If I’m being honest…

I worry a lot.  That part isn’t new.

I’ve been a worrier my whole life.  Give me a few seconds to think about something, and I could probably give you a pretty good list of all of the things you should worry about.  Sounds run, right?  Maybe a fun party trick? Not really.

Add worry to the fact that I’m a people-pleaser to the max, and you get a girl that weighs all odds and options before she does anything!  I’m super cautious!  I want to succeed.  And the thing is, because I have the art of calculating risks down to a science, I normally do alright for myself.

But the thing that I’ve learned the most about myself lately is that I seem to really need permission from people before I do anything.  This has never really occurred to me until lately.  And because it’s never occurred to me, it’s never bothered me.  But now that I realize this about myself, it’s driving me nuts!

I don’t like risks and I have always wanted people to be happy.  So I did what it took to make people happy.  Rarely doing anything for myself.  Shoot!  I didn’t have a clue what I would even want because I was so wrapped up in what I thought others wanted from me!

I’ve realized that this has even presented itself in silly ways like I didn’t really do anything to update my house for the first 10 years we lived there.  How crazy is that?!  I HATED my kitchen wallpaper, but I lived with it for 10 years!  Most people would come in and change it right away!  Who in the world did I think I needed permission from to rip that junk out?!  But there was always something in the back of my head saying that I didn’t have permission to do that.  Until one day when I had enough!  Chris was sitting in the living room, and all of a sudden I grabbed the wallpaper scratcher thing and went at it.  He was shocked because I hadn’t said a word to him about it.  I just started at it, and he was like “Well, I guess we’re re-doing the kitchen!”  So we did!

One of the most freeing conversations I’ve had over the last year was with a leader at church.  I was explaining to him something I had been researching and having meetings about.  I was struggling with actually making the decision to pull the plug on the project and was asking who I needed to ask permission from to move ahead when he looked at me and said something to the effect of “Stephanie, you make good decisions.  If you think this is the right thing to do, do it!”  And so I did!  Those few words made a world of difference to me!  And it started getting me thinking about what else I could do!

There are always going to be times when I/we need to get permission to do things.  But more often than not, people just want us to act!  Get things done!  Get the ball rolling!  Maybe even take a little risk!

A guy that I follow on social media posted this the other day…”Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage.” (Check out Stephen Brewster!  He’s awesome!)

I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

If I’m honest with myself, I haven’t had much courage in life up to now.  I’ve played things safe.  Done everything I could to make sure I didn’t make mistakes.  Tried to be the best.

And if I’m also honest with myself, the times I’ve learned the most in life have been when I’ve royally messed up.  And I truly believe I’m a better person because of them!

We’re so afraid of making mistakes and messing up that sometimes we don’t really let ourselves live.  I haven’t let myself really live.

But I’m learning that it’s OK to take some risk in life.  And it’s OK to screw up now and then!  That I’ll still be an OK person…if anything, I’ll be a better person!

I’ll always probably have a tendency to worry.  And I’ll always want others to be happy.  But I’m going to try to not let these things cripple me so much in the future.

And I’m not asking permission!

Just wanna have fun!

I was already going to write a quick post on this, and then I saw this quote from a church I follow on Facebook:

“We think that fearing failure will help us avoid failure, but fear of failure doesn’t prevent us from failing; it robs us of the joy of living.”

I have spent pretty much all of my life not really being me.  So much so that I didn’t know who I was.  I spent a lot of time trying to figure others out and learn what I could do to make them like me.  So there wasn’t any time for just being me…whatever that was.

All of my life, I have tried to fit in, make people like me, look smart, look like I have my act together…the list goes on!  I’m a people pleaser, and I’ve tried so hard trying to make others happy that I didn’t have a fat clue who I really was.  It’s taken going through lots of really hard things to wake me up.  But you know what finally woke me up in the end?  I realized how much I am loved and accepted by God.

That did it!

God is stinkin’ in love with me.  And that takes the pressure off!  He’s the only one that I really want to impress, and He already thinks I’m perfect just the way He made me!

And you know what I want to do now?  I want to have a whole heck of a lot of fun.  I want to live!  I’ve robbed myself of a lot of fun, connections with people, etc. because I’ve been so worried about everything!  But now that I feel free to be me, I feel like I’m constantly looking for fun.

Who can I talk to?  What can I create?  What can I do?  Where can I go?  What can I do to make things fun for others?  How do I find fun in every situation?

I haven’t had as much fun as I should have been having up to now because I couldn’t get past myself.

The fun is in moving past yourself and moving deeper into the lives of those around us.

And that’s what I plan to do!