Have you ever felt burdened with the continual expectations of perfection you need to meet up to day after day? Are you tired of feeling like you need to hide behind the fake facade you display for others to see?
It’s a never-ending battle to feel accepted in this world we’re in. We live in a society that tries to include everyone, but by doing so it is impossible to effectively please everyone, resulting in people feeling upset and overlooked.
As a graphic designer, I’ve found it challenging, and very belittling at times, with the constant influx of opinions and ideas thrown at me day after day. I put my heart and effort into a project to make sure it’s the best I can do. I spend time trying to focus on what each client is desiring, and create something I think they will like. It’s a struggle to not become discouraged when things don’t meet up to the expectations of others. When others voice their negative feedback of my work it feels personal. It seems as though my work wasn’t good enough, making me not good enough. I’ve carried this aspect into various areas in my life.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself constantly basing my worth by my performance. I allow how others perceive me to become truth in my mind. I conjure up thoughts in my head of what I think others may be perceiving me as, and at times, I probably let them grow way out of proportion. This leaves me feeling insecure and leading me to become discouraged, all because of what I imagine others are saying or thinking.
People pleasing is extremely tiring. Once we begin to feel accepted, it seems like we’re always awaiting a drastic rejection to occur. If you’ve ever ridden a roller coaster, consider it smooth sailing in comparison to the act of pleasing others. When you take a ride to please others, you’re in for some mountainous road ahead.
I have recently come to realize that no matter how many people may be watching or expecting me to rise up to their expectations, I only truly have an audience of One. I can find rest knowing that when I’m fulfilling the task at hand I only need to be focused on doing it for God, and nobody else. It relieves me from the pressure and opinions thrown at me from every side that expects me to perform with perfection. I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. God sees our heart and our sincere intent. Others may mistake our actions, but God sees our true intentions. Knowing this truly puts things into perspective and allows me to remember the drive for my effort. It gives me peace knowing that I don’t need to be perfect or flawless to be used by God.
It is a constant battle to fulfill the need to please others and consistently meet up to the endless levels of perfection we see around us. In today’s society, ideas of who we are and where we should be in life bombard us from all sides. Expectations choke us in discouragement when we cannot fulfill the accomplishments of who we think we should be. I’ve let so many of these thoughts grow at insurmountable rates into debilitating truths that feel so defining of my worth.
- You have to be perfect all the time. Mistakes define you. Admitting your faults shows weakness.
- You can’t admit you are feeling upset or struggling. You can’t be real.
- You have to be at the top to be successful.
- You have to be making good money to be happy.
- You have to be married early in life, if not, something’s wrong with you.
- Rejection displays that you are not worthy of love.
- You need to blend in with society, different is bad.
- The amount of friends you have determines your value.
- You need to be good at everything and if you’re not the best, you need to be.
Now, let me take a moment and switch those worldly perceptions into truths God has given us.
- You have to be perfect all the time. Mistakes define you. Admitting your faults shows weakness. I sent my Son to die for you, so through Him you don’t need to be perfect. I choose those who are imperfect and weak in the eyes of the world for greatness.
- You can’t admit you are feeling upset or struggling. I understand what it feels like to struggle and face the pain you’re in, I created it, so I know. You can be honest with Me, I already know what’s on your heart.
- You have to be at the top to be successful. I desire to use those who are willing and humble. I choose the lowly and outcasts to do amazing things.
- You have to be making good money to be happy. True joy is only found in me. Money and fame will not bring long-lasting contentment.
- You have to be married early in life, if not, something’s wrong with you. I have an amazing plan for you. I will provide exactly what you need in My perfect timing.
- Rejection displays that you are not worthy of love. Others will reject you, but I will never leave or forsake you. My love for you will always remain the same. Nobody loves you more than Me.
- You need to blend in with society, different is bad. This world will not accept you, it’s okay. Because you live for Me, others will reject you. Choose to shine in this dark world, because you were created to make a difference.
- The amount of friends you have determines your value. People or possessions don’t determine your worth. I created you in My image and you are valued in My sight. I’m on your side.
- You need to be good at everything, and if you’re not the best, you need to be. Others look at your performance and focus only at what they can see, but I look at your effort and your heart’s intent.
When others criticize something I’ve done or reject me for who I am I allow it to dig deep into my heart and grow into seeds of humiliation and discouragement. I empower those thoughts to define who I am, while I’m losing sight of God’s perspective of me. Others perceive me through only what they can see, while God looks past the appearance and delves deep below the surface. He sees the real you and doesn’t focus on all that you’ve messed up, but sees you as valuable and loved. You don’t have to perform or meet up to His expectations to make Him proud.
I’ve always found great consolation in Moses’s transparency with God. I’ve never been good at expressing my thoughts through spoken words, so this passage with Moses has always comforted me in times of speaking.
God doesn’t love or accept us for who we are or what we will become, but loves us despite our mistakes and imperfections. We no longer have to feel defined when someone criticizes us. We don’t have to feel unworthy when we can’t fulfill the expectations others burden us with. We can be reminded that no opinion should ever take the place of God’s view of us. He wants to protect us from the weighty load of carrying everyone’s opinions and judgments and refocus only on what He sees. We can rest in God’s truths in how He sees us, because they are unchanging and flawless. People’s perceptions and opinions are based solely on whims, one-sided thoughts and faulty ideas, while God’s perceptions of us are based on truth, remaining the same amidst the test of time.