how to finally stop feeling like you need to prove yourself

Sometimes all I want to do is cuddle in bed and read a good book. Who’s with me?

Lately I have been in this strange mood that has left me uneasy and constantly wanting more. Have any of you ever encountered this before?

I think the reason why I’ve been feeling so anxious is because I continually catch myself trying to find my worth in my job and other things like friendships, my marriage, and even my family.

I am constantly seeking approval, putting my worth in how well I perform at my job, and how well-loved I feel by those that mean the most to me.

Can I get an amen when I say how hard this is to maintain and that it totally sucks?!

And so, because of all this pressure I’m putting on myself, I run to my bed and cuddle up.

A book I’m reading right now is called Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen, and let me tell you, it’s amazing! It’s about her personal struggle with trying to prove herself to the members of her church plant, her friends, and God. She is compelled by this beautiful voice of the Lord to “disciple a generation”, but she has no idea what to do with it. It’s an enormous calling that she feels pressured to live out, but how?

You know what’s kind of funny? I don’t think she’s the only one feeling it.

After I graduated from college, I felt pressured to “make it big” and get a job that everyone would gawk at; I was bullied from the moment I entered elementary school well past graduation.  I felt the need to prove myself by doing something I knew not a lot of people could; so, as soon as I received an offer from one of the most recognized space intelligence defense companies in the nation, I knew my chance had come.

To clarify, I am definitely not saying it’s bad to do something that the world sees as “awesome”.  What I am saying is it’s the motivation behind that decision that really counts.  Hear me out: if you’re just acting out of the need to impress a group of people, this will never turn out well.  If something seems too good to be true, often times it is.

What I’ve learned through my slight identity crisis is there is no better feeling than being able to let go and know that the only thing determining who I am is my identity in Christ.  I know it sounds cliche, but trust me, it can be incredibly freeing!

Think of it this way: what if you could stop all the chaos racing through your head? What if you could finally take all that weight off your shoulders and breathe for the first time in a while? What if you fully identified with the truth that Christ sees you as righteous, beautiful, and clean from every speck of your past?

How would you live differently? Like really live differently?

I promise you this: the moment I decided to stop listening to the screaming voices in my head saying I didn’t measure up was the day my life changed forever.

So do what it takes to let that resonate in your heart: sit on your bed; cuddle with the comfiest pillow you own; hug your dog; kiss your fiance; read a book.

And don’t forget to breathe.

“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 servant of Christ.”
~ Galatians 1:10 (ESV)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
~ Romans 12:2 (NIV)