For years I was hindered by the thought that if I didn’t do something exceptionally well, then I wouldn’t do it at all. I might make an initial attempt, but if there weren’t immediate fruit to validate the effort then the effort was abandoned. The comparison to determine excellence was versus other people’s ability.
Of course, filtering our attempts through thinking that we are going to be world-class at everything or a prodigy at anything robs from the richness of life we could potentially experience. To invalidate anything other than comparative excellence is a decision which necessarily invalidates just about everything for most of us.
For me, this was always a self-focused insecurity of wanting to avoid embarrassment or ridicule. This was self-protection at it’s finest. If I don’t try and fail, then the failure which was avoided cannot label me and those things that I could succeed in will be affirming labels of my worth and acceptance. So I’ll stick with the sure things.
The result, for a long time, was the middle ground. A career framed in compromise and relationships limited by the boundaries of my insecurities. It was a safe place in an unsafe world requiring continual insulation.
Here’s what it was; I didn’t know who I was. Everything I evaluated regarding to my place in the world was initiated externally to work its way inward. That creates a false echo in the perception of identity and purpose.
As a son, afforded that position through the Blood of Jesus, I am adopted into the family of God, the Father. The Holy Spirit reminds me of my sonship, which includes my place. He assures my place no matter my expertise. I don’t have to be preeminent or popular to enjoy the benefit of my inclusion and approval. I am affirmed in who I am no matter what I can or cannot do.
With that knowledge of identity, I am released to dream and explore with joy and abandon. The experience is the destination, not the result. The relationship which assures my freedom is intended to be my accompaniment as opposed to the celebration or agreement of those that are spectators.