A few weeks ago I attended the John Maxwell International Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida. This conference is held twice a year, with over 3000 people from around 150 nations attending.
Going to this conference is one of my greatest highlights each year. I love to be in a place where like-minded people gather to share each other`s vision and network across different diversities, cultures and ages.
Last year I applied for stage time at this year’s conference. It’s a long process from making the application to potentially presenting a three-minute speech in front of the 3000 attendees. The process was hard, and the standard is very high. They said that this year the standard was the highest they’d ever had! I had to invest about 40 hours of my time to achieve and maintain that standard. After all my efforts, I made it to the final and presented my speech to all those people!
I absolutely loved the process and doing the speech! Firstly because this was a scary step I took and secondly because I never thought I would get that far, especially not as a public speaker!
Being chronically ill, I developed a negative self-esteem as I grew up. The reason for that was that I saw myself as someone lesser than others. Also, I heard a lot of things other people said about me, whether they were aware of it or not, that didn`t really build my self-esteem. Sometimes they meant these things for good but they were only looking from their perspective.
For years I struggled to answer questions like: “Will I ever achieve anything in life?” “Will I ever be someone?” Or even “Will anyone share ever life with me?“ This last one was on a friendship and relational level.
Over the past 20 years I have had to learn that my chronic illness doesn`t define me. I needed to find my identity in what God says about me, and not in what others might think or say about me. And I needed to develop a character that would stand up for what I believe about myself even if it seemed impossible!
I have no doubt that there is endless potential in each and every one of us! No matter where we come from, what background we have, what we are dealing with right now or the craziest mistake anyone has ever made!
In this blog I would love to share two points to help you how to see the good in you!
1. Recognize that YOU are born with a purpose
I love what it says in Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you.” (MSG)
I love the fact that God plants a purpose and a plan into our lives before we are even born. However, this doesn`t mean they happen automatically. As children we begin to recognise over the years that things don’t always go the way we want. As we become adults, we are more aware that life often gets messier, weirder and at some points, harder. This is a natural way of life. But I believe that the more we recognize who we are in Christ and what purpose we have, life becomes more joyful, fulfilled and supernatural.
My recent speech at the conference was a supernatural moment with natural steps. I never thought that a guy who had difficulties learning to speak and struggled with his self-esteem for many years could speak at a leadership conference in front of 3000 people!
2. Acknowledge the good in YOU
Philemon 6 says: “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective and powerful because of your accurate knowledge of every good thing which is ours in Christ.“ (AMP)
Life as a Jesus-follower is all about the process of becoming more like Him and becoming the person He has called us to be.
How do we do that? We walk in faith, which means we shift our focus from what we currently see, feel or hear, to what we can`t see, feel or hear yet.
I learned that the practical way to do that is to proclaim good things after the most powerful two words I can say about myself – I AM…!
Our mind is wired in a way that the first reaction we usually have is a negative one, e.g. “I am not good at this“. But if we acknowledge the good in us that is already ours in Christ, we can change it to: “I am… good at this” or “I am… good enough”.
This has personally helped me, and still helps me to overcome my limitations, moments of low self-esteem or insecurities. Acknowledging and speaking good over yourself is a habit that can be developed. The more you do it the more you will see the results and see how great and good you actually are. The thing is, you`re already good but by doing this mental exercise, you get to see that you are good!
I hope this blog has inspired and empowered you to see yourself in the goodness, greatness and image of God. Never give up on seeing yourself the way God has created you!
Please feel free to contact me if you need any coaching on that topic or if you want to know more about the practical steps.