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Why You Need to Give Yourself More Credit

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Time for caroling, ugly sweaters, never ending hot chocolate, and white elephant gift exchanges. This time of year also brings with it our beloved end of year reviews!

This week I had my year end review for my job. Before the review I had to rate myself on a scale of 1-10 in a few categories. The prep was nerve wracking!  In the pursuit of humility, I scored myself right in the middle or one point above the middle in areas where I know I could have scored higher. I went into the review with a positive attitude and high expectation that I would receive genuine feedback about my work outcomes and character. What I did not expect to receive was a shedding of the years of lies that I’ve told myself. All of this came out with one simple statement:  “You’ve got to give yourself more credit.”

For most of my life I chose to live under the radar and behind the scenes. I was so afraid to fail that I would try to minimize the risk of failure by saying no to opportunities that I was actually interested in. Whenever I did achieve something great, I would dismiss the achievement as if it was a fluke.

With enough lies you can silence even the greatest force of confidence.

When we dismiss achievements we are choosing not to acknowledge our God given gifts, strengths, talents, and abilities. You cannot be responsible for what you do not acknowledge, so that takes you off the hook of being a participant in the betterment of this world.

Every time my son (age 2) does something well, he acknowledges his achievement with two fists in the air and squeals, “I did it!” Every day and multiple times a day, we celebrate his achievements. When his little sister sees him celebrating, it inspires her to try the same thing. On the flip side, now that he has acknowledged what he is capable of, I know that I can ask him to do more. Not for the sake of doing more, but to continue unlocking the greatness within him.

As an adult it’s scary to acknowledge that, “I did it!” You don’t want to appear arrogant, but it also means you can’t back down from it. You have now shown the world that you are extraordinary and capable of creating something that will make a lasting impact. You have no more excuses; so let’s go!   Expect more opportunities for you to participate in making this world, your community, your home a better place. So go ahead and write the song, create a new process or system, say yes, and keep acknowledging the gifts you possess.
That is being confident.

That is being brave.

Be Brave & Carry on.

“Each step prepares you for the next one.” Dr. Hoffman

I recently heard this quote while discussing the big picture in life and how we can get so focused on the big picture, that monumental moment in the future, that we forget about the here and now.

In the past few months, God has given me many pictures and words for what is to come in my life. However, I live in the present reality, I don’t live in a futuristic fantasy. Now my job is to live this present reality in view of the future, mindful of the work I will do each day in order to get there. I still hold onto the hope, but I’m not naive enough to think it will just magically happen with no work on my part.

Proverbs 14:15 says, “The simple believe anything,

but the prudent give thought to their steps.”

If each step prepares me for the next and it is a good thing to give thought to my steps in the view of the vision I have been given, then YES, I will prayerfully consider my ways each day!

Bravery is a journey. You don’t wake up one morning and just decide to be brave (although that would be a good way to start). Bravery starts small, and as you go along the journey, each step of the way will be preparation for the next. Take some time to think about the journey. Reflect and be still for a few moments.

Here are three things to help as your current step prepares you for the next:

  1. Ask yourself, how is this step preparing me for that bigger picture?
  2. What in my last step (or the last year) prepared me for right now?
  3. How can I live right now in view of the bigger picture of a lifetime? Or eternity?

Trust that this step is preparing your for the next, however difficult each step may be. When we take the time to reflect on what has already happened, it gives us that bigger picture view to take with us in the midst of each step.

Proverbs 20:24

“A person’s steps are directed by the Lord.

How then can anyone understand their own way?”

We may not understand it now, but we will someday! Keep going. Be brave, and carry on. (Tweet that).

It’s the Little Things

When you start a new venture on bravery, prepare yourself for the opportunities that will arise. It’s funny how that happens, the day you set your mind to be brave, you will have the opportunity to live it out, putting your intention into action.

Recently I’ve had some life situations that have required me to step out of my comfort zone. However, these were temporary situations where I had the option to choose to remove myself. While this was courage in action, these trials were things I was easily rid of. Some things are not so easy to bravely step away from. Some things like depression or cancer, abusive situations or homelessness cannot be escaped so easily.

Individuals with those circumstances have to bravely face each day with courageous fire in their eyes and a shield over their heart, bracing themselves for whatever is thrown their way next. Living a lifestyle of bravery, consistently waking up each morning, they determine to live bravely no matter their present circumstances-no matter how permanent the situation may seem.

Some circumstances are temporary and may be eliminated if we make one brave decision. But a lifestyle of bravery requires several small choices to keep going, living, breathing, and hoping.

One day-you will be free from your chains. Today, you can take that step.

Luke 16:10 says, “one who is faithful in little will be faithful in much…” The same can be said of bravery: when you are brave in the little things, you will be brave in the bigger things.

For me lately, those small choices have come in the form of saying no to things that will over-commit and overwhelm me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I have made small decisions to get up earlier, even though that may be the hardest decision to make, it helps me be more productive and feel more at peace.

Whatever it is, you can choose bravery today and not let your circumstances determine your life or your attitude.

If you dare to live a lifestyle of bravery, we would love to hear from you! Maybe you are still in the struggle. Maybe you are one big brave choice away from your breakthrough. You may be several little brave decisions away from that bigger. Let little brave acts be repeated and your fear will be defeated! (Tweet that!)

What is your brave moment? Where are you along your brave journey?

Visit our Facebook and leave a post on our wall or Twitter at us @braveavenue so we can hear about your brave moments.

Uncomfortable Bravery

Sometimes being brave means speaking the truth even when it may temporarily hurt the person to whom you are speaking. While it may hurt at first, you know that in order to fully heal or grow, they need to know the truth, acknowledge the truth, and deal with the truth.

This past week I had the opportunity to get real with an individual, in a less than comfortable situation. Though I tried at first to glaze over the root issue, she blatantly asked me to tell her the truth. I did not like the fact that I was going to have to say something difficult and although it would not be easy for her to hear, I knew that I would be the only one to speak this truth to her.

Out of love and genuinely wanting to help, praying desperately that God would give me grace with her response, what gave me courage to speak the truth was this verse:

Proverbs27.6

Just a few months ago, the reverse situation happened to me. I had people who loved me deeply tell me the truth about some things in my life that were so excruciating to hear, but were realities that I knew deep down were true. I knew they had my best interest in mind. It was the most loving thing they could have done at the time and it takes real bravery to choose love over comfort. However, it did require that I go through the uncomfortable process of humbling myself and listening to their wisdom.

I am so thankful that I had the examples of sincere friends who were not afraid to inflict that small little wound to spare me further intense pain in the long run. It helped me do the same this past week, taking that small brave step to love outside of my comfort zone.

I’ve realized more and more lately, that being brave is staying true to who I am, speaking truth, and not shying away from uncomfortable situations. In a world where most of us are scared to become vulnerable, as it may appear weak, we are longing for someone to take that first brave step to have a conversation that matters.

Is there an unpleasant truth or reality facing you or a loved one that needs to be brought to light?

Today you can choose genuine love over comfort and inspire others to do the same.

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