Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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Chelsea Moses

Selling Shy

When I was younger, I was really shy for like 2 years of my life. Fast forward 19 years later and I am a 21-year-old who doesn’t even know the definition of the word shy.

We are all wired differently and some of us are the first people to spark a conversation while some of us will rather lean back and let others start the conversation, while we silently nod our head and offer the occasional smile (every now and then).

Being shy, is actually nothing to be shy about. Like I said, we are not all wired the same, but have you ever thought about  perhaps challenging yourself and stepping out of your shy shell? I know this can be scary for a lot of people and that’s okay, but when we step out of our comfort zone, we surprise ourselves with how thrilling the challenge is.

I have actually met some of my best friends today by challenging them to be brave and engage with me. How does one do this though? Here are 2 quick and practical ways:

Talk to strangers

Now, I know that the number 1 rule that all parents tell their children is:

“Never talk to strangers”

And I agree. Some strangers are dangerous. However, the point I am trying to get across here is, when you are out with a friend who introduces you to new people, integrate don’t hibernate. You never know who you might meet, speaking to someone you don’t know. That person could hold a business opportunity you might have been hoping for, you could meet your soul mate, your new best friend. Anything can happen when you don’t shy away from new people and new conversations.

Actually GO OUT!

Being in the comfort of your own home is satisfying. However, being comfortable does not result in us being challenged. If all we seek is comfort we never get confident. When we actually get up and go (regardless of how shy we may feel) we create a list of endless opportunities and adventures to be experienced.

It’s not simple stepping out of your comfort zone and putting your voice and yourself out there. We do not know how people will react to us or even how people will receive us. It’s not unusual to be afraid of rejection but allowing that fear to dominate your life is no way to live.

Self Care, is not Selfish

So often we can find ourselves at the hand of comments and criticisms from people.

‘You did that wrong. Do not do that. Do this better.’

As humans, we are constantly being told to be better and do better, and this can cause us to doubt who we are and begin to question our own existence and the decisions we make.

Doubt (especially self-doubt) is a dangerous thing. When we doubt ourselves and who we are, we are not only putting less value on ourselves but we are putting less value on the value we have been giving by God. You see it’s important to remember that:

You were not made by accident

There is actually a God in heaven, who made you the way you are. This God thought of you (deeply and with intention) and then formed you to be alive at this very moment in time. What happens when we start to doubt our self is that we actually start to become overwhelmed with sadness and then we find our self in a rut which many times is so hard to come out of.  All because we wallowed in our self-pity and our self-doubt.

You see, self-doubt is a normal part of being a human. With so many different people and personalities, doubt us inevitable. However this doesn’t change God’s love, purpose and plan for us. When we start to shift our thinking away from the doubt and towards God’s point of view, we realize that we were made to be great and can start to do great.

So don’t you think it’s time for your to start shifting your thoughts of self-doubt, to thoughts of Self Care?

How to be single

There is a movie that came out this year, and it’s called ‘How to be single’.  Basically, it is a movie about a girl, who has always been in relationships, learning how to be single and content. When I first saw the title of the movie, I wasn’t really sure how relevant it would be to my life, considering I don’t really need to learn how to single because I have been pretty much single up until this point of my life. However, as soon as I watched the movie, my perspective changed. This is because it is not a romantic comedy where the girl does it get the guy, instead she gets to rediscover herself (without the guy).

Now, I’m not saying those movies which focus on getting the guy or girls who have already got the guy are necessarily bad (not at all). Being in the right relationship is a healthy part of living but so is being single.

Singleness is not a struggle.

So many times, we are pitied for being single (especially as we get older).

“When are you getting a boyfriend? You are not married yet? You’re still single?”

We are made to feel inferior when we are without a partner because we are told that, only when we find a partner, will we be truly happy? This is not the case. You do not have to feel sad because you are single. In fact, single is the perfect season for you to do the most in your life.

How do I do this?

Get into a relationship with yourself

Being single is not a boring thing. You can do just as many things single, as you can when you’re a relationship. Take yourself out for coffee. Go shopping with your friends (or alone). You can spend time in your own company by simply reading a book. There are so many things you can do that will help you to discover yourself. What are your likes and dislikes? What makes you tick and what makes you calm?. You might even want to go traveling or spend some time with the important friends and family in our life. Do it! There is not time lost when time is well spent. And that’s one of the great things about being single, you have all this time for yourself, so be selfish with it.

I know the thought of being without a partner is a very scary concept for many people, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t mean you have to settle just because you don’t want to be single.

It is so important to learn how to be single so that when we do find someone worth sharing our life with, we are not depending on them to make us happy because we know who we are and can ultimately be happy with or without them.

Let God lend a hand

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Remember when you were younger and you were learning how to tie your shoe laces? You were first shown how to do it, and then left to your own devices afterward to try to do it on your own. I remember, as a kid that everything I wanted to learn I wanted to learn on my own. Someone would always show me how to do it and then no matter how many times I struggled to learn it afterward I would never accept help or defeat and continue to try to get it right.

Now in many respects, this is good. Never giving up and pushing for something by yourself instead of accepting defeat is a good thing, but not accepting a helping hand when you need one is really not helpful at all and can ultimately led to your defeat. This is especially true for our relationship with God.

Imagine God reaching out to help you and you saying “No thanks God, I have got this.” What ultimately happens is that you have not ‘got it’ and you end up being in a situation that you could have easily avoided. You see, I like independence as much as the next girl, but I have had to learn that sometimes I need to let go and let God because: God knows!

We were created by God, and because of this He knows us inside and out. Therefore, when we give God our hand and let Him guide us we will walk into the purpose driven life He has already created for us.

“Our arrogance should never be what guides us, God should”

An arrogance driven life is one that will lead downhill, but a God filled life is one that will lead upward, toward heaven.

So next time, you find yourself struggling to ‘tie that shoe lace’, and you need a helping hand, do not be afraid to reach out and get the help that you need.

Caring for other people

We all have those days when we are going through difficulties. You know, those moments when everything seems to be going wrong. Sometimes, we may not be the one going through a dip in our lives but someone we know might be. This can be really hard to handle when you’re in this situation with a friend.

“What do I do? What do I say? How do I react? Does she want to talk about what’s wrong? So I give her space?”

We often become uncertain of how to help people during their time of despair. Why is this? We are all humans, and so we all experience times of great sadness. If you’re in a situation when you’re not the one who is sad but someone you hold close is, all you really have to do is treat them how you would want them or someone else, to treat you.

Listen to them

When someone you know is in despair, the ability to listen to them and not just hear them, becomes really important. We need to go into conversations not with ourselves in mind but with others. This simply means, it’s about what they say and how they feel and so even if that means you end up not talking much as long as you’re physical and emotionally present in listening to what they are saying, it will mean so much to the person.

Be there for them

Action speaks louder than words, and in a situation where someone is going through the most, you really need to put your words into action. Empty promises and plans will not suffice. I recently had a situation with a friend who was going through a rough time and a group of us organized a movie and pizza night to show her we care instead of sending her message telling her that we do. Action and contact with someone can be all that is needed to transform a bad situation into something that really is not all that bad.

Pray for them

When we pray for someone, it is one of the most effective ways of showing them how much we care and how much we hope their situation turns around. This is because we are completely giving control over to God and trusting that His will will be outworked in the heartache and pain.

So next time you have a friend who is experiencing the back hand of life and you feel awkward on how to handle the situation, don’t. Listen, love and pray and it will go a long way.

Don’t let worry get in the way

How many times, have you find yourself in a situation where you are given an opportunity to do something amazing, but your ‘insecurities’ or your ‘anxiety’ about it, holds you back.

There is a story in the Bible about a man named Moses. Moses was told by God that he needed to stand up and fight for the nation of Israel and set them free. This meant confronting the Egyptian Pharaoh, not an easy task for any man, but especially hard for Moses. You see Moses began to think of all his flaws and the things that made him ineligible.  One of his major concerns was the fact that he had a stutter.

When God spoke to Moses I am sure Moses thought:

“How am I going to communicate effectively with anyone, let alone set anyone free, with my stutter?”

Moses began to worry. He began to think about all the things that could maybe go wrong without thinking about the one thing that made all the difference: he had God on his side.

When God is on our side, our ‘what ifs’ and worries become obsolete. This is because when we give our worry to God, He replaces it with strength. How many times do you find yourself in a situation that causes you to worry? Maybe you are required to say a speech in front of a large crowd of people and that makes you worry? Maybe your child does not answer their phone after you have called them three times and you begin to worry. Maybe you have a big test to study for and so it is causing you to worry. Whatever it is, worrying and feelings of anxiety can easily find a place for itself in almost anything that we do. But, what happens when this worry becomes unhealthy and starts consuming everything we do? When we do not want to leave our house, or do anything because we are so filled with worry? What happens when our worry, does not go away?

Stop! Drop! And Change

Extreme anxiety and worry is actually really dangerous. Many times it causes us to isolate ourselves which ultimately stops us from living our best life. This is why it is important to change this behaviour. When I say change I do not mean who you are as a person, I simply mean change your mind, by opening it up and giving it to God. When we open up our minds to change, we give our worry to God, lean on His understanding and His word and we receive the hope He gives us to overcome our anxiety, fears and worry.

You see, if Moses had allowed his worry, fear and anxiety to control him when God had spoken to him, then he would not have stepped out into what God had called him to do and he would ultimately not have performed the great works he did. By changing his mind-set, Moses was able to lead his people out of slavery and into a new journey, one that had in fact already been laid out by God. God showed Moses how much strength He had, through his stutter and other flaws and in the end, Moses was able to lead his people out of slavery.

So, think about your own life and which areas of your life have been consumed by worry, anxiety and fear and then think about how you can begin to change your mind-set to change those situations to ones that will separate you from fear and tie you to faith.

Forgive and forget

So you have been hurt by someone and you either do not want to forgive them or do not know how to forgive them.  How often does that happen? I know in my own life when someone does me wrong, forgiveness is the last thing on my mind.

‘I will never forgive them. I will never forget what they have done.’

We sing these songs ’till we are blue in the face’, until we do something hurtful toward someone else and then we want forgiveness? You see, forgiveness is like trust, people do not hand it out like pamphlets on the side of a road. Just as someone needs to earn your trust back sometimes we want them to beg us for our forgiveness. However, when we harbour unforgiveness, we are also actually harbouring feelings of hurt and hate. These feelings then hold our hearts back from ever letting go of these hurtful situations. Forgiveness can sometimes be really hard, but it is really essential. Not only is forgiveness important for the other person but also for you and your own well-being. Still, how do I forgive someone who had hurt me?

You communicate with them.

Instead of blocking the person on WhatsApp or unfollowing them on Instagram, pop them a personal message, or a phone call, and ask them to meet up so that you are both able to discuss the situation. Sometimes this can be hard, and it may turn into a screaming match but try not to let it get to that. Effective communication is essential in solving any issue because most of the time someone may not know how you feel due to miscommunication or unvoiced feelings.

Here is how you communicate:

Listen

When you are hurt by someone it is so easy to block out anything they say to you:

Why must I listen to what they have to say? They are the ones who are wrong, not me!

If we are not willing to listen to someone (who has hurt us), we will not be able to hear what they are saying and then we can never forgive them and move on. Listening to what someone else has to say (not just hearing what they have to say), is also important for effective communication to take place.

Speak

I love it when people tell me that I have done something that has hurt them, so I know how to fix it and what to do or not to do the next time. This is the same when someone hurts you. I know in the moment, talking the situation out is the furthest thing from your mind but I also know that when we harbour feelings instead of talking them out, the situation becomes more intense. Failing to speak up can make forgiveness seem so far away and often a situation that could have been resolved in one conversation, is allowed to continue on longer than it should have.

 

You see, forgiveness is a touchy subject for a lot of people but I can honestly say that once you forgive someone you are actually setting yourself free, more so than the other person. If we communicate effectively with someone by telling them how we feel and then listen to what they say, we will be able to forgive quicker and heal more effectively.

Overcoming Guilt and Shame

So you did something that you are really not happy about and immediately after you feel ashamed. You are overcome with guilt and wallow in your own self-pity because;
“How could I have done that? I know it is wrong”
Feelings of guilt or shame are normal human emotions that you will experience sometime in your life. However, sometimes these feelings of guilt, shame or disappointment can cause other feelings of anxiety and fear.
“What if they found out what I did? Do they know I am guilty of this? I am such a disappointment!”

We begin to ask all these questions (which are the product of our shame) and ultimately cause us immense amounts of anxiety. We begin to think that we will have to hide out from the world. This is not true.

You are not defined by your guilt or your shame.

You have been defined by something and someone greater; Jesus. You see, because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He has given us freedom. Now, this does not mean that we can go out and keep doing things that will make us feel guilty or shameful. It just means that when we do feel these emotions, we do not have to dwell in them. We can actually ‘shred the curtain’ and once we do that we will be able to fully experience the presence of God. When we experience God’s presence we can ultimately receive the healing our emotions need.

There is nothing you can ever do, that will make God love you less. Even your feelings of being unholy do not stop God from loving you. You do not need to be consumed by feelings of guilt and shame. You do not need to be controlled by anxiety and fear. You have a God in Heaven who loves you, and wants to meet you in His presence, all you need to do is: shred the curtain.

You’ve got to keep your head up

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Recently, I found myself in a place of disappointment. I applied for a job that I had wanted for the longest time and I was almost certain that the position was mine. I ended up not getting the job and it left me feeling disappointed. I could not understand why this job, which seemed so perfect, was not offered to me. I felt myself at the  mercy of self-doubt and I began to question my own capabilities. 

Many times, we are overcome with situations where we find ourselves in a dark room, with the lights off and we are unable to navigate ourselves. This is a natural thing. However, what we need to realize in that dark room is that there is a light, and that lights name is Jesus 

Jesus brings light

When I was in that dark place of self-doubt, I remembered that I did not have to stay there. Why? Because Jesus has already paved my way with light. God has already gone before you when Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago. Therefore, you do not have to stay in the dark forever because there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Jesus brings hope

When I got declined for the job, my focused shifted to all kinds of thoughts about me not being good enough, worthy enough, or even called enough. Maybe you have felt unworthy or uncalled because something has happened in your life. This is natural and happens to the best of us. However, when you feel yourself losing hope use your last effort to take that step into faith and receive the hope that God has already created for you because it is in this step of faith that you can find a new hope. There is always hope. Even in the moments of self-doubt and unworthiness.

Times may be tough, and situations may seem bleak but there is always light at the end of tunnel. Sometimes it may take longer for you to find the switch to that light but stick it through because when you finally do find the switch and the light comes back on, you will walk out of that tunnel stronger than ever and so much more ready for the plan that has been set on your path.

So here’s to not losing faith and staying the path.

God sees you! Even when no one else does

Have you ever felt like you are not getting the recognition you deserve? You keeping going the extra mile, doing the most in your area of expertise but regardless of all of this, you feel like the only person that sees you is: yourself.

The need to be recognised is a condition that all humans experience. There is always a time in our lives where we just want people to notice what we are doing and give us that well deserved pat on the back. Whether it is in our workplace, our church, our home or even our friendship group; recognition is something we all crave at some point. Why is this? Why do we so badly want the approval of other people (who are equally as flawed as we are) when we have already gained the ultimate approval from God.

We are all human

Each and every one of us is doing this journey called life. Therefore, you do not need to look to someone else to validate what you are doing. You recognise what you are doing for yourself and you stick with it. Only when you recognise your own efforts will you fully stop looking to other people for confirmation.

We are all flawed

Not a single one of us was made perfect. Because we were all made human, we are all flawed in some way. We all make mistakes and hopefully learn from them and grow. If we are constantly looking over our shoulder to see who recognises what we do, then we will eventually forget what our path forward looks like because of constant looking around at what everyone else thinks. Focus on your path, and stay it.

We are all seen

Many times we will go into that morning meeting at work, having done so much the day before and our boss will still find fault in everything we present to them. That is a part of life. However, does this mean no one sees what we are presenting? No! Our boss might not see our effort at work, your mom might not see your effort at school but God sees your effort in Heaven.

So next time you feel unappreciated, just remember that you do not need to do anything for the approval or the recognition of others because you have a Father in Heaven who has seen all your efforts. He will provide you with favour that is far more sufficient than any reward on earth.

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