Ever attempted to steal someone’s identity?
Not in the swipe someone’s social security card way but rather by swiping their jokes, kindness, or other abilities. I tried this when I was in high school. I was insecure because I didn’t think I was as funny as one of my other friends. She was always telling jokes and making everyone laugh till they had stitches in their sides.
I wanted to be that level of funny and make people enjoy their time with me. I would listen to my friends’ jokes and one-liners she told other people and put them away for later use. When I was alone with different friends I would break out some of her funny lines…and no one found them funny coming out of my mouth! No one laughed, no one had a follow-up joke, and no one was made happier by my presence.
Eventually I figured out that they didn’t laugh because the jokes I was telling didn’t fit with my personality, they fit with my friend’s! They were a weaker version of the original.
The good thing is, I realized this method was flawed and decided to find my own brand of humor. I had to learn to believe in my brand of humor and then later go on to believe in my personal character traits, too.
Have you ever forgotten who you are?
Have you ever found a unique trait in someone else and then tried to copy it? Maybe you were insecure about your sense of humor like me, or maybe you saw someone else’s enthusiasm for something and thought that you should be the same way!
Here’s the thing, when a girl is confident then her confidence comes across in some area of life. And as an observer you will take notice of it. At that point though you can do one of two things: you can let your insecurity take root or you can choose to be confident.
Letting insecurity take root.
When you bow to insecurity you are telling yourself that you’re not enough. That other person is so great with kids. She’s an awesome parent. Why am I not that awesome? I’ll copy her and then I’ll be confident, too!
The problem with this scenario is that copying doesn’t create confidence. The reason the girl’s so great is that her heart is in the action. She’s motivated by love or joy. When you feel like you’re lacking and you copy someone your heart is in your insecurity and that’s where it will stay. You can know that because even if you can perfectly mimic her behavior you’ll feel like someone is going to catch you and tell you you’re being fake.
Choose to be confident.
It’s easy to see that everyone else is amazing when you don’t feel like you’re enough. Confidence in this scenario is found in telling yourself you are enough! You don’t have to be awesome in the same ways as the people around you. In fact, being the same kind of awesome would diminish how awesome you both are! If everyone in your circle is a comedian then who is going to listen and laugh at y’all’s jokes?
When we try to mimic others we are missing out on how great we can be. We don’t have to look to earthly models of confidence to find out what our attributes should be, we can look to God and be clothed with the perfectly tailored qualities He made for each of us.
How do you retrain your brain to see your own brand of amazing?
You reset yourself by digging into God’s word. When I find myself wondering if I have anything to offer people I choose to remind myself that my life has a purpose.
God’s word gives stability to our lives. Any reliance on our own selves leads to instability and insecurity. If your thoughts are unstable and you don’t know who you are then it’s always a good idea to look to something that is true, good, and steadying. I, personally, head straight to James 1. It addresses a lot of the issues I deal with, like doubting God.
When I read these verses I gain an appreciation for who I feel I was created to be. Reading the Bible doesn’t make me feel like I should go out and enthusiastically make others laugh, nor does it make me feel like I should try to talk to everyone that I see and fill their minds and hearts with good things. Reading these verses makes me want to listen.
Listening is an underrated attribute. Good listeners do more than listen. They respond when needed and are loving in their responses. They really try to search for the troubles of the speaker and help them find a solution rather than await the next opportunity to get their own ideas out there. Good listeners have a kind and sacrificial heart.
Your attributes that give you purpose may be nothing like mine and they may change over time. That’s okay! The important thing is that you know you can be amazing, have a purpose, and should always go back to God when you forget your purpose.