I’m going to admit something that is really hard for me. My usual reaction to failure or let down is to hide it and stuff it and pretend it doesn’t bother me, so the fact that I’m sharing a failure here is a big deal for me. For several months, I was prompted to reach out to a particular person on Instagram about doing the Young Living business with me. I loved everything she stood for and thought her platform was the perfect match with Plant + Prune.
But every time I went to message her, I stopped. I couldn’t find the courage to press send. When you’re in network marketing, there is so much fear tied to daily decisions you make for your business. What will they think? Will they see my heart? Do they view my business as legitimate? All the fears. Usually I can push past them and do things even though I’m terrified, but there are certain conversations and certain people I have a hard time with. My fear of their perception of me holds me back from reaching out and being bold in my questions or vision.
So, I let those promptings go by. I ignored them and made assumptions about what her response would be, and I moved on.
It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I saw her posting briefly about Young Living oils that I knew I had made a huge mistake. She ended up signing up with someone else. And I lost my chance to work with her as business partners.
And to be honest? I’ve been crushed since. Feeling sorry for myself and like I don’t have much to offer people since SHE didn’t decide to join with me.
But God’s been doing a work in me. And He’s showing me that the way I feel about this “failure” goes a lot deeper than this circumstance. I struggle with attaching my worth and value to other people’s approval and acceptance of me. I am only good if they say I’m good. I’m only accepted if they accept me. This “failure” in my business has brought to light just how much I depend on others approval of me in order for me to be happy with myself. It’s awful and NOT how God intended for His people to live.
Not only has God revealed this insecurity and dependency on others approval of me, but He’s showing me just how dangerous this is when tied with my tendency to pretend that failure or being let down doesn’t hurt me. Do you see the sick cycle of this? I do things to make people approve of me, and then when they don’t, I pretend it doesn’t hurt me. So, I go ‘round and ‘round seeking their approval and being crushed when I don’t get it, but HIDING it. For so long I’ve thought that showing my disappointment or hurt feelings would show them just how much I cared. And if people knew how much I cared, then they would see my weakness and failure.
It’s confusing and hard to articulate, but this is where I am.
How does this fit into the title of this post? I’ll tell you.
There is one tell-tell sign of when I am prone to seek others approval for my self-worth, and that’s when I’m not in my own lane. When I’m outside of where God wants me to be, I begin to compare myself to other people. When I’m outside of the lane God created just for me, I don’t see my gifts as gifts. I begin to think that who I am and what I can do is not enough to be successful, loved, or accepted. I begin to look at other people and think I have to do what they’re doing in order to be good enough. The moment I start stepping outside of my lane, I begin to give too much power to people over my mind and heart, and I stop giving the power to God.
So my question for you today is what is your lane? What is the place that God created for you? What brings you joy? What things do you like to do? What brings you peace? What excites you? Whatever those things, that is your lane. Your niche. If you’re running a business, STAY IN YOUR NICHE. Put those blinders on and stop looking to the left and right. Stop stepping outside of your lane. When you do, you’ll notice yourself comparing more. You’ll start making assumptions about other people’s work. You’ll start believing that what she is doing is what you’re supposed to be doing.
But when you’re in your lane? You’ll thrive. You’ll shine. And you won’t look for others approval to feel worthy of the calling on your life.
Stay in your lane, girl. You’ll be happy you did.