Several weeks ago, our youngest son, J, stood in a room with a few other young men with their right hands raised pledging to honor, defend and protect the United States of America. Thus began J’s chosen adventure with the US Army. An adventure that required selflessness and courage all to be a part of something bigger than himself. He chose to heed the calling and make a difference.
That last hug after he was sworn in is ingrained in my memory forever. This 18-year old kid who was always curious, resourceful, filled with wonder and imagination had stepped into something so selfless, so honorable and so courageous and yet, he didn’t see himself as anything other than himself—limited; scared; weak; filled with fear; invisible in high school; not the smartest guy in the room; quiet; shy and the list goes on. His view of himself was far different than our view of him.
The same goes for you. Your view of yourself is flawed. My view of me is flawed. Why? Because we are our harshest critics. Unless, of course, we think so highly of ourselves that there’s no room for love, or selflessness or grace. Even the most arrogant know they are limited. They may not face their fears or recognize their flaws, but deep inside they know flaws and weaknesses exist.
It’s those insecurities and our inner critic that can stop us dead in our tracks staying trapped in our fear. We don’t need the criticism of others to be held down, we do just fine when we limit life from our own sight. I love the wisdom of King Solomon who said:
Trust in the Lord with all
do not depend on your own understanding.
Hmmmm…I don’t know about you, but when we depend on our own understanding, we can tend to be misguided. We can tend to be critical, judgmental, negative, narrow minded, limited, not curious, and not understanding. We may not SEE the truth and we may choose to stay limited because it’s easier and feels good to our egos.
All of this is why getting outside, seeking adventure, charting a new course for yourself at work, in life and with faith is all you may need to shift your perspective and bring a new view.
Lessons from J’s Story…
Where our son views insecurities and uncertainties, we view as him finding his way.
What he views as being afraid; we view as brave.
Where he views a weak kid with limited common sense, we view a driven young man who is teachable, resourceful and always learning and pushing himself.
The same goes for all of us, shifting our views can make all of the difference. Where J doesn’t believe in himself, we, his family, have extraordinary respect, confidence and belief in him. Our belief, along with being constant in prayer, is certainly what will fuel him on those scary days filled with uncertainty. Our belief in him, is giving him wings to believe in himself. Of course, the Army believes in him too, which is why they welcomed him with open arms. What they saw was a strong, buff, young man who will be a dream soldier. (Pretty scary as his mother; however.)
Getting someone to believe in us, can be the fuel that shifts our thinking and perspective to believe in ourselves.
J has inspired our family members–including his cousins–to believe in themselves.
Has this story helped inspire you to finally heed your own life’s calling? Are you ready to make the difference you’ve been dreaming of making? You can do it! We’ll come alongside you and offer tools, strategies, ideas and especially a belief in you!