My Battle With Success

Haven’t been on here in awhile.  Apologies. My life has been quite full. Being a mom never stops, it just changes a bit as your children grow older. I’ve had some transition on my job. Social life …ahh, I make my own social life. If I didn’t, I’d just be sitting at home bored or depressed. So, I go and I do things ON PURPOSE. Sometimes it’s exhausting, but, it fills my need for social activity and includes some things I enjoy. Dating…ha! Next subject. And dreams… I’m working to fulfill some of them.

I didn’t grow up in the church, but, I have spent a fair amount of my adult life in church because I became serious about my faith as a young adult and I continue on my journey to this day. I used to be married to someone who was heavily involved in church life and I saw all kinds of inner workings that left me a bit jaded and I’ve been working on healing from that. That said, I did receive some good teaching (and some not-so-good). I have heard multiple preached messages on using your “gifts and talents” for God.  In the church world, the whole “gifts and talents” thing took on a life of its own, and for lack of a better term, was ‘trending’ heavily for a while. Everyone was trying to find out their “gifts” so they could be successful in church and in life in general.

But, what is success? I have had to grapple with my own definition of success over the years. Of course, I was taught, mostly subconsciously, that success equaled monetary wealth. That is what everyone seemed to be striving for. I remember feeling somehow “lower than” or “less than” when I would go over someone’s really nice and fancy house. They’d have all of the amenities anyone could dream of. They’d have all of the games and toys that my kids wanted, but, I couldn’t afford to buy them. I have lived in rental properties for the majority of my adult life. I sometimes still battle with this feeling of inadequacy to be completely honest. But, is “success” only comprised of monetary wealth and the acquiring of things?

Success can be other things as well. It means different things to different people. I have had to figure out what it means to me. And I am still figuring it out as I explore my gifts. It seems I am gifted in areas that don’t naturally or easily produce income. And it still seems that part of my definition of success is related to money.

Let me give you background.  Having become a single parent due to divorce was one of the most difficult things I have had to endure and push through and conquer. It has strengthened me in ways I didn’t realize. But, can I tell you?? It’s been excruciating at the same time. I have wanted to give my children so much that I could not afford. I have felt so guilty about that for so long. And I am still trying to figure out how to be financially successful (in addition to my full-time job) to provide the very best way I can. You don’t know how many tears I have shed over the years out of sheer frustration over money.  That brought me to a point where I wanted to figure out a successful “side hustle” (side job or business). A few years ago, I did manage to stumble upon a niche side business that was well received, but only brought in minimal (and sporadic) income. It was enough to reinvest back into the business. Or sometimes after a drought, a random sale would come through at just the right time when I needed a little extra cash. But, beyond this, it did not flourish, so, after a few years of trying, I shut it all down.

Recently, I’ve decided to pursue things I am actually passionate about. I thought to myself “THIS will surely bring about eventual success because these are things I love.”  I told myself that growth will be slow and it will take time, but, it will eventually reach and help others and eventually pay off. However, I find myself impatient with the process. I have been wanting some form of success for so long, that I feel burned out from continuous trying and little return on my efforts. When I do create what I believe is meaningful / useful / helpful content, I only receive minimal feedback and I become discouraged. Still, I press on. I remind myself that at least this  time I am doing it from my heart instead of out of desperation.  Still, the internal struggle remains. Still, I wonder when will I “break through” to a place of reaching many and not simply a few. I want to be wise. I want to help others. Yet, I also want to be able to use these gifts to make things better for my family and myself financially at some point.

I think along with this, I feel the frustration of yearssssss of waiting for some other things to come to fruition; waiting for years’ worth of prayers to be answered; waiting for long-nurtured dreams to come true. It’s an accumulated frustration which doesn’t pair well with the process of beginning new things.  New things take an enduring patience which is something I must continue to work on. New ventures take lots of tweaking and trial and error.  New things mean you may fail as much as you succeed.  I know I have to hang in there and diligently move forward. The temptation is to look at how far I have to go instead of how far I’ve already come.  I remind myself daily that I will get there. I have always had BIG dreams in my heart and want to reach many souls. Still, I remind myself to  be thankful for the souls I currently do reach; and for the things I do currently have; and for the success I have already obtained over the years, though not easily seen with the naked eye.  Lord, help me to focus on the positive as you continue to grow my patience.  Thank you for teaching me needed lessons along the way to my personal success…whatever that looks like.

Thanks for reading.
ALSO…please find & subscribe to my podcast called “Life Together with Kay Dee“.
‘We are not meant to do life alone. We are meant to do life together in community (even online ones).’
Blessings.

~ Kay Dee

You ARE Good Enough!

you're good enough

A friend of mine recently posted a picture on her Facebook page of someone holding a sticky note that says “you are good enough!” It hit home. I don’t know about you, but, so many times I question, “am I good enough?”

Am I good enough to be loved?
Am I good enough to fit into that social circle?
Am I good enough to be accepted?
Am I good enough to be respected?
Am I good enough to complete that project or reach that goal?
Am I good enough to seal that huge deal at work?
Am I good enough to be valued by others?

The list could go on and on. What makes us question our own value? Have we been told by someone that we’re not valuable? Has it been demonstrated by another person’s actions toward us that we are not up to snuff? Have others made us feel that somehow we’ll never measure up to the perfection they expect? Or has it been communicated to us somehow that others don’t see us as able enough, talented enough, or intelligent enough to obtain a certain goal?

I daresay most of us have had such an experience in our lives. Sometimes we experience this type of criticism or rejection by well-meaning people in our families, friendships, social or professional circles. The trick is not believing the naysayers. Constructive criticism is one thing. It is usually given in such a way as to build up the person. It should be given with care and in a way that will help the person see where they can tweak or improve in a certain area without tearing them to shreds verbally.

But, if you’ve received harsh criticism or if you’ve been overlooked, berated, undervalued, etc., I’ve got news for you. You ARE good enough! The truth is that God made each of us uniquely special. We don’t all have the same set of talents and abilities, but, there is greatness in each of us!  There is something each of us are wired to do and to do well. Don’t undervalue your unique gifts.  Develop them and use them to bless others.

As you move forward to develop your gifts and talents, you may experience instances or periods of failure.  But, remember this –  failure at a task or a goal does NOT equal your failure as a person.  Your “who” is not determined by your “do”.  Some things you will have to continuously practice at to hone your skills in a certain area. Other things you will try and then realize that particular thing may not be for you. But the important thing is that you TRIED. You didn’t hold back. There will be no regrets because you attempted it. John Maxwell (author) has written a whole series of books, CD’s called “Fail Forward”. Even if you fail at something, if you learn from it, you’ve not failed at all. You’ve gained more valuable knowledge with which to move forward and tackle the next goal.

Your value  as a person, is not and should not be defined by people, but, by God. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. There is no one exactly like you. You are loved with a love that never wanes and never ends. And in those times where others put you down or you experience failure of some kind, you’ll need to remind yourself of this fact: YOU are SPECIAL.  If you have to, write it on sticky notes and stick it all around your house or apartment.  And surround yourself with positive people!  We each need people who are in our corner and believe in us!  It’s important.  Also, one of the best things you can do is let someone else know how special and important they are. I’m a huge advocate of paying it forward.  There are so many people in the world who have not been told how valuable and special they are.  And God may use YOU to be the one to tell them.  You can plant a seed of love into someone else’s life.  And you never know how big that seed will grow or what it will develop into.  Maybe because of you, someone who wanted to quit life, decides to continue on and becomes an amazing motivator of others.  Maybe that person who was going to quit med school goes on to become a world renowned physician or surgeon.  You never know.  So, as I hopefully breathe life into you, so, breathe life into others.  Remember how spectacular you are!  Silence the voices of the naysayers and shout out loud, “I AM GOOD ENOUGH!”

© KD Corner “You ARE Good Enough” 2013

photo credit here