4 Thoughts that Aren't Helping Us Move Forward This Week (and Their Corresponding Truths)
Some thoughts help me move forward and some don't. You know, thoughts like
"I can't do this."
"I'm not doing the right thing."
"Maybe I should do something else."
and, the kicker....
"You're a fake."
Let's talk it out. These aren't helping us move forward.
Thanks Jesus for revealing lies on this Wednesday morning and helping us move forward. You're about truth and healing. And we're about that too.
THOUGHT #1. I can't do this.
On Monday I was given the assignment to draw texture. (So ambiguous.) And I was paralyzed by inability. Yes, I'm a artist. But I paint for a reason. Because I'm actually good at that.
So when it comes to drawing (and drawing in a way that doesn't look 100% sketchy and sort of abstract), I flip flop around and barely arrive at a subject. And then I try it and it doesn't immediately turn out how I thought.
And then I keep trying. And it works out.
Yes, it's a simple task. But also it's a confidence thing. It's a trying thing. It's a trust thing. It's a being-willing-to-keep-trying thing. And it's a good life skill.
TRUTH #1: I can do this. I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. I'm going to do what I can do with the time I have. And it WILL BE okay.
What task is in front of you that is daunting? Have you given it quite a few good tries? Why does it intimidate you? What will it hurt to try? What if you surprise yourself?
Just a few things to consider that I found out from this one simple drawing assignment:
THOUGHT #2. I'm not doing the right thing.
This one's a big one. It's that little bit of doubt about the direction I'm going. Have you ever felt that?
It's that little "Maybe things won't work out."
"Maybe you won't see results."
"Maybe you're wrong about this."
NO. Champion for what you're doing! Ask God for direction about it and then run!
If you have His yes, GO FOR IT.
In my God time this morning I realized that there are so many things I still feel iffy about because I haven't spent that time asking Him if HE has said YES to it.
If God has said Yes to it, GO FOR IT. And He will make a way!
ACT. And when that doubt starts creeping in about whether this is the right thing or not, JUST KEEP GOING ANYWAY.
You won't see results if you don't try. And you have to keep going to see results at all.
Soooooo here's the truth:
TRUTH #2: God said Yes. HE makes good come of things. It's okay.
(Have you noticed this repeating mantra yet? The "it's okay" one...
I like it.)
THOUGHT #3. Maybe I should do something else.
Distraction. This is the enemy of progress. There's a lot to choose from to do. And I promise, you'll get it all done. (Okay maybe you won't get it all done. It's a beautiful problem and it forces us to have priorities.)
But ask God what your first few things are and do them. And what the next things are. And do those.
My planner has this nice little section that includes a space for my three main focuses ("foci", if you will) this week. It's a simple tool that helps me focus. Or at least feel like I'm focusing a little more. A quick reference to know the must-dos of the week and get rid of everything else in my head.
What is your thing to do for today? Hold onto all the 30 other things you're thinking of in addition to that one thing in your head- write them down and daydream some but then do the today things. So that tomorrow you can do the tomorrow things.
It's simple but true. I can't believe I'm saying this, but- As fun as it is to create and bounce around from idea to idea, it's beautiful to also FULLY COMPLETE something and see the fruit of having seen it through.
Note: There is no shame in this. I get distracted easily. I love ideas. I bounce around. And those times are amazing. I love them. But I'm also learning that that tendency is good for maybe a couple days of the week and that it's okay to be realistic about my time and goals- that brainstorming and idea days aren't a constant- they're something to look forward to.
Now, I do greatly greatly thank God for a flexible schedule where, as needed, I can throw out my plans and follow a thought. That's beautiful and a gift.
But today I can do my today thing. And tomorrow I will do my tomorrow thing.
TRUTH #3: One thing at a time is just fine. I am doing what I can. Growth can be good and slow.
(Need more on this? See my post here about planning to get where you want to be.)
THOUGHT #4. You're a fake.
Ooh ouch. Ever felt not there yet? Just not official enough? Think they're doing it better. Or right. Or correctly.
Who makes you "official"?
Who validates what you're doing? Who is your source of strength?
Other people may have more years of experience. They may have tested and tried more than you have. Found different success.
But also all of those things BUILD. They take time. They take risk. They take asserting yourself.
And it might start with feeling fake. (Not fake like inauthentic- fake like "not fully there yet," "Less accomplished," or "not official." That type of fake.)
But it's not true.
Just keep pushing forward. You learn.
The only way you could be fake is if you pretend to know everything. But you're not making that claim.
You're just joining the journey of learning.
And there's a lot of good room in that. Room for growth. Room for exploration. Redirection. Excitement. Authenticity. Sharing yourself. Sharing where you're at. (Heck, I'm sharing all these things every day.)
I battle thoughts like "Your business isn't there yet." "Their Instagram looks better than yours." "Their painting style is so much prettier." "They're more experienced."
So here comes a truth.
TRUTH #4: You're not fake. You're learning. And learning WILL NEVER STOP.
If you're really trying to move forward. Really trying to grow. That type of person who is always taking on new goals, then this feeling might never go away. AND IT'S A GOOD THING.
It can just be combatted with this-
"I'm not fake. I'm learning."
And then we all share our expertise. And lack of it.
God, thanks for all the goals you have given us. Thank you for the dreams. Thanks for the challenges. Thanks for the desires for more. And also thank you for the day-to-day. Which limits us and challenges us and gives us focus. Thank you that our days give us the opportunity to partner with you in a new way in every task, every relationship, every thought.
God, we ask that you'd sanctify our thoughts. Line them right up with yours please. Breathe new life into them. We definitely need that. And we ask for good thoughts today that surprise us, Dad. Thoughts that line up with Yours that we never would have expected to think. Thoughts that help us move forward into more of what You have for us.
Dad, we ask for a commissioning of sorts. We ask to know your YES. What is a YES from You for our lives coming up? Please direct us.
And regardless and most importantly, we know You are with us. And that's what matters most. Without that, all of these endeavors would be in vain.
Thank you for covering my thoughts today Jesus. You are glorious and we love you. Help us love you more than ever.