Have you ever worried what people think about you?
Think of the following people:
- Craig Groeschel
- Walt Disney
- Rosa Parks
- Abraham Lincoln
- Billy Graham
- Dr. Ben Carson
- Harriet Tubman
- Benjamin Franklin
- Thomas Edison
…and countless others you can name who have one thing in common…
THEY DID NOT CARE WHAT OTHERS THOUGHT ABOUT THEM.
They were so purpose-filled, they accomplished great things...things many said could never happen.
We live in a world where worry and judgment runs rampant, grace can be slight, and criticism is at an all time high. People have always had expectations and judgments throughout the ages. Some succumb to them…others rebel. The great ones neither succumb or rebel. Instead, they find their purpose.
It can be too easy to just go with the flow to please the majority, and if you desire to be liked by the majority, it becomes easier to give up all individuality, while losing your true authentic self in the process. And most are willing to settle for this…all because of being concerned about other people’s acceptance and approval.
Let me warn you…primarily caring about what people think could cost you something of greater value than another person’s acceptance or approval…it could cost you your life purpose.
I have a confession to make…for much of my life, I cared far too much about what other people thought of me and I have also tried to be all things to all people. I’m a HUGE people pleaser by nature…and guilt trips previously worked on me ever since I can remember.
I’ve been accused of being a doormat…guilty.
I’ve been accused of being too emotion-driven or heart-driven…guilty.
I’ve been accused of being too transparent...guilty.
I’ve been accused of talking about my family and how much I love them way too much…or puppies…absolutely guilty again.
…but as I pondered my life, I came to an important conclusion…I have 2 choices:
- I can worry about what people think about me…or…
- I can care more what God thinks about me and vibrantly fulfill His amazing purpose for my life
I discovered through this conclusion that I have a responsibility to live this out as a lifestyle because I have found that I can accomplish greater things…I can develop truer, more authentic relationships…I can live life fuller…and I am freed up to realize my potential in a greater way each and every day when I leave my worries—especially what others think—behind.
Galatians 1:10, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
You can’t ride two horses with one hiney…if you’re going to strive to live a more purposeful life, you must choose which horse is going to go the greater distance: the horse of worry and pleasing others…or the horse of purpose and pleasing God.
Living a life of complacency, caving, unhealthy compromise, worry, or confusion gets you no where FAST. Caring what others think will leave you empty-handed at the end of your life.
I DAILY choose the horse of purpose…not worrying about what others think about me…not worrying about accomplishing my life purpose but instead, handing it over to God…not worrying throughout life challenges…and not worrying about trivial things
Worrying…and caring about what others think of you…robs you of your joy, your purpose, and your ability to relate to others.
It robs you of some of the most amazing gifts God has granted you…your INDIVIDUALITY, PERSONALITY, and CREATIVITY.
To not worry requires to DAILY choose to give all of your worries and expectations to God.
Not convinced to not worry? Here are some AMAZING PERKS of perfecting the art of a no worries lifestyle…
1. Not worrying enhances your TRUE personality
Worrying robs you and everyone else of the highly personalized YOU God created you to be.
When we worry about fitting in, conforming to other’s expectations…just to be accepted…we lose a huge piece of ourselves. The enemy loves nothing more than to rob people of their individuality and life purpose. If we are all the same, we have nothing unique to draw others to our heart and ministry. We will have nothing extraordinary to bring to the table. Being like everyone else…being the same…leaves the world a dry, boring, tasteless place. We’re called to be SALTY…so SPICE YOUR LIFE and YOUR MINISTRY UP!
2. Not worrying allows you to have some CRAZY FUN in life
When you stop caring about what other people think, you free yourself up to live life BIG. Who cares if you fall madly in love with your spouse and are public about it? Who cares if you absolutely adore being a parent…and talk about it frequently? Who cares if you sing or dance in the car with the windows down at a stoplight? Who cares if you make a fool of yourself singing karaoke? Who cares if you live life to the fullest, savor every opportunity, or do something crazy fun every once in a while? Not you because you won’t care or worry! There is FREEDOM when you finally make the decision to not care what others think. I’m not advocating being rebellious, rude, obnoxious, or ill-mannered…but there are SO many things in life that people never get around to doing because they are too concerned with what others will think.
Train yourself to only care what God thinks!
You have a gift: you are ALIVE today! You have the opportunity to live life BIG…so tell your loved ones how proud of them you are, after you tell how much you love and adore them, while giving them a huge hug…step up your game at work…do an anonymous kind act today…pay for someone’s dinner anonymously at a restaurant or someone’s coffee in the drive-thru line at Starbucks…buy flowers for a widow…choose to accomplish a long forgotten goal…take up a new hobby…do something you used to find great joy in.
Quit trying to prove to others that you’re valuable by seeking their approval! You KNOW you’re valuable–God made you! Find your value in and through HIM!
PROVE to yourself that you’re alive and that your life is too good and too big to be lived in the mediocrity of worrying what others think!
Like I said, YOU CAN MISS OPPORTUNITIES and GREAT MEMORIES if you constantly care what others think.
3. Not worrying about what others think will win you the RIGHT friends and eliminate the WRONG friends
Not everyone is going to like you…and it’s not always going to be your fault. The people who truly care about you and your life will accept you…AND VALUE YOU for who you are. The wrong ones will not. No matter what you do, no matter how nice you are, what you accomplish, no matter your lot in life, people either like you or they don’t. Don’t sweat it. It’s irresponsible and a waste of precious time trying to get others to approve of you or like you. Appreciate the ones who care enough to do life with you, don’t worry about the one’s who don’t. If it’s God’s will for them to be in your life, they’ll be there. It’s not always rejection…many times, it’s God’s protection!
4. Not worrying how others view your life allows you more freedom to accomplish your life purpose
My life purpose is to extravagantly love God and my family and to encourage those who have suffered hardship or grief. If someone doesn’t enjoy their family or hasn’t been through grief or a major life challenge, I’m not going to make much sense to that person…how I use my time and my zeal for life…more than likely will be of little impact to them. When you make a conscious effort to fulfill your life purpose and God’s will for your life, your life takes on a new meaning. You will no longer be satisfied with mediocre relationships or mediocre living. A passion will burn inside your heart to make the greatest impact possible. Your relationships become precious. Your time becomes precious. Your schedule will significantly clear up because you’ll want to direct your attention and efforts into living an authentic true life that is filled with meaning….a true life filled with purpose.
5. Not worrying demands a sharp focus
Your goals, dreams, ideas, and purpose need to become a daily priority. You’ll begin to sharply understand that the day will come when you will have to look at yourself in the mirror and give an account to not only God but also to yourself of how you chose to spend your life. You realize that on that day, you will know beyond any shadow of a doubt if you met your goals, dreams, ideas, and purpose…or if you caved by caring what others thought about you. You’ll know you did a job well done or you will know that you wasted your relationships, time, resources, money, opportunities, and energy.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Do not worry about the past or any mistakes you have made…you have TODAY to make things right, set things straight, and to begin to fulfill your purpose throughout the rest of your life. If you have a heartbeat, you have PURPOSE! Ask God to reveal it to you!
6. Not worrying is a work of art…it’s a daily decision to live your life responsibly and on purpose
You are the one who will give an account of your life…no one else. Take responsibility for your decisions, the blessings or consequences of those decisions, and the outcome of your life. It’s your life so live it well.
7. Not worrying GROWS your ministry
Your personal ministry is God-ordained, God-approved, and should be done to your best ability.
EVERYBODY has a ministry. Some have realized theirs, while others have yet to discover it…but make no mistake…everybody has one. The question is: will you embrace it, take ownership of it, and do it to the best of your ability?
My opinion is people do one of 5 things with their purpose and ministry:
- reject it
- neglect it
- dabble in it
- go through the motions by doing it as a requirement or duty
- or they go ALL OUT by doing it BIG
You have a purpose and ministry that is so unique…so amazing…and God is calling you to do it to the BEST of your ability!
In my grief ministry, I am not traditional or status quo. I can’t afford to care what others think…my ministry and the people I help depend on it. Grief ministry demands that I be as transparent, open, honest, and authentic as I possibly can be. It demands that people can connect with me, see inside my heart, and they are able to relate to me at a very deep level. It was extremely scary opening myself up like that…sharing with others my deepest hurts, giving my testimony of how God healed my heart after much grief and loss. I knew if I was to be effective, I had to be ALL in. That’s where God uses people best…when they are passionately willing to do their purpose and ministry with their whole heart. Whether there are 3 people you’re ministering to or 500,000…do it big for even the smallest number.
Don’t care or worry what others think about you, your marriage, parenting, career, or ministry…and don’t care or worry if someone else is doing life, their purpose, or ministry differently. Have the most personalized life experience that God can offer you…that’s when life becomes unique, fun, and incredibly rewarding!
Find out what your purpose and God-given ministry is…that’s where you’ll find JOY, peace, & the sweetest life possible.
Every experience you have had in life has, or is, shaping you for your life purpose and ministry…Bloom where you are planted!
8. Not worrying about day-to-day happenings will allow you to draw on God’s strength and not your own
Too many times in life, we attempt to do or achieve things that are not God’s will…or we attempt to do God’s will in our own effort. When we do things in our own effort, we become frustrated, prideful, or full of ourselves, thinking we are greater than we are. We need to be more concerned that God receives the glory for what gets accomplished. In ministry, we need to realize that our ministries are not truly ours…they are entrusted to us by God. If something great happens in them…it’s not ours to become proud of…we become humbled that God used us greatly.
We give credit to others, realizing we achieve nothing by ourselves. Every accomplishment or contribution we make in life is only because someone chose to invest in us.
God is ultimately the One who gives us the drive and dedication we have in our hearts, so it makes sense to dedicate all we are and all we have back to Him. When you dedicate your ministry to God, He opens the doors and gives you the words to speak. There is no room for pride or worrying.
For example, I went on vacation to relax a few weeks ago. My biggest plan for the day was to have fun…but God had different plans.
I met a man who was filming a documentary on grief (of all things!) for HBO. As I talked to him, he interviewed and videoed me for his TV series. I had no idea what to say so I asked God to give me the words He wanted me to share. I surprised my family…and myself...when I began sharing about a very painful experience that happened to me when I was 12 years old. I very rarely talk about that situation…yet that apparently is what God wanted me to talk about that day. Someone watching the documentary when it airs on HBO will need to hear what I had to say and will find hope through my experience. After I did the interview, I felt sick with worry. My mind raced, “What will everyone think about that?…Why did I share on that topic when I had others I could have talked about?…Most of my friends and in-laws do not even know about that difficult chapter in my life and I just shared it with the world.” That is when God impressed on my heart…Life is too short to worry about trivial things…too short to worry about what others will think of you..too short to be worried at all.
After I shared about what happened, an older man who was in the video room came up to me and told me my story greatly inspired him. He said he was impressed by my cheerful countenance, my ability to overcome that incident, and still love life. Little did I realize that God was pushing me, giving me the words to deepen my ministry, to make a greater difference that day.
That is what life is about: fulfilling your life purpose fully for God and making a GREATER DIFFERENCE.
Forget all worries…make the decision to not worry and dedicate your life purpose to God.
Romans 12 & Matthew 6:27 addresses all of this beautifully. I encourage you to read these amazing passages.
Okay…if you’ve read this up to this point, I am extremely impressed. Reward yourself.
Seriously, thank you for listening to my heart.
Remember the 2 horses: worry and purpose…you can’t ride 2 horses with 1 hiney.
Choose your horse wisely. It will take you to a destination of loss and regrets…or…purpose and fulfillment.
Seek God, ask Him to give you an extra measure of grace to not worry about what others think, and to not worry at all. Pursue your life purpose, find out what life experiences and ministry God is impressing on your heart to help others, and ENJOY life! Free yourself from worry. Do what you can and leave the rest up to God. Cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you. He has a life purpose for you and it is so wonderful you’re going to be amazed!
Please don’t miss it by worrying.
**If at the end of reading this post, you could hear the whistles of Don’t Worry, Be Happy in your head, you get bonus points**
Gratitude & blessings,
©2015 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (book): Click here for book
Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com
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FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: (Coming November 4, 2015)