Time for a Reset
Have you ever been blindsided by someone else’s success?
I don’t mean a general poverty of spirit that grumbles inwardly whenever something good happens to someone else.
I mean, have you ever been temporarily knocked off your feet because someone succeeded in a very specific place where you wanted to succeed? It’s a tough thing to navigate, especially when it comes out of nowhere.
It’s harder when it’s the exact niche where you want to gain ground. It’s harder when that person who seems to be taking that ground is more well-known, and farther along than you are. But what is the actual problem?
Your feelings are actually rooted in a fear of being shamed in your work, exposed as a novice. Someone who doesn’t deserve to be on this playing field. You’re afraid that you’re wasting your time.
What’s the good news, you ask?
First of all, THIS IS NORMAL.
No matter what you are up to, no matter what your dreams or goals are, you will always run into others who are doing the same thing right alongside you.
Second of all, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY.
As believers, we have the thrilling invitation of God calling to us in every detour, every disappointment, every confusion. We have the opportunity to make everything into an altar, and regain our footing, stronger than before—with God’s perspective.
Yes; even with this.
To start with, I’m going to share a few crucial points God used to reshape my perspective when I was feeling unknown, and unseen, wondering why I was bothering to try when other, more famous people had already been there, done that.
1. There are always new generations doing new things. What someone else did in another generation doesn’t stop you from doing it differently in yours.
2. There are times and seasons for everything. The season you’re in is different than someone else’s.
3. Your work will impact different people than theirs will.
4. You are not meant to be anyone else.
5. You can choose to be inspired by others’ work. You’re not doing this alone!
6. This one thing you’re after isn’t meant to be your entire legacy. God is building something much more sustainable with your life.
7. If ideas were used up, we would have run out a long time ago. It’s the presentation of ideas that makes them unique. If this is the time and season to present the idea that burns in your heart, then be faithful to whatever God placed in your hands, and trust Him to prepare your audience for you and your work.
Okay, so you’re feeling better now that you’ve reminded yourself of the facts.
But now, what can you do practically to move forward when you feel stalled?
1. Face your fears. It’s super important to find the root of what you’re really afraid of, and face it. When you identify it, you can work through it with God, and the next time it shows itself, you’ll be equipped to deal with it, and you’ll find it has lost a lot of its power.
2. Pray, and ask God for His perspective. Reset yourself with the reminder that your purpose is bound up in God. He defines you. Be honest with Him about how you feel, and trust Him to use this to help you move forward. This is Proverbs 3:5-6 worked out. You’re acknowledging that your viewpoint isn’t the only one at play here, and you’re choosing God’s life-giving mindset over the confining perspective of the flesh.
3. Set aside whatever derailed you. It can be very tempting to continue to follow whoever or whatever distracted you with feelings of jealousy or inadequacy, but don’t. Be very careful to steward your time, and pay attention to what you really need in your current season. Not everything will be helpful. Exercise self-control, and don’t seek out things that will distract you.
4. Remember your season. Ask God to remind you where you are in your process.
There is a time for everything.
5. Reconvene with your goals. Ask God to unveil what the next step is. What can you be working on right now in order to move closer to your goal? This takes your focus off of where other people are, and places it back on the reality of what can actually happen for you in time.
6. Pray for your audience, your tribe. You will have your own niche, your own audience, your own group of people who stand behind you and your work, who are blessed by it, and want to see you achieve more. Pray for the people who will be in the trenches with you, and the impact you will have on each other. You are not meant to be in this alone.
7. Remember what God said. This is the most important step. God will speak over you through His Word, through others, through dreams and visions, through songs, through circumstances. The evidence of God’s Voice is all around you. Tune back in. When He speaks, write it down. Take measures to remember what He’s saying, in general, and with regard to certain topics. Don’t always look for new information. Sometimes, He is waiting for you to stand firm on what He’s already said. It’s normal for God’s Word over you to be challenged. That’s why we need to stand firm, and be of good courage.
Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”
We can always come up with a reason not to do something, not to step out in faith, not to be brave. But when we keep our focus on who God is, our viewpoint is expanded, and our opportunities are endless.