Something that I’ve struggled with for a while now but never really came to peace with is that I’m a people pleaser. I’ve been told countless times that I’m a people pleaser, and I have a hard time saying no. The thing is though, that I don’t think I am. I don’t think I want to please others, I don’t think I have a hard time saying no. Maybe that’s a pride or heart issue or me just being stubborn, but I’ve noticed that when people tell me these things about myself like “you’re a people pleaser”, “you have a hard time saying no”, “you do everything by yourself”, “you’re emotional”, “you’re defensive”, somewhere in my brain thinks that I’m stuck with these labels, but I’m not. I’ve found it really hard to remind myself that I’m not identified by these things or these statements but that my identity is in Christ and I should be confident in that. Anyway, back to the people pleasing thing.
It’s hard. I do find myself here and there pleasing people, making sure they’re okay, going out of my way to do something for them, saying yes when they ask for a favor, but then added onto that is the feeling of disappointment if I fail to come through for the person…if I fail to please them. I have this desire for things to go well and smoothly and for people to enjoy whatever it is I plan or organize because if I put in a lot of time and effort into making an event possible, I would want people to take part in the event and to have a good time. Otherwise, if they don’t have a good time, then I feel like I didn’t do a good job, like I had failed them in a sense. I know I tend to take responsibility for a lot of things that I shouldn’t take responsibility for, but it’s so hard! I definitely don’t want to, and I know there’s no need for me to, but somewhere in my heart, I can’t help but feel like I had played some part in whether an event goes well despite if I planned it or not. I don’t know if you guys feel the same way, but it’s kind of like if you were a comedian. You want to make sure your jokes are funny, but if people don’t laugh at your jokes, then you feel like you failed like you didn’t do your job well. I don’t know how to explain it, but that’s the best example I could think of on the spot.
Anyway, last night I led my campus ministry’s large group, and we were going over the first part of our vision. I was kind of nervous because I wanted it to be interactive and engaging, but it really didn’t feel like it was. People looked bored, not attentive, disengaged, and they just looked like they wanted to leave. I thought to myself, “you know, maybe the material was dry, maybe I’m not presenting it well, maybe it’s me who’s not making it interesting”. After hearing some feedback from some people about how people weren’t engaged and were on their phones and how the first few meetings should be a little bit more exciting, it makes me wonder…what is the purpose of my campus ministry? What is the purpose of our meetings? Do I have to make sure I’m exciting, engaging, and interactive whenever I lead a large group? Do I have to make sure I’m pleasing the group? Honestly, I don’t really know how to feel haha. Maybe I could’ve done things differently. Maybe I could’ve been more energetic. Maybe I could’ve delivered the lesson better. Maybe I could’ve been better. No matter what I think or say, it’s always something.
I think deep down, we’re all people pleasers, but where the glory goes is what matters. It’s so easy to lose yourself in the process and to fall into these thoughts of doubt and self-worth. I need to remind myself that my identity lies in Christ. What I do and say is a reflection of Christ, and I should be confident in the way that He created me. Sure, I may be a people pleaser, and I seek acceptance from others. Sure, I long for community and I love spending quality time with my friends. Sure, I have a big heart for people and that may make me more emotional. Sure. Yeah, I’m all of those things, but I’m so much more too. I’m a child of God. I’m His daughter. I am created in His image, and He’s blessed me with specific gifts and strengths so that He could use me to glorify His kingdom through the gifts that He has bestowed on me.
Yeah, sure it’s good to be engaging and all, but the main purpose of the night was to dive deeper into our vision. Who we are, what we stand for, and what we hope to see and do in the future through our ministry, and that’s exactly what we did. I need to remind myself every now and then that the purpose of our ministry isn’t just to have fun and games, but it’s so much more than that. It’s our vision, it’s furthering God’s kingdom, it’s being a witness, it’s being Gospel ready.
Maybe everything I said was somewhat misconstrued, I don’t know, but these are thoughts that have been running through my mind for a while now, and I guess I find solace in typing them out here and processing through my thoughts here on wordpress. Mehhhh, not really sure, but I apologize if what I say doesn’t make sense, but I hope some of it does.
I guess through everything, through my thoughts, and whatever situation I encounter, I have to remind myself that I may be a people pleaser, I may be whatever label people put on me, but all in all, my identity is in Christ and that’s all that matters. I just have to constantly remind myself of that, or I run the risk of losing sight of literally everything. My identity is in Him.