Silence the noise...
So I said that I'd be writing about my journey, this includes some of the lessons I've learnt so far and one of the biggest lessons I've learnt and I'm still currently learning, is to be careful of the voices I listen to.
For those who don't know me, I can be quite stubborn. I hate people telling me what I can or can't do. If you say I can't do something I tend to want to prove to myself that I can do it, even if it's really stupid.
This can be a good thing sometimes, but it doesn't always work.
I tend to hold my stance when it doesn't really matter or at silly moments. I remember I was in church one day and we were decorating the place. While trying to put up some decorations, someone said I couldn't climb because the stool was quite small and I'd have to stand on one leg. (I'm not sure you get the imagery). Anyways, because someone said I couldn't possibly do it, I did it. I proved to them and everyone in the church that I could. It was so silly because it didn't matter if anyone believed that I could climb that chair, it had no bearing on me or my life.
The problem is that when it didn't matter so much, I was willing to prove myself, but when it matters, I take the words in and start to doubt myself.
"you can't possibly sing well", "you can't lose that weight", "you're not smart enough", "wow that's a big dream, do you think you can actually achieve it?". These are some of the things people say that end up killing your hopes, dreams and plans. The funny thing is that sometimes people don't mean to be hurtful. They say it carelessly and don't realise the impact of their words.
Sometimes it takes a lot of courage for you to start something and after prepping yourself, just as you're about to start, someone says something that totally dispels all the courage you've built. I've experienced it so many times that it's quite jarring.
But you know what? It's really up to me and you to pick the voices that we listen to and the voices that we disregard. Prove the nay sayers wrong and validate yourself by not underestimating yourself. There's a difference between hearing something and listening to something. Hearing is basically having your ears pick up sound, your brain can register that something has been said, but it doesn't have to stay in your mind, it doesn't have to be retained.
Listening on the other hand requires your active participation. Your mind, heart and soul acknowledges what has been said and retains it. This can then impact future decisions and future conversations.
So the question is...
Who do you listen to? What voices do you listen to? Do you listen to the voices of people that sow doubt in you? Do you listen to the fear or doubt in your heart? Or do you listen to hope?
I've had to remind myself several times that there is more to me than what people say or even sometimes what I say to myself. I may not be the best at something, but I'm the best at being myself. I bring something to the table that no one else can and that's me.
I'm valuable, I'm surrounded by so many cool and wonderful people and I used to wonder if I was the least among the great people. That is until someone said "beautiful people have beautiful friends, because like draws to like".
What I took from that was the fact that if I believed that my friends were smart, then I must be in that category, if I believed that my friends were wonderful, then I must be wonderful as well. Because unless there's value in you, people won't want to associate with you.
If the people you've surrounded yourself with are people who pull you down, then maybe it's time to look at yourself and your friendships. Do a full soul search. Btw, the fact that you have "bad friends" doesn't mean you're a bad friend. It could just mean that your friend selection abilities are on the fritz, or your friends have changed, or you don't see your true value.
Silence the voices that don't encourage you to do well. If they keep making noise, utilise the negatives and use them to motivate yourself. Prove them wrong.
Speak positive things to yourself. Affirm the beauty and power that you are. "I am strong, I am beautiful, I am bold, I can do this, I won't fail". Speak to yourself.
Remember who God has called you to be and who God calls you. He made you, so He knows best what you're capable of.
Choose who you listen to carefully and be selective of what you accept, because sometimes even wise people make mistakes.
Acknowledge that no one is perfect and leave room for mistakes. Failure isn't falling, but it's refusing to get back up. Don't be too hard on yourself.
Celebrate the small victories.
Just know that you are loved. God loves you and I love you.