This is a hard one. This one is for all of my people who have ever hesitated to make a purposeful step forward because you let fear and comparison get in your way. Can we take a moment to self-reflect and be honest here? I know I can’t be the only one who has looked at what everyone else is doing and doubted myself. “Everybody has a blog, why should I invest time and energy into mine?” “He already started a business with the same mission that I had in mind, I might as well let him have it.” “There are a million non-profits centered around providing resources to battered women, I doubt mine could be successful.” Those pesky automatic thoughts are always trying to hold us back, but that is just what the enemy wants. Yes, there will be other people doing exactly what I want to do. The thing is, they are them and I am me. I am uniquely made and you are uniquely you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
We all have to start somewhere; just don’t be afraid to start. If God gave you a vision, then walk towards it. I know it is hard enough trying to step out on faith, and that there is a whole new level of discouragement added on top of that when you compare what is in your heart to what other people are already accomplishing. However, we can’t let fear and comparison hold us back from doing what we have been led to do. There is a greater purpose in the goals we have, and somebody somewhere is relying on us to take that faith step. We can’t all reach everybody, so you could be that one resource that does reach that one guy that has not yet come across any of the other people doing what you want to do. Be confident. Be courageous.
If someone else seems to be doing what you want to do, perhaps look up to them rather than envying them. They had to start somewhere too. They may even be able to give you wise advice or you could learn from their mistakes. Maybe there will be an opportunity for partnership that could be more effective than the two of you working separately. It could potentially become greater than what either of you ever expected. We should not be competing with one another, but instead supporting and collaborating with one another (or are you in this for self-serving reasons? #MotiveCheck). Also, while we admire those who started before us, we must remember that they most likely put in a great deal of work to get to that place. The process won’t always be quick and easy, but our goals in this life are worth working towards. We each have a gift that needs to be shared with the world. Though we may fear that we are duplicating others, there is something a little different in all of us. I could never be you and you could never be me. No one else has walked in your shoes. No one else can see life through your eyes. Your perspective is valuable.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:5-8
These verses in Romans encouraged me great deal because I’m that person who always knew which career path I wanted to take, but never felt like I had a “big dream”. I questioned my purpose, and this scripture confirmed that even the seemingly small things like teaching or giving are still necessary and important. So stop underestimating your greatness. (Don’t worry, as I type this, I’m reminding myself as well.) If you don’t have a clear vision, but you know what you good at or have a passion for, then find ways to live it out. Be creative. Find ways to use your gifts to impact someone else. Don’t worry so much about what everyone else is doing, and do what is in your heart.
I’ll be the first to admit it can be scary and challenging to put yourself out there, but I guarantee you the return on investment will be great. Although I’m still figuring out my own vision, I can say taking baby steps still feels amazing. I always felt like I was good at encouraging others, but I never viewed it as a gift. It honestly seems rather ordinary to me, but the Bible says it is a gift and I decided to use my gift to do something productive. So here I am, making posts on Somewhere Struggling, hoping to uplift someone else. It is worth mentioning that I started this blog nearly two years ago and did not start sharing my posts until just a few months back. Why? Because of everything this post described: fear, comparison, and underestimating. Every time I post now however, I’m reminded that there is a purpose behind this blog. I can’t hide my gifts any longer, and you can’t either.
So for both you and I, take those faith steps and walk forward courageously. You never know who you may impact. Remember, you are Uniquely You!♥