Have you ever had a “theme day”? It’s one of those days where it seems one consistent concept keeps coming up – in each conversation, each message you hear…
Sunday was one of those days for me. The theme was performance. My pastor’s message seemed to scream that concept to me. Then I got home in the afternoon and unintentionally got into a two-hour long conversation with my wife about the topic. The idea of performance being a trap just kept bouncing around in my head without me even having to try.
I’m a people pleaser. I feel the pressure to perform for others. And I feel inadequate when my performance doesn’t match what I feel others expect from me.
Maybe this blog post isn’t about you. Maybe it’s just about me. But these three truths have been helping me get free (slowly, very slowly) from this trap of performance. I hope they can help you too.
1. Your most important achievements might never be seen by others.
People see what I do with my businesses. They see how I dress or how I carry myself. And it’s easy to focus on those things. But those ultimately aren’t the things that matter for the success of my life. What matters is how I treat my wife behind closed doors. The kind of son I am. The kind of father I’ll be.
It’s easy to feel inadequate in areas that people see. But it’s important to realize that the real things, nobody will see. And that’s where our attention needs to go.
2. Nobody cares what you achieve or don’t. They’re worried about their own situation.
The funny thing is, I actually worry about what people think of me. The truth is, nobody’s really worried about me. They’re worried about themselves. Even when they do compare themselves to me, it’s not about me; it’s about them trying to feel better about their life.
Performance is a dumb cycle. It’s the blind leading the blind.
3. Reputation is nothing if you accomplished your purpose.
- Living a life everyone admires, yet one that ultimately doesn’t accomplish anything of true value.
- Living a life people despise, yet one that actually impacts others and makes a lasting, positive change on the world.
I would pick the second one. And I hope you would too. Reputation isn’t worth much if you aren’t fulfilling God’s purpose for your life. Guess what! Nobody knows God’s call for you except you. There’s a good chance you following God’s calling won’t look like success to those around you.
And that’s okay.
Let’s drop the need for performance. It’s an exhausting hamster wheel that leads nowhere. Instead, let’s rest in the calling of God on our lives. It’s a much more peaceful place and will ultimately lead to the best things in life.