Katie Whitsed | 98five blogger
If I were to ask you, who are you? How would you answer it?
If I were to ask you, what are your goals in life? What would you say?
I think, way too often, our answers to these questions are defined based on what other people say about us, what we grew up believing based on our circumstances, and what we think we should be or do.
I spent a long time forming my goals in life around what I thought I should do, rather than what was really resonating with the core of who I am, and unfortunately that can be very easy to do given the world we are living in today. We are surrounded and constantly bombarded with stereotypes and ideologies about who we (supposedly) are and what we are (supposedly) going to become in life. But, as humans, we have this beautiful gift of free will, we have a choice. We can choose what we fill our hearts and minds with, we can choose what we listen to, and we can choose what we believe.
In order to live a life completely overflowing with joy, we need to understand who we are, and believe in that 100 per cent. We are all so different, to the point where there is not a single other person on the planet exactly like you, and that is no coincidence, it was planned that way.
For you formed by inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance. In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
I love this verse so much. I was bought to tears when I first read it. I realised that God loved me that much that he put together every tiny part of me before I was even born. That every day of my life was intricately designed to help me flourish into the amazing person He made me to be. To grow me, to challenge me, and most of all to love me.
You are pretty darn amazing!
You’re not here by accident, and you’re not the way you are just by chance. Every part of you was thought up and carefully designed so that you would become the beautifully wonderful person that you are.
So, don’t be afraid to ‘do you’…un-apologetically. It is the reason you are here.
You do not need the approval of anyone else.
Do what’s best for you, and make decisions based on what brings you peace, everything else is secondary, and everyone else can think and believe whatever they please. Everyone is so different so our decisions, choices and path could never be exactly the same, even if we tried.
In order be your best, and to give your best, you have to first serve yourself. It took me a long time to realise what this actually meant, and it is so, so important. To serve yourself, and allow joy to completely overflow in your life:
Don’t apologise for being you
Apologise for when you are genuinely sorry about something, but get out of the habit of apologising for every second thing that you do, just in case you might be an inconvenience to someone, or you don’t want to offend. Other people’s thoughts about you are actually very insignificant in comparison to your own thoughts about you. Say sorry when it’s needed, but do not apologise for the everyday things that make you, you. This is one that is a daily challenge for me, but I’m working on it, and with intentional focus, I’m getting there.
Prioritise what you need
Give yourself permission to do what you need, to ensure that you are happy and OK. It’s all well and good to want to help others and do everything you can to fill in the gaps of need and contribute, but if you’re not OK, there’s no possible way that you can help and serve other people effectively.
There are going to be times where you need to slow down from the pace that you’re used to, and that’s OK.
There are going to be times when you’re just not happy and everything is going wrong, you’re grumpy or frustrated or just completely tired, that’s OK.
There are going to be times where you need to challenge yourself more and be uncomfortable, and that’s OK.
You might need to say no to extra requests made of you or invites from friends every now and then (it’s actually OK to do that!).
It does not change who you are.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Do not compare your journey with someone else’s; they’re walking a road you know nothing about. Give yourself permission to take a step back when you need to, and set your own pace.
Prioritise what’s important to you
For those that own a car, you need to make sure you are putting the right fuel into your car, and that there are no leaks in your tank, in order for the engine to run and power your vehicle. The same goes for ourselves; we need to be filling ourselves with the right things, in order to effectively serve. The right things are different for every person, it might be making sure you go out socially with your friends regularly, or it might be making sure you have time completely on your own at home, or at your favourite place, it is what is important to you. What inspires you, energises you, and fills you up? Make time for these things regularly.
Use the right ‘third words’
So we all have those ‘I am’ statements running through our minds. I am lonely. I am tired. I am unworthy. I am strong. I am driven. I am overwhelmed. I am hurting. I am blessed. I am capable. I am disappointed. Whatever they may be, take a moment to think about what your third words are in those statements, “I am _____”. Do they reflect who you are? What does God say about you? What kind of third words would you want your children to believe about themselves? You need to be using the right third words for yourself, every day, speaking words of truth over your life.
I am cherished.
I am loved.
I am pursued.
I am qualified.
I am forgiven.
I am accepted.
I am supported.
I am protected.
I am strong.
I am powerful.
I am worthy.
I am enough.
Don’t apologise for being you, set your own pace, fill up with what inspires you, and use the right words to define yourself, it’s a recipe for the best kind of joy.
And remember, you are totally amazing. Know it, live it, remember it.
Katie believes in dreaming fearlessly and has a deep passion for seeing other people experience joy and stepping into living their best lives. Her love of writing and self-expression inspired her to create a blog as an avenue for sharing her journey in choosing joy. The kind of joy that makes you smile for no reason at all, the kind you don’t have words for — Joy unspeakable. heartfeltjoy.com | Follow Katie on Facebook | Instagram