Finding Your Joy - Let’s Start With You - The One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends

Finding Your Joy - Let’s Start with You

To find the good life you must become yourself.—Dr. Bill Jackson

GIRLFRIENDS, now that we’re all grown up, we need to get over trying to please others. If you’re over the age of thirty-five, you probably know that you’re never going to please everyone and that on some days, you’ll please no one. The harder you work at it the more impossible it is to gain or to maintain that person’s favor. Seeking the approval of others is a surefire (for my out-of-state friends, that’s a Texas term for guaranteed) way of losing your joy.

I’m not sure if approval seeking is a result of our upbringing; I guess if we were little girls whose self-esteem got a boost when Mom and Dad were well pleased, we are probably more likely to need approval from others today. I think my need for approval is genetic. I was born this way and came out of the womb hoping to dazzle the doctor! No matter how it’s acquired, approval-seeking doesn’t cohabitate with joy.

For many years, I confused approval with respect. But of course, they are different. I learned, much too late, that people can respect you without always agreeing with your position or your actions. Have you confused approval with respect?

While some women are concerned about what others think, many of us are our own worst enemies. We don’t approve of who we are. Of course, there are always things we need to work on. That’s okay—we are all works in progress. If you have issues that you know need to be addressed and you don’t feel you can give yourself the big Five-Star Approval Rating, give yourself at least four stars; for heaven’s sake, recognizing a problem is half the battle!

What is important here is that we be our best for ourselves. No one else. If you’re trying to please your husband or boyfriend, your mother, your boss, or your kids—you can forget about it. You won’t find joy in that pursuit. Joy is a state of contentment that cannot be affected by outside forces.

Say out loud with me: “Someone will not like something I say or do today.”

How do you feel? Not so good?

Say it again, but this time add: “Someone will not like something I say or do today but that’s okay—God and I are well pleased with me.”

You will show me the way of life,granting me the joy of your presenceand the pleasures of living with you forever. (Psalm 16:11)

Better?

You will find lasting joy only when you decide that others’ approval is not important to who you know you are.

From the Book: