Who I’m not

Who I'm Not

Do you ever let who you’re not become who you are? I know I’m a card-carrying member of that club. Here’s my short list:

I’m not at ease in big (as in…more than 2) groups of people.

I’m not comfortable as the center of attention.

I’m not confident or self-assured in almost any way.

I’m not a take-charge leader.

I’m not one to easily see my convictions in black and white.

It’s hard not to focus on who I’m not and those corresponding traits because I feel the weight of their absence. I feel wholly overcome with awkward silence when I’m in a big group of people. I feel painfully forced when put in the center of attention. I feel like who I am is not enough when I look at who other people are. I feel unsure of myself when I can’t clearly convey specific directions to a group. I feel like I’m not strong enough in my faith when I see gray and leave room for contemplation.

The trap of focusing on who I’m not and seeing those traits as lacking is that I don’t see who I am shining through in their midst.

Because I’m not at ease in big groups of people, I usually seek out others who are by themselves and have meaningful conversations with them. Instead of taking up the spotlight, I gladly pass it along to someone who functions best in that position. The lack of confidence is an area that needs growth; but in the meantime, I can relate to others who feel less than 100% sure that they’re the bee’s knees. I can also choose to work on something that needs improvement in my life and get a little bit better every day instead of catering to it and giving it the upper hand forever. Not being a take-charge leader allows me to lead by quiet example. Seeing the world in shades of gray gives me an opportunity to empathize with people who I might otherwise judge unfairly.

The kicker is that hating who I’m not makes me forget that I love who I am. The introverted, reflective spirit that gives me trouble in some areas is what makes me a good writer, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I’ve never wanted to be the boisterous  life of the party; I like encouraging individual people with enthusiasm and a side of sarcasm-laced humor. I love (love love love) serving, helping, and supporting, and I’ve really enjoyed being that type of leader.

So why not be the best at who I am, instead of trying to make myself who I’m not? Why not ask the Lord to be strong in the places where I am weak, and give Him the glory when I soar?

Isn’t that the better bet?

4 thoughts on “Who I’m not

  1. Girl!This went straight to my heart. I literally just had this pep talk to myself this week. I was just thinking all the negative thoughts about myself and how I wish I was this, that and the other and it just struck me how sad it is that I don’t even know the best things about myself. That I don’t even see them. So now I’m trying to create a list of all the positive traits I have so that I can! Thank you for your beautiful writing!!

    1. Cheryl! I’m so glad! I love that idea!!! I’d love to see it when you finish. P.s. I loved your email! I’ll be writing back asap!

  2. Wow! That’s all I can say about your post. I LOVED it! I felt like it would be something I would write in my journal. I always feel like I should be someone I’m not, that I wish there were characteristics that I had. But the truth is, I don’t like being the center of attention and I love to support others and make them shine (and let them have the spotlight that they love). I need to just embrace what makes me, me and know that I am just as great and wonderful as everyone else on this earth. Thank you for the wonderful post!

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