Wednesday, February 26, 2020
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Tatum-Lee Louw

5 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough

There is generally a lot of pressure to compete in our culture. We feel as if there is something wrong with us when, for example, we don’t make a certain amount of income, don’t have a long list of friends, don’t look a certain way and don’t accomplish things that other people do. We’re just too hard on ourselves and after taking a ‘self-beating’ too many times, it really clouds our judgment and perspective on things and life in general.

Here are 5 things to remember the next time you think you’re not good enough:

  1. Your mind can be a very convincing liar

Your mind will always be plagued by thoughts, but you have the ability to decide which of them are good for you and which of them are destructive. Learn to get rid of the bad ones as soon as you can. Don’t believe everything you think.

  1. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself

Constantly telling yourself that you are an utter failure won’t ever guarantee your success. People go through strenuous processes to achieve self-love, but the most important part of the process is to realize that hating yourself will never bring you closer to loving yourself. It’s not part of the process and it is not the solution either.

  1. You’re a legit miracle

Have you ever looked up the biology of the human make-up? The science alone is amazing. There are no two people on this earth who are the same. Great thing about this is that it means you were completely intentional and the world is in need of you.

  1. Forgive yourself, you are doing the best you can

Maybe your progress is not as fast as others, maybe it will never be, maybe it is just not for you… these are things you need to make peace with. There are things you are great at that others would take years to master. You’re doing great!

  1. You have all that you need to achieve that which has been purposed for you

Before you were born God saw you and gifted you with everything required to live the life He made you for.  Know that you are here for a purpose and you fit into God’s plan.

You are  more than enough!

What makes your opinion a good candidate for the Truth?

Social media has been dubbed by many as ‘the evil’ of the millennial generation. Radical feminists, philosophers, and politicians are popping up all over our news feeds, with very strong and influential opinions attracting thousands to their following.

Unfortunately, this influence is not always to the greater benefit of society. Under the banner of ‘freedom of speech’ there is not really much that can be done concerning our opinions. We have a right to express them, but on the flip side, is it really that important? And what really makes our opinions good candidates for the truth?

Perhaps the fact that we have access to the world at a touch of a button is part of the reason we, at times, post our opinions impulsively, exerting our beliefs, opinions, and ideologies on to our following, who could either agree, disagree, be influenced and even share our opinions with others.

Without focusing too much on the negative, we have neglected to examine how much we can actually positively influence and enhance other people’s lives by examining what we post. I usually use a three-point test:

1. What does your post aim to evoke?

Ideally, I always make sure that my post aims to encourage people. That is the emotion I want to evoke. When I am aiming to rally support behind a cause. The alarm bells go off, then I know I need to check exactly what my intentions are in posting around a controversial topic especially.

2. Think about the effectiveness about what you want to post

Has what you want to say already been said? Will it contribute negatively towards someone’s day? Will it cause more harm than good?

3. Think about the most effective way to articulate your post

Sometimes it’s not what we say, but how we say it. Choose your words carefully, in a way that won’t distort the actual message you want to get across.

What makes your opinion a good candidate for the truth?

Ever been a victim of Social Bullies?

Have you ever been invited to a party or get together and felt like an absolute outcast? Or been in a conversation where you are totally ignored, spoken over or the reason why everyone around you is laughing for no apparent reason? Then you dear friend have experienced the wrath of social bullies.

As I grew older and weirder, I was exposed to other forms of bullying. Super subtle in its execution, but horrific in its effect.  Social bullying basically involves:

The people, who perceive themselves to be on top of the food chain in our social circles. Primary characteristics include: considering other people’s failures as their success, finding creative ways to expose people’s weaknesses, gossip, slander, alienation and isolation of their victims”

Here’s how I overcame these horrible encounters…and how you can too.

Concerning your failures

Please become comfortable with the fact that failure is an inevitable fact. Nobody is immune from it. Whether it is in your career, relationship or family life.  Sometimes social bullies will try to exploit your failures to secure social capital. When this happens, I want to say  one thing

Rest assured that they have failed too!

Also, people in your company are not as oblivious to life as you think they are. Exploiting your failures, really only makes them look bad, not you! Cheer up!

Concerning your weaknesses

Failure and weaknesses are closely linked. Our weaknesses can generally do two things, propel failure or propel success.  In this case, your weaknesses will be rigorously categorized according to what you wear, what you do, your hair, who you date and as you get older your pay grade will become a determining factor too.

You need to learn to become comfortable in your own skin, and if you’re not, please start. Learn to like yourself enough to block out the noise of people who are trying to convince others not to.  Funnily enough, the only reason why they’re exposing you, is because you’re their weakness.

The  Gossip

Those who gossip to you, gossip about you

What Susie said about Sally, says more about Susie than it does about Sally”.

Universally, everyone knows this. It’s just in real-time people generally find gossip pleasurable, but over time, or the very next day, motives are questioned and intensely analyzed.Gossip has a mythical principle, but slander is head on assaulting character. I usually nip this in the bud as soon as it happens. Confront the issue and then try to find a way to resolve the matter. Anything else will just aggravate it, so learn to sort things out then let it ago.

The Alienation and Isolation

Great! This presents you with the opportunity to do some housekeeping! Weed out the people who think you’re not good enough and embrace those who do. You don’t get to be the social butterfly, you don’t need to be a crowd pleaser.

The world needs you to be you!

 

 

Are you stuck in a drought?

I live in Cape Town and thanks to a dryer than normal summer my city currently has less than 100 days of water left. It has been the worst drought our province has ever experienced and as the days go by the anxiety mounts, with the pressing question being: “What now”?

In a much deeper sense, there are  valuable lessons that could be learnt through this ‘dry’ experience. I, for one have been through a drought before, it may not have been a lack of a natural resource as valuable as water, but I have gone through dry seasons in my life, where I too asked the question: “What now”? Whether it be financially, emotionally or spiritually, dry seasons are inevitable,

Through these dry seasons one thing was my absolute motivation. That was hope. The belief that things will eventually get better and well…when it eventually did, you know what they say ‘When it rains it pours’ and believe me, it did.

Here are three things that got me through my drought, I am sure it will get you through yours:

Prayer

Prayer is a resource and it is important that we actually understand this. It is what ignites our hope in God and helps us carry that hope through our dry seasons. Prayer is what will see you through.

A positive attitude

Negativity is so exhausting and an absolute buzz kill. As hard as it may be, stay positive and think positively! Being negative won’t change your current situation, it will only make it worst and make you such a misery to be around.

A healthy perception

After many droughts, I finally came to this conclusion: I can either be stuck in my pity party or I could ‘come to the party’ and embrace the valuable lessons embedded in the space I find myself. It’s really just a matter of perception. Remarkably, through most of my dry seasons, I have always been reminded to persevere and conquer.

No matter what kind of drought you are facing, hang in there and know that the rain is on it’s way. You’ll be just fine.

 

 

 

 

Fancy a quick fix?

Instant gratification is something we’re all fans of. You can literally type any problem into Google and have a comprehensive list of solutions in seconds, pull up at a drive through and grab your favorite meal, and it will be done by the time you reach the next traffic light. Longing for a holiday? You can have a virtual experience online or scroll through your Facebook timeline and envy your friends’ lived experiences.

We have all yearned for a quick fix at some point in our lives, without taking into consideration its effects.  ‘The easy way out’ has become much more than a meal preference and in the 21st century, progress has been characterized by speed and agility ‘how can I get ahead and stay ahead?’

The world has never been more technologically advanced than it is now. In fact, keeping up can be such an overwhelming experience, instead of allowing these technological luxuries to service our needs, it has become a vice versa experience, which totally disconnects us from our relationships, families and the things money can’t buy.

We need to remember that the ‘easy way out’ does not apply to every aspect of our lives. The best successes in life are those that took time, experiences and close attention. Here’s how you can get back there:

Be Present

Take time out of the chaos of the day and actually look around you. What are you grateful for? What are the things that are happening in the lives of your colleagues? Are there any changes in your environment? Take 10 minutes to take in where you’re at, how you are feeling and ask others around you, how they’re feeling.

Pay attention

When last have you actually read a message or email, without looking at the subject line to provide you with a brief synopsis? When last have you actually listened? Or have you been too busy hearing the complaints of others, to actually tune into the anxiety they’re feeling, just by listening to the murmurs in their voice. Take time to go and buy the gift, instead of ordering it online. Put some passion into your actions.

Value Time

Remember to remember that time is valuable. It is a luxury. In fact all you have is time. Is it really worth spending on a virtual experience, for most of your day? Instead of spending your Sunday on Twitter, how about visiting a friend or taking your family for a picnic. Remember how it feels to build memories with the people you value most.

When last have you taken some time to pay attention to the things that really matter?

Am I too young for this Faith thing?

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In my teens, I was accustomed to thinking that ‘faith’ was for those who were older than me. Faith suited my parents and grandparents, but in my mind, I was just too young for this ‘faith thing’. In the prime of my teens, I was enjoying life to its fullest until life and its challenges introduce me to faith, faith in God.

As young people in general, YOLO seems to be most relevant to us, until we hit moments of great impact and have no idea how to deal with our circumstances. I know a few people who are still paying the consequences for things they did in the moment and if you ask any of them, they would tell you the same thing: “If only I knew then, what I knew now”.

Why should you serve God in your youth?

Your youth is your most energetic, teachable and sensitive years of your life.  Our bodies are in the best shape they ever will be, our minds are clear and sharp, our sensors are alert and sensitive, and we are determined, full of life and overtly enthusiastic.  This means that we are in perfect shape to do our very best for God in everything whether in school or at home. We are most productive and effective in our youth.

We learn most effectively in our younger years too. Especially, when it comes to religious instruction. The older we become, the more we are stuck in our own way of doing things. Our young years are also our most vulnerable years. We have to deal with peer pressure, relationships, hormones and all kinds of immorality.  Don’t you think having Christ to guide us through these battlefield years is the best decision we can make?

I think of this as a daily decision that I need to make for my life. I need to remind myself of who created me, but more than that I need to be persuaded that I have a Creator! A God who looked at the world and decided that it needed me. I was intentional and so were you!

Thousands of believers across the world have one common regret when it comes to their Salvation:

“If only they had made the choice sooner”.

 

Do you have people pleasing syndrome?

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I always used to tell my friends ‘How can you say you don’t care about what people think of you?’. To me it was such an ignorant statement to make, I mean I cared! It sort of provided me with a perimeter that I could not cross, a framework for who I was and it helped me not to do irresponsible things.

I made sure that my choices lined up with what people thought of me, I needed you to know that I was doing exactly what you thought I was doing. It affected my relationship choices, I would not date you if, according to society, you were the wrong fit. You could give me all sorts of butterflies, but what people thought about you, trumped that. My career choices revolved around people, I was so afraid of disappointing anyone, but somehow I kept disappointing myself deeply.

I was a people pleaser and never really asked the one person who really mattered what He thought. It may become so difficult to block out the opinions of people, but when you are confronted with difficult choices about your life, relationships, a career, the only choice you have to make is to ask God what He thinks. The word of God  instructs us clearly on this:

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. – James 1:5

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. – Psalm 121:2

The main reason why we are always so unhappy with our choices is because we accept the WRONG opinions without asking God what His opinion is or checking whether our choices line up with His word. The voices, the gossip, the talk will always be there, but they are not what is important, they are not what matters most in this life and who cares anyway?

If you find yourself suffering from the ‘people pleasing syndrome’, you can get over it, you can get through it and you will. The very first step is putting God at the top of every list you’ve ever made.
When we are Jesus centered, we are not caught up in trying to do what will make our friends happy. We are completely focused on what will make God happy.

Living with uncertainty

The scary thing about uncertainty is that you most likely never escape it. You will always be uncertain about something, especially the future. I get anxious about taking drives to places I am uncertain of, the conversation in the car will tense up until I know where I am headed.  Sometimes it’s that very same anxiety that makes me panic about the ‘future me’ and what God has in store for my life.

This might be the very first time you’re a mother, a wife, a student or perhaps you just about at the brink of starting your career. There are a few things I have learned about being in a space of uncertainty:

Uncertainty is not married to negativity

Most of the time when we ‘don’t know’ we automatically assume failure, hurt or pain. I guess our human tendency to ‘flight or fight’ kicks in. This is where our anxiety is birthed, but this is not the way God intended us to live. It’s really okay that you don’t know at times, in fact, it is an opportune time for God to move!

Uncertainty demands faith

Being in this space without a glimmer of faith is horrific. That’s a strong term to use, but that’s what I have experienced. You feel hopeless and depressed and quite frankly it allows no room for positivity. I had to learn through these scriptures that my uncertainty makes room for growth. It means that I must have complete faith in God because He is the only one that knows my beginning and my end. (See Hebrews 11:6).

Uncertainty test your character

In a period of waiting you’re bound to experience some sort of frustration, and it can easily become your focus point. However, with a fresh perspective, we can experience a different kind of molding. By aligning ourselves with God’s way of doing things, we have the opportunity to not only grow our character in the spiritual sense, but also in every aspect of our lives. You’ll win at being an employee, a student, and a parent, when you learn the valuable lesson of relying on God and His strength, during periods ‘where you just don’t know’.

Uncertainty has the potential to become a powerful testimony

I was not shocked when I finally started working and had various challenges, why? Because people who have been in my shoes mentally prepared me for what was about to happen. I use the word potential because it entirely depends on how you react to your circumstances.

If you are facing a season where you are uncertain about what the future may bring, remember that you don’t need to face the unknown alone.  The bible tells us that God mapped each day before we were even created and His greatest desire is to walk the journey of your life by your side.

If you would like to know more about this security that comes from a relationship with God, please click on the link below or leave a comment.

 

The side chick epidemic: Are you a sufferer?

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A side chick is typically defined as the other woman; also known as  a female that is not a male’s girlfriend, who has a friendship with the male while he is in another relationship.  The term ‘side chick’ is loosely and humorously thrown around amongst friends and even in our families. In fact, some ‘Side chicks’ have even grown proud of their title and can be heard saying things like, “I’d rather be a side chick then be stuck in a relationship” orAs long as she doesn’t know about me and I don’t have to hear about her” and of course, “It’s the best of both worlds, I am single when I want to be”.

All of this really makes for compelling arguments except that being a side chick does not really mean you’re single. You are in a relationship, ‘in a relationship’. It may be a temporary agreement, but it is still an agreement between three people. You are in a relationship. One that God is not pleased with and this is why:

1. It was never God’s plan for you to be one!

The bible may not provide direct instruction on dating, but it does speak about courtship. A man of God should not be putting you in this situation and you should not be accepting it as the order for your life.

2. Being a side chick resurrects the ‘old self’.

It is said that the greatest benefit of being a side chick is that there are no expectations. Wrong. The flesh is fueled by expectations, lust, pleasure, gratification are all characteristic of your flesh.

3There are three victims in this cycle

You may be a victim, but he is too and so is she. Hurt people are likely to hurt other people. It may not happen simultaneously, but this won’t end well.

4. It opens the door for demonic spirits.

Ask yourself how does being a side chick add to you maturing into a wife? Does it complement what God is raising up inside of you? Making this choice in your life could have really bad implications for the ‘future you’. A low self-esteem, torn character and a negative self-image.

5. You become guilt ridden.

Especially in those moments where you find yourself alone, without ‘him’. This guilt comes from being the object of sin against another woman. Often, the guilt you experienced feels like a one-way street. A burden that was never part of God’s plan for you.

6. Being a side chick has an expiration date.

This has to be the most frightening and saddest part of it all. The entire ‘agreement’ could end  as abruptly as it started. You were secretly in a relationship in the beginning and now you are strangers.

It’s not worth the while. It’s not worth delaying your God ordained purpose. If you are single in this season ask God what it is He wants you to learn. I have learned so much about myself, in my quest for God’s best.

Single, independent and born again

It’s proving to be quite a daunting task for a single, independent, born again Christian woman to live in an “I-don’t-need-a-man-to-make-it-happen” society.

Graduating from varsity came with a new sense of empowerment. Getting my own car added to that, and finding a really good job, put the cherry on top of the cake. I imagine that this is exactly what my parents envisioned when they instructed me to be independent. But when you really believe in God-ordained love, carrying this tool box of self-empowerment could be toxic to what you decide to do next.

I never found the process of gaining my independence problematic. However, what was really disturbing to me was that it had the potential of becoming self-consuming and damaging to who I truly am: A child of God.

As a child of God, I am never truly independent. I need Him; I desperately need Him. He needs to help me guard my heart against the pride of my successes, to keep me from becoming arrogant. I need Him to grant me the strength to go to work every day to accumulate wealth. I need Him to guide my decisions, because when I place my choices in my own hands, my life is in such a vulnerable place. I need Him because although I am single now, I won’t always be. So I need Him to help me be someone’s wife. The training starts now. Still, I can be single and powerfully so! It’s a fantastic freedom and it’s an ideal opportunity to do your best for God.

What will you have left after you have done all you can to empower yourself? Who will you pay homage to for your success? Who will you share it with?

God can do so much more with our lives, hearts, and futures when we leave it in His hands. You may have planned to live a life of independence, where it’s really just you, but when last have you stopped and asked Him what He prefers for you?

I want to be a strong independent woman, yet soft enough to submit to God’s voice, gentle enough to let Him take the lead, and humble enough to appreciate and acknowledge the importance of those around me – even when I don’t have an immediate need that requires the presence.

I am a child of God.

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