I recently visited a friend’s blog. She had wonderful news to share, and I eagerly celebrated with her. I happened to notice at the bottom of her post that people had given that post a five-star rating.
Hmmm. Had anyone given me a five-star rating? Or a four-star rating? Here’s where it gets sad (in that I did this to begin with). I checked my recent blog posts, and sighed. There were no stars at all. Then, I stopped.
I want to know that what I’m writing makes a difference to those who read it. Why was I looking for others to give me stars? Does it really matter what others think of me, my thoughts and my writing? It shouldn’t, but sometimes, I allow it to.
In my short-term perspective, I focus on the wrong things—receiving affirmation from people. What matters most is being affirmed by God. He delights in me, takes pleasure in me, and loves me completely. That should be enough.
I’ve been blogging just over three months. Is it realistic to expect that I’m “all that” in the blogosphere? No. I’m a writer-in-progress. I’m still figuring out this blogging world, learning how to do it well, discovering my voice.
This forced me to question why those five stars were so important to me. Why as a newbie blogger, I needed that kind of affirmation. Would they make me feel like I’d “arrived?”
It also prompted me to remember my intentions in blogging. Is my goal to gain those five stars? Or is it to encourage others through the thoughts and words that flow into my posts? Reminding myself why I blog helped me regain perspective.
What do I do when I catch myself seeking affirmation from people?
- I remind myself that, in God’s eyes, I am loved for who I am. He has given me the talents and giftings He knew I would need. They don’t look like some of my friends’ giftings, but that’s okay. His plans for me are different than they are for them.
- I talk to my husband or a trusted friend about the thoughts I’m grappling with. They speak truths that invalidate the lies trying to stick themselves in my brain.
- I journal-pray. Writing down these thoughts, and allowing the Lord to speak His truth to my heart brings an accurate perspective and peace.
I wish I could say I only deal with the affirmation issue once a decade, but the quest for people-affirmation is a frequent struggle of mine. By God’s grace, I’m learning how to refocus my thoughts in healthier directions more quickly than I used to. Maybe I’ll get to the place where I’m not swayed so much by what people think about me. Between here and there, I’ll choose to remember that I’m a five-star in God’s book.
What about you? Do you ever struggle with the desire for people-affirmation? How do you deal with it?
***With my kiddos home for summer, I am going to decrease my blogging to once a week. Catch me here each Tuesday. I’ll be back to my normal schedule come the next school year. I look forward to chatting with you!***