In 2006 I bought a journal. I’m sure I bought it because I thought it had a pretty cover. That sounds like something I would do. The cover reads Believe in Yourself. I remember something about it just bothered me. Eventually I scratched it out and wrote Believe in God. I found the journal the other day and it got me thinking.
How often have you been told to believe in yourself?
Too many to count.
But are we really a world that needs more self?
Look around you. We are simultaneously being pounded with messages about what we should be doing to improve ourselves and that we should do whatever makes us happy and put ourselves first. I (don’t) hate to break it to you. Both messages are wrong.
Yes, we are not enough but the solution isn’t a cosmetic procedure or a workout.
And we aren’t so perfect and important that we should pursue whatever feels good in the moment because that’s what we deserve.
I am so sick and tired of hearing people say that if it doesn’t make you happy you should walk away. I suggest that we be grown-ups and take a look in the mirror.
They are all lying to you. Happiness isn’t one big promotion or new relationship away.
We are too quick to cut and run on anything that stops bringing us joy.
Friend, nothing we will ever find on this earth will bring us joy all the time. We are human. We are easily distracted and bored. Don’t put the burden of keeping you happy 100% of the time on any person. Or any career. Or any hobby. Passion for anything or anyone will fade. You’ll be disappointed every time.
Do you know anyone who moves from job to job and the problem (according to them) is always that job?
Or someone who moves from relationship to relationship and the problem (according to them) is always that person?
Let me tell you a secret. It’s not always the job. It’s not always the other person.
I’m not saying that sometimes a job isn’t a great fit or a person isn’t good for you. Of course that happens. But before we quit let’s make sure that this is the case. Let’s make sure that our experiences aren’t just the normal peaks and valleys that come from doing anything or being with anyone for a long period of time. Let’s make sure that we’re looking deeper and asking those tough questions of ourselves.
I think that this me, me, me mentality is why people are unhappy in the first place. It’s not the solution. It’s the problem.
You know why? I will never ever not in a million years be fulfilled by having a certain partner, a specific job, the perfect house, or a toned body.
Each “win” might feel good and fun for a short period of time but hear me out. It. Is. Not. Enough.
Let’s stop acting like it ever will be.
Let’s stop acting like I’m just one pay raise away from a lifetime of happiness.
Let’s stop acting like this last 10 pounds is holding me back.
Let’s stop acting like this jar of beauty cream is going to turn back time and make me feel like I’m 20 again. It won’t. And I wasn’t fulfilled at 20 anyway.
Here’s the truth. My children won’t even give me that fulfillment. I will love them and they will bring me immeasurable joy every single day but it is not their job to fulfill me. It’s not fair to set that expectation (for them or for me).
Your family cannot fulfill you. They’re all human just like you. Flawed. Imperfect. Trying damn hard but falling short. Don’t put that burden on them.
Drinking to excess won’t do it. Going out with your friends won’t do it.
You are not enough. Your family is not enough. Your friends are not enough. Your career is not enough. Your money will never be enough. They may all be wonderful but they cannot and will not ever fulfill you.
Let that lie go.
You’ll only be disappointed and dissatisfied.
They can bring great joy. Yes. But they were not designed to be enough.
Nothing can fulfill you in the way He who designed all these things can. When you’re not doing His Work and growing in your understanding of Him you will feel that gaping hole in your chest that doesn’t ever seem to get smaller. You will fill it and fill it and fill it and still be left feeling like you have nothing.
So to the person who moves from person to person. Career to career. Hobby to hobby. To the person who is always looking for the next thing to bring them happiness (because surely that next thing will). Please hear me when I say it is not enough. That person is not enough. That job is not enough. You are not enough.
I know the world is telling you that you should just believe in yourself and do whatever you want but the world is failing you. The world doesn’t have your best interests at heart. To be honest the world doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you.
But He does.
Stop sacrificing relationships because the next one might be the right one. Stop sacrificing jobs because the next one might be the right one.
It’s not that simple and it’s so much more simple than that.
Don’t believe in yourself. Believe in the One who is greater. Let Him make you the person you are called to be and do the work you are called to do.
So get over yourself and I’ll get over myself. We can do better. We can be better. And it has nothing to do with self at all.