Shedding the Wallflower

When I tell my children I was shy and painfully unsure of myself during my childhood and early adult years, they question if I am being truthful. The story sounds made up, to them. But it is true.

I spent most of my first twenty some years quietly looking around, unsure of myself and the world. I preferred to watch people, instead of participate; listen to people, instead of talk.

I tried to avoid situations where I needed to talk in front of others and where I felt under the spotlight. I hated being asked something I wasn’t sure of. When asked a question, my mind usually went blank, then churned like a slot machine circling madly to land on the correct answer. Didn’t all questions have a right and wrong answer? I was terribly afraid of choosing the wrong one,

With this established track record of silence, who knows why during my last half-year of graduate school I listened to my friend who recommended that I pursue a job as an English instructor.

Now why it never dawned on me as I was typing my resume, calling English department Deans, or interviewing, that being a teacher required one to stand in front of a class and talk, I am not entirely sure.

Getting dressed for my first night of teaching at a local college I was scared out of my wits. I wasn’t sure I would have any sweat still left inside of me by the time I arrived.

Remembering the vote of confidence from my friend, I grabbed my notes, and out the door I headed. “You can do this,” she had assured.

Talk about an adrenalin surge. Intense nervousness. A cracking voice. Sensations of nausea. Feelings of being an alien on exhibit. I experienced it all within the first 10 minutes of entering the classroom. Being an evening class, I still had another 100 minutes.

To find out what happened, please continue reading this post, Shedding the Wallflower – Made For Brave Sisterhood, at Crystal Twaddell where I am guest posting.

We were made to be brave. And sometimes that means stepping out and doing the unexpected. #worth and identity #personal growth

What do You Believe About Others?

 

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.I think it is sometimes interesting what we believe about others.

The people floating about us that we see in public spaces and private.

These beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true. Our reality.

And the funny thing is, our experiences often justify and prove our beliefs.

A friend and I were talking over a meal and I mentioned that I thought most people were basically helpful and friendly in public.

The look she gave me could have competed with a deer in headlights.

I paused. Replayed what I said through the soundtrack of my mind, and then wondered why she was looking at such me in such a startled manner.

Finally, she spoke.

I believe just the opposite, she said. Most people are out to get you, don’t care about you, and will turn on you if given the chance.

Now I looked like the deer in the headlights.

Clearly, we had differing opinions on the populace we lived among.

We were on either ends of the spectrum.

I stated my reasons for why most people could be trusted. Cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from my personal experience. I built up a case that was sound and overwhelming.

Then she stated her reasons why most people were not to be trusted and didn’t care a whit for you. She cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from her own life. Her case was also very strong.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

How our life experiences shape our beliefs about others and life.

 

Bottom line, her experiences from her childhood and into adulthood had built a solid case that supported her beliefs about the populace.

And my experiences from childhood and life had formed and supported my case.

She had been bullied, teased, and suffered verbal abuse at the hands of her peers in school.

I hadn’t.

People judged her body harshly because she didn’t fit in with the popular norm.

I hadn’t.

On she went, marching to the present day.

I soon saw that if I had experienced those same incidents and situations, I would probably be distrustful of other people too.

After I shared my side, she saw how I had formed my opinions based upon my experiences.

We each had opinions that differed, and yet life was continuing to validate our opinions of others. What we were looking for, we saw.

I talked to another friend about this and asked her how she viewed others, and she agreed with me, that she was pretty trusting of other people, but she thought men were after only one thing.

Once again, her experiences confirmed this. She had been hit upon by lots of men.

I hadn’t.

I remember being in in elementary school and a friend asking me if it was weird to have freckles and red hair.

I remember looking at her and thinking she was weird to ask. No. It wasn’t weird. My parents had red hair. 4 of my siblings had red hair. Freckles landed on all of us. Freckles and red hair were normal to me.

But not to her.

I look back now, and I am sure I was the only girl she knew with red hair and freckles. I don’t remember ever seeing another one in our town.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

We all see the world a little skewed. But those perceptions can change.

 

We get used to what we grow up around.

We believe what has happened to us in the past, will happen again in the future.  Our past, we think, indicates our future.

My friend had known unkind people from an early age. So naturally she would view the world through that lens.

My other friend had known men who wanted to flirt and make sexual advances. Naturally she viewed the world through that lens.

And I viewed the world through my lens and thought most people were nice because that was what I had experienced.

All of us were right in our own way. And yet we all saw the world a little skewed.

So how could we know the real truth?

And could our truth change over time?

I had another friend tell me she didn’t trust men because her father had left her life at a very early age. Because of this, she had a tough time trusting other men. Then she married a trustworthy guy. Slowly over time, her opinion about men changed. She saw her husband kept his word. Then noticed other men did too.

Another person changed her view slowly over time.

So why does this matter?

How do our opinion of others affect us?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.How the things that shape your life become the opinions you have of others and affect you in some important ways:

 

1. We often find what we are looking for. When we view the world and others through our specific opinion lens, we often find and look for confirmation of our viewpoint. A person who thinks people are nice, will notice when someone opens the door for them, smiles at them, or jokes with them. A person who thinks others are not nice, will notice when someone takes their parking spot, frowns at them, and cuts them off on the road. But not only will they notice these things, but these things will be remembered longer than the opposite things done for them.

Both may in the same day have the same number of people smile at them and take their parking spot, but one will remember the smiles, and the other will remember the parking lot steal. Both have confirmed their viewpoint they have of others.

2. How we think people will treat us, may affect the way we treat them. If we think people will not like us, we will put up our defenses and not be so friendly. We don’t want to get hurt again. But if we think people will like us, we may go up and introduce our self, mingle more, and take more risks with trying to make new friends.

3. Our opinions of others affects our fear and anxiety levels. Before visiting a foreign country, I heard stories of places with high levels of pickpocketing. Fear began to grip my travel plans. How would I carry my money? Suddenly the trip seemed less fun if I had to hide my money next to my underwear. Then I read in a travel book that the country I was visiting had very little pickpocketing. When I landed, I kept my purse wrapped around me and no money inside. It became apparent, though, that the guide book was correct. As my opinion changed, I was able to relax and quit worrying about my money and purse. The trip also became more pleasurable with my fear and anxiety abated.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.4. Our opinions of others often affects our opinions of God. If we distrust others, it is often hard for us to trust God. If people have been unfair to us, we are more likely to expect God to be unfair. If people show us grace and forgiveness, we are more apt to think God extends these to us too.

My mother had very conditional love and often let us know when we displeased her. Because of this, I grew up thinking I had to be nearly perfect to please God. The idea that God was already pleased with me in my current state was foreign to me until years later.

Remember my friend who didn’t trust men because her father was never to be trusted? She overlaid her opinions about her father onto God. For years, she thought God was not to be trusted, that he would break his promises without warning. Just like her dad had.

Changing her reality was a lengthy process, but so worth it.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality.

But that doesn’t mean those self-truths are correct.

Because of this, you may want to ask yourself: What are your opinions of others? How do those opinions affect your daily life choices and thoughts? Your anxiety and fear levels? Your view of God?

Let’s quit confirming our truths, if they are wrong. Let’s quit believing our past to be indicative of our future, if it is based upon flawed thinking.

Let’s start noticing the flaws in our thinking.

Start believing the real truth. God’s truth

Over time, it will become our reality

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How do your views of life and others affect your views of God?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

The Many Ways We Dalay Things by Living in Fear

 

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things?

Things you need? Like happiness, thankfulness, joy, feeling positive, or liking yourself?

Or maybe you delay using things. Your grandmother’s china. Wearing that new dress. Reading that new book.

Maybe you delay doing things. Stating a new project. Using your talents. Stepping out to serve. Cleaning the house. Thanking the neighbor.

If you are like me, you delay things. Necessary things, little things, good things.

Sure, there is a reason, but probably not a very good reason.

 

How we delay things. An example.

 

I tend to be one of those people who when they start something, say cleaning the bathrooms or painting the front door, I don’t want to stop until I am done. And by done, I mean supplies put away and totally done.

There I would be sponge painting my daughter’s room at 12:30 at night, not willing to stop because I had only another two hours left to finish the project. And finish, I did. Though it is hard to clean paint brushes when your eyes are crossing and unfocused from tiredness.

When I am in the middle of a project, I don’t like to be stopped or interrupted. Family members are good for interrupting. My hubby walks in and asks when I am ready for a walk. Walk? I have four more hours before I am done. No breaks allowed.

See what I am doing? I am delaying a needed rest. Delaying play until all the work is done.  Delaying the needs of my body.

But I am getting better.

I think partly because when my husband and I do projects together, he stops before his eyes are crossing. If he gets hungry or tried and cranky, he stops. He has no qualms about taking a break and returning when he is refreshed and can do a quality job.

This trait of his used to drive me crazy.

“But we only have two hours left, we can eat and relax then,” I’d whine.

“I’m hungry now,” he’d counter, and then walk off and rest and eat.

I now realize his method is healthier. Less stressful. And produces a better end product.

It also doesn’t involve gritting your teeth and trying to just push through so much.

I now adopt his strategy and take more breaks and am less crabby and worn out by the end of the project.

Before I changed my way of thinking, I saw the breaks as the end reward and unnecessary. Work then play, was my rule.  I wanted to reward myself and relax when the project was done. Not before. That was like eating dessert before dinner.

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.

How fear holds us back. Living in fear keeps you from living?

 

Do you do this?

Let yourself sit down and relax only at the end of the day? Let yourself enjoy your family only after dinner? Get together with girlfriends only on weekends? Go outside and sit in the swinging bench only after you are done doing this and that?

Do you delay taking a trip until you have lost ten pounds? Do you only use your grandmother’s fine tea set when someone really important (and careful) comes over, which hasn’t happened yet, because you are not inviting anyone over until the house get a good spring cleaning?

Do you delay counting your blessings until your life straightens out? Decide not to let yourself be happy until the tests come back negative?  Put off stating a family until everything is perfect? Not take that scary step and use your talents to bless others until things all line up? Forgo date nights until the kids are older and the puppy potty trained? Not dream until you have enough money to dream?

What small things and big things are you delaying?

How is fear holding you back?

Have you given up on quiet time as long as you have kids in the house? Delayed being vulnerable until you have it all together? Decided not to love your mate until they love you back? Are you waiting for the other person to apologize first? Waiting until the trial is over before returning to church? Decided not to try counseling until things get seriously bad? Chosen not to deal with the bitterness until it shows on your face? Not set boundaries for yourself until you feel valuable enough?

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.

How to beat fear and start living.

 

I remember lying in a hospital bed. It was about day 4 of what I didn’t know then would become over 4 months, and a guy walked into the room. He was about my dad’s age and I knew him just a little. He was a quiet kind of guy, the opposite of his wife who lit up a room with her words and personality.

He sat, and we exchanged a few pleasantries. Then silence came and stayed awhile. And then he said, “We often wait for our boat to come in to start being happy or living.”

I nodded, not sure where he was going. Was he talking about himself? His grown children who were having problems? Or what?

I wasn’t waiting for a boat. I was just waiting for lunch, so I could start eating.

He started again after a few minutes. “We often wait for a whole bouquet of flowers to be happy, even though we are already holding a flower or two in our hand.”

I nodded. Boats to bouquets. Still not sure where his talk was headed.

He continued. “We wait and wait for the bouquet, never enjoying the two flowers we already have. Life sometimes goes by and we never get the whole bouquet at once. But when we look back we see we were given the bouquet flower by flower.”

His words hung themselves in my mind.

He wasn’t talking about boats or flowers, he was saying. “Be happy now with what you have. Don’t delay and wait for everything to be just right. Notice and find joy in what you already have.”

He was restating what Solomon said: Find joy in your current life. Eat. Drink. Be merry now.

What are you delaying?

Quit delaying. Start living. Doing. Wearing. Using. Inviting. Changing. Stepping out. Laughing.

Life is meant to be enjoyed.

Use what God has given you. And then bless those around you with your gifts, stuff, and vibrant personality.

Don’t delay living life to the fullest. Start living now.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 

P.S. One of the things we tend to delay is rest. You may find this article, Rest For the Soul in the Midst of Dirty Dishes exactly what you need.


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What is delaying you from living?

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Do you delay things you need? Like happiness, joy, liking yourself? Or delay using things like fine china and wearing that new dress? Or delay doing things, like launching your dream and setting personal boundaries? Stop letting fear keep you from living life to the fullest.