren't "bothered", "upset", etc. is removed when we can confidently speak and write from a place of blessed assurance that we are loved by God and not in need of the approval of others.
My friends, do you work on your identity each morning? Do you ground yourself in His truth that you are precious, beloved, called, forgiven, and cared for?
Let's choose to reaffirm our identity in Christ each morning. Jesus said to pick up our cross DAILY! It's not a one and all done thing when it comes to identity, confidence, and courage to be unshaken by others and the desire to people please.
It's a journey. It's a daily activity that takes just a few moments in God's word and prayer each morning. And the more you do it, the easier and more solid your identity in Christ will form.
Let's choose to be mindful of the words we use and write. Take a few moments and think about how you talk, what you write, and how you ask others for things. Are you overly cautious in your wording? Using qualifiers like: just, bother, should, shouldn't, etc. Do you need to build better communication skills? See the training videos from Chris Voss. (an article by Tara Mohr on this)(article from Psychology Today)
Let's choose to speak and write with kind courage and confidence in our perspectives. We can be open for feedback and less defensive when we have a mindset of open learning and unshakable faith that Christ loves us.
We don't need to work hard to "prove" ourselves if we already know that we can work and learn no matter the outcomes because God is on our side, our Protector and Provider. Let's choose not to allow fear to be the driver in how we talk and the choices we make.
Let's choose to listen from a place of curiosity, discernment, and faith that God will help guide us through all things including constructive criticism, resistance to our ideas, and even anger at our healthy boundaries. Because the very real truth is that when we begin building our identity in Christ and our healthy boundaries we will receive negative push back.
Let's choose to allow others their emotions and their choices too. We don't need explanations from them and we don't need to rescue them or protect them from the consequences of their decisions. Great leaders empower and allow others to experience all the good and bad consequences that come from choosing their emotions and actions.
Let's pray: Dear God, thank You for this day. Thank You that You empower us by Your Holy Spirit and that You want us to cultivate our faith and identity in You and through Your word.
We praise You Jesus for Your loving sacrifice that brings us into a deep dynamic relationship with You, Abba Father, Holy Spirit. We are in awe of You, Jesus.
Lord please help us to cultivate a right understanding of our value, worth, and kingdom calling in such a way that we become the confident light shiners that You want us to be.
We are grateful that You called us out of the dark and into Your marvelous light and the Kingdom of God now and forever.
Please help us to continue to cultivate our faith, confidence, courage, and identity day by day through Your word and prayer. We love Your Holy word and the easy access we have to it. Please imprint Your Holy scripture upon our hearts and minds and help us to speak it, pray it, believe it, and be it.
We sing praises to Your name, now and forever, Amen.
*Ready to cultivate greater leadership skills, faith, joy, and a kingdom impact? Grab a spot on my calendar link and let's see if we are aligned to work together.
Scripture to think on:
2 Timothy 1:7 NASB For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Psalm 37:3 NASB
Trust in the Lord and do good; Live in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
1 Peter 2:9 NASB
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
Matthew 5:37 The Message
33-37 “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.
Philippians 1:6 NLT And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Ephesians 1:18 NLT I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
1 John 3:19 NLT Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.
The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Remember it's okay to simply say, "No, thank you."
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