Starting at the Finish Line

August 15, 2022

By Nicole

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Now I know you may not believe this, but I’ve often struggled with feeling like a failure. I know. I know. It probably sounds crazy, but I have. And it’s clearly not because I haven’t accomplished some things. But mostly, it’s because I haven’t accomplished things in the way I would have wanted. Or at the level I would have wanted. Or, deep breath, at the level my peers have.

I know. I know. We just got done talking about the comparison trap and how we shouldn’t compare and we need to stay in our own lane, and all those great nuggets I wrote about in this post. Trust me, I remember. But we all know that our minds default back to their baseline, and if our baseline is fear and anxiety (which I can attest to, and so many, I’m sure, can attest to) well then, we need to be diligent about renewing our thoughts daily.

One of my longtime friends was visiting recently, and, with tears streaming down my cheeks, I confessed this nagging feeling of failure. This bout with frustration with my lack of success in the way that I wanted to see it, and the way that I defined it. In our discussion, I realized I was seeing myself through this lens because, in my view, my successes usually came out of a place of surrender, and that meant I couldn’t take credit for what had been accomplished. But even in that revelation, I knew ultimately, the fact that I wanted to take credit, revealed my own pride. 

Again, I shared my thoughts with a different longtime friend (I know, I have them in droves, LOL). The way I saw it she had already become successful. She has an amazing career that she worked really hard for. She spent a million years in school that afforded her a PH.D (ok, ok, not a million, but a whole lot for sure!) and she was killing it at the administrative level in the education field. 

I felt more like where I was in my career was equivalent to where she had been while in graduate school. That grind she had talked about, well, I felt like I was in that now. At almost 40 years old.

The interesting thing is, as I shared my concerns and perceptions about this rat race to the top that I find myself running in these days, and the desire to find sustainability and “success” in the way I define it, she stated her own observation.

[Tweet “Sometimes we’re thinking we’re at the starting line when other’s view us at the finish line.”]

Wow. 

I sat a moment, pondering. I understood that she, and others, viewed my life/successes as if I had already finished, and yet I was viewing it as if I was just getting started. Can you relate?

I know that as a type A, driven, achiever type, I can be a little too hard on myself. For the most part, I’m surrounded by these types, so I see the harm it does when people overly function this way. We rarely sit back to enjoy our successes. We rarely take in the moment. We struggle to be content, which means we struggle to be grateful. We miss what’s really important: people, not tasks.

I told a friend recently, “Jesus didn’t die for tasks, He died for people”. That was a revelation I knew Holy Spirit had given me and is constantly teaching me because I can get so caught up in completing tasks (which is great from an achiever standpoint, and for efficiency) yet, if this conflicts with being there for a whole person in need, than that achieving mindset is a hinderance to the kingdom. 

Selah.

I know the ultimate need is balance. Tasks get things done in the kingdom, but if we are overly focused on doing, then we miss out on being. 

I’m realizing even as I write this post that this desire I have to define myself and measure myself by my accomplishments is, well, not the Father’s measurement, because God looks at the heart. He is more than likely more pleased by the state of my heart of obedience in those moments of surrender, than my actual acts of accomplishments. 

That being said, let’s check in with our hearts. Are we content? Are we humble? Are we in line with purpose? Are we at peace?

These are the things that really matter in the long run and when we look back on our lives at the end of our race, what we will truly reflect on: people, not tasks.

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As always thank you for your support!

SHALOM

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Char

    Hello… I would like to know if you do complimentary consultations? Will you answer a few questions about your services?