by Jenita Lawal | Nov 29, 2022 | General
Being a Go-Getter or person of action is seen as a virtue in society. It’s great to be known as a Go-Getter. But always focusing on action can lead to a bunch of activities with no productivity. There are people who hide behind the Go-Getter mask because they are either avoiding something, seeking to please people or lack clarity.
Constantly being on the go means that you don’t have to slow down and face yourself. It means that you don’t have to think about that looming thing that you’ve been avoiding. When we stop and tap into our thoughts and emotions, it can be scary. We don’t know what to do with all of that stuff that comes up. So, we avoid it. We hide behind activity. We cover up our fear with the mask of the go-getter.
What is behind the mask? What is hiding beneath the need for constant activity?
One lesson I learned, after experiencing an anxiety attack, is that the world will not end if I say ‘no’ to someone or don’t wash the dishes every night. My kids don’t have to be involved in every activity or go to everyone’s birthday party. My friends won’t excommunicate me if I bow out of meeting up occasionally. I didn’t have to take on every assignment by myself at work–that’s what great teams are for.
At the heart of much of our activity can be the need to please people. There is the notion that if we don’t do what is asked of us, we will lose that person’s love or regard. Often, we please everyone else at the expense of our own well-being and self-worth. We see everyone but ourselves as important, worthy of our time.
Who told you that you aren’t worthy? Why did you believe them?
Lack of Clarity
Not all action is productive, or fruitful. It’s amazing how much we can cram into the hours we are given, but when we look back on the value of that activity it is meager. This smokescreen of activity may be due to a lack of clarity. When we aren’t clear about what we want we’re all over the place.
One of the books that had a major impact on me was Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry. In the book, he notes aimlessness as one of the seven signs of mediocrity. When we are aimlessly busy, we dilute our energy and creativity. By taking on everything, we miss the opportunity to focus on the right things.
What activities contribute to your growth? Which ones will move you forward to a desired goal? Do you have a goal?
Go-Get the Right Things
Being a Go-Getter is great when 1) you have the right intention behind your actions, 2) when the actions are aligned with your goals, and 3) when the actions are fruitful or productive. Set aside time at the beginning and end of each day to set your intention and reflect on your day. Evaluate your activity to ensure that you are not masking avoidance, people-pleasing, or lack of clarity. Go get it!
by Jenita Lawal | Nov 29, 2022 | General
Whose Dream Is It Anyway?
I did it! After years of putting my head down and working. After years of practicing good stewardship, time management, and getting a good education, I achieved the American Dream. And then…meh.
I had a great job making a nice salary with great benefits. I bought a nice home in the suburbs. I was driving a newer model car. I had respectable credit. And yet, I felt like something was missing. I kept wondering, “okay, now what?” The days all started running together without any real meaning for me.
With my house came more responsibility. Let me tell you, as a single mother I didn’t need any more of that! The house also came with this need to buy new furniture. The car came with a sudden need to have satellite radio. And that great job came with less flexibility and less engagement. But hey, this is the dream, right?
One day, my sister sent a text about getting a promotion and my mom responded with something to the effect of success equating to a big house and a nice car. It stopped me in my tracks and I asked myself, “Am I successful? By whose standards? Is that really all success is about? Why did I want this dream?”
I realized that I had bought into a dream that really didn’t fit me. The values of that dream didn’t fit the values of the dream hidden in my heart, the dream that I let fade into mist somewhere in my life. The dream in my heart was never about stuff or status; it was about freedom, exploration, and connecting. Most of what I attained in life was to prove something to others. Proving to my mom that I am wise and don’t need money from her. Proving to statisticians that single mothers are not all charity cases or tragic stories. Proving to the world that not all single black women have bad credit.
Who would I be if I had nothing to prove?
What would I do if I wasn’t concerned about being logical, wise, or respectable to other people? Could I really live out that old dream tucked away in my heart? How was living this dream, not authored by me, serving me?
I encourage you to ask yourself the same questions. If you find that your being has no connection to the “dream” for which you’re striving, you have the time and opportunity to design a new one. You are the author of your story, not anyone else. You get to determine your direction and the destinations along your journey.
Shake the dust off those dreams you tucked away and ask yourself “….what dreams may come?”
by Jenita Lawal | Oct 15, 2022 | General
What does it mean to be a god? Why are we afraid of embracing that identity? Is it because we think it’s sacrilegious? Or are we afraid of the responsibility and magnitude of that title?
If we are created in the image of God and we were given the ability and authority to create and manifest things, doesn’t that make us gods? God didn’t make us in the image of a bear or a lion or a whale. He made us in His image. He gave us gifts, talents, creativity, intuition, power, and will. Those things set us apart from every other thing He created.
The power of creation and will means that we are not doomed to merely react to stimuli and environments. It means that we get to author. We get to impose our will and our design and our authority in situations. That is powerful.
As a god, we are given dominion over our lives, to a degree (that’s what makes us little “g”). While we cannot control the forces of nature or other people (without their consent), we can control how much they influence our lives. We can control how we allow those external forces to affect our stories and our futures.
Maybe we’re afraid to accept our god status because accepting it means accepting responsibility for our lives–even some of the horrible moments. It would mean that we could no longer blame someone else for our condition or state. By not accepting our power, we get to just be sheep. We go wherever we are shepherded…even to slaughter.
What would happen if we accepted the gift of little “g” that God gave us? What would happen if we realized that money–a thing created by us–is not a god, but we are? What would happen if we embraced our power to author our lives? How would that change our story? Who would we become?