Me and my friend were having a conversation last week over some hot chocolate and coffee (just setting the scene) and we started discussing this notion of hiding.
I was sharing with her how once upon a time I hid and I used to believe I was better off unseen and unheard.
Growing up I was always compared to someone else, I was used to being overlooked or somewhat invisible to people, I was either the kind of pretty friend or just the ugly one out of my friends. I was smart but just not smart enough, I was good but just not good enough, I was family but just not family enough (sounds funny but true).
I didn’t ever offer to do things because I didn’t think I’d be accepted (fear of rejection) and so I spent a great portion of my life not putting my best foot forward and being all I’ve been called to be in fear of not being good enough, or believing that there is no space for me maybe because I conditioned myself to believe that because of my experiences.
On the other hand, when I had decided to be brave enough to put myself out there in some way or another, I grew extremely anxious trying to be perfect so there was no room for rejection. I wanted to prove that I was good enough or necessary. Both sides are just as destructive.
I was afraid to be my best or to shine because I felt as though I wasn’t allowed to. I felt like I didn’t have permission to express what I knew I truly possessed, ever felt that way? I didn’t commit to excellence when given the chance because I believed I was average but that wasn’t the truth, I was far from average and I was more than good, but I didn't give myself the opportunity to acknowledge that. There was only so much growth that could happen, unless I opened myself up more to stepping out and taking more risks, I eventually got stuck.
I heard an amazing statement from Sarah Jakes Roberts and she said ‘Your excellence shouldn’t surprise you.’ What she was alluding to was the fact that most times when we do something amazing, we are often shocked, as though we didn’t have it in ourselves to produce that which is great and excellent.
Something that I have come to understand is that there’s treasure inside of each one of us, God has placed something special in our earthen vessel and for each person it comes out differently. The value of the treasure you possess doesn’t decrease because of the quantity you may hold, however the quality of what you carry should be embedded in the acceptance of the truth that you are necessary and that what you have, is something that the world needs because God has said so. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
It’s about us unlearning the thought patterns that experiences have helped us groom and recognise our worth and value from a scriptural point of view. I am building my confidence on the truth that everything that God has made is good and serves a purpose. When He made you and I He said it was good, He was intentional about what He placed inside of you (Psalms 139:13-16). Unsubscribe yourself from the preconceived idea that you are not good enough and remind yourself that you are capable of doing the things God has placed on your heart to do. You don’t need permission to be yourself or excellent. (Ephesians 2:10) You are a light in this world, shine. You were not created to hide or dim your light! (Matthew 5:14-16)
No matter what people have said or done in the past or what life has tried to condition you to believe about your future, you have to get in the habit of challenging and silencing the thoughts and voices of your past, that speak through insecurity, doubt, fear and anxiety etc by tuning your ear to the voice of affirmation that primarily comes from God in the scriptures, recognise who you are in Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Say yes to the things that scare you that you know you are meant to do. Expose yourself to yourself, you will never know what you’re capable of until you expose yourself to the unknown, exposure allows discovery and enables growth. It’s uncomfortable but vital.
I dare you today to step outside of your comfort zone, it may involve some error and mistakes, that's okay you're learning. Stop hiding what you have and who you are, build your confidence and esteem up through the scriptures and prayer. Lastly, live your life in view of God. Shine!