But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ –Matthew 5:37
When the bright red bubble of happiness popped up on my Facebook notifications, I eagerly clicked. Join my event, it urged! Such and such for sale, come over for appetizers and shopping.
I immediately clicked “Can’t Go.” It wasn’t because it was sales. Being in business myself, I appreciate these kinds events. I’ve put on these kinds of events.
It was the thought of entering a home I’d never been to and mingling with people I didn’t know. [clickToTweet tweet=”I knew it wasn’t my comfort zone. Nope. Not going. #trustyourgut @MandyMianecki” quote=”I knew it wasn’t my comfort zone. Nope. Not going.”]
Until my classic overthinking kicked in: It would be nice to get out of the house, converse with other moms, and put responsibilities aside for a couple of hours. If nothing else, I could catch up with the few ladies I did know. Maybe I’d even enjoy meeting new people!
As I approached the front door, my nerves ramped up. Knock, or just enter? Introduce myself, or start browsing the products? My confidence plummeting, I entered and smiled weakly at a few ladies as I surveyed the room. Walking into the kitchen, I found the hostess and the the sales distributor, a friend.
She explained the layout of the products, and my head began to spin. All the ladies surrounded me seemed at ease and thrilled to shop. They were familiar with the products and eager to add to their stash.
This was not the picture I had in my head. One friend had come early and left before I got there. The others I knew were rightly engaged in hosting. I knew the small talk starters and other tricks to socializing, but it all made me want to run and hide. I knew how I functioned well, and this was not it.
What’s your week look like? I texted. Want to grab coffee?
I entered Panera excited to grab some comfort food and catch up with my friend.
Her ready smile and warm bear hug set a pleasant, inviting tone for the visit. She asked about my family, recent activities, known challenges, and I did the same for her. We laughed as we caught up on school woes, kids’ antics, and upcoming fun activities, and we brainstormed and sympathized with each other’s stresses and struggles.
I left feeling energized and uplifted.
Two events, two vastly different experiences… They are not parallel situations, but they confirmed something important for me.
I thrive in one on one situations that skip small talk. I know this about myself. There was a time when one on ones triggered anxiety in me too, but never so much as large groups.
At the first event, I was trying to thrive in a situation I knew was not in my strengths. Was there anything inherently wrong with going to the first event? Not at all! It wasn’t entirely unpleasant for me either. It was simply an exercise in not trusting my intuition, not honoring who I am, and caving to the “shoulds.” You know the ones:
- I should be able to do this.
- I should do the hard thing.
- I should stretch myself.
- I should be stronger.
- I should be better.
- I should be doing what everyone else is.
- I should be there to support my friend.
Striving for personal growth is a good thing, but focusing too much attention on managing weaknesses keeps us out of the sweet spot of where God calls us to be and can lead to discouragement. [clickToTweet tweet=”God doesn’t call us to be a nervous wreck. @MandyMianecki #useyourstrengths” quote=”God doesn’t call us to be a nervous wreck.”]
He calls us to the freedom that is found in abundant life with Him. Living in that freedom means recognizing who He made us to be and spending most of our energy there. Our unique giftings, interests, and even some of our preferences can point us to our God-sized dreams, and we progress in those dreams when we live in the authenticity of how He made us.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. –Galatians 5:1
What “shoulds” are holding you back?
Under what conditions do you thrive?
Shared by: Mandy Mianecki