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Sister to Sister Series: Slaying the Dragon of Jealousy

5 Sep

Keep in mind, the person you are jealous of, is usually busy enjoying her own life

“She thinks she’s cute”

How many times have we as women, and sisters heard these words uttered about some random woman who may have innocently stepped into an office, a party, or even the grocery store? Perhaps you have been the victim of the hard glance, the uncomfortable silences, or the head to toe “once over” that many women give before even saying hello. Even worse, you may have been the very person to utter these words against a woman who you hardly even knew, but you were offended by her mere presence.

It is obvious the root cause of such actions is jealousy, and yes low self-esteem. So, what can cause you to be jealous?

False Insecurity– She is pretty so that makes you feel ugly. She is musically talented, so you feel uncultured. She is speaks five different languages, suddenly you feel like you fumble in your native tongue. It is one thing to admire someone and put their accomplishments on your own life’s personal “to do” list. It is another to use the perceived success of another to allow you to berate and belittle yourself.

False Esteem – On the other side of this ugly little comparison coin (which is no better by the way), is making comparisons based on a false pride. You see the object of your jealousy so you immediately size her up in order to make yourself seem better in your own eyes. She has a weave, you do not. She must have had breast implants while you are naturally endowed. She doesn’t know where Genesis is in the Bible, you have all the books memorized and can recite them backwards if asked.

It sounds silly and childish, and something that is reserved for girls under the age of 15 right? Sadly, these types of comparisons happen with grown women who are well into their mid to late 20’s and beyond.

The main reasons that comparing ourselves to someone else is wrong is because it is totally useless. That’s right. It doesn’t matter if you beat yourself up all day, or in your heart gloat because you feel that you are better than her. At the end of the day, it doesn’t take away from the woman who is the object of your scorn, and more importantly it won’t ADD anything positive to your life. So, you must stop negative comparison game. The truth is that it stems from another ugly little word – INSECURITY. If you need to tear someone down to make yourself feel better, you really don’t like who you are plain and simple, and that is the thing you need to be focused on.

Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else ~Galatians 6:4

Another problem with comparing yourself to another person on any level is that it causes you to see flaws that are not there at all, and you then use those imagined flaws to divide you from this person. This can prevent you from making a good friend, and really learning from someone who can quite possibly enrich your life! If this woman speaks five languages, ask her how she learned, and where she traveled, you may be surprised at how willing she is to share her information with you.

Next time you find yourself tempted to give the once over to a woman who you see every day, or have never encountered, ask yourself, where is this coming from? In which areas of my life do I see lacking that make me feel as though I need to attack someone else? And then, decide to do something about it. Smile at her, wave, even stop by and give her a compliment. You never know, just from a simple gesture, you could make a life long friend.

Lastly, never let another person shape your opinion of YOURSELF. Meaning, even if that woman is lacking in many areas, THIS is not what should give you YOUR sense of self-worth. Your self-worth should come from inside, and not how you see yourself in comparison to someone else.

Remember, the very woman who you may be gossiping about, or not sitting next to in church , could be the very person that the Lord wanted to use as a gateway to your blessing.

Be Blessed and Encouraged!







Six Ways to Become a Come-Back Kid!

4 Sep

Six Ways to Become a Come Back Kid

Failure. Loss. Pain. We all face these things at some point in our lives, and whether it is the loss of a relationship, a loved one, or an income source, its painful. It usually happens just when we are cruising along on this road called life, when BAM! We hit what appears to be an insurmountable speed bump. As a person who has survived and overcome various types of obstacles in my life, I can understand the temptation to give in to the anger, sadness and depression that come with loss of any kind.

In addition, there are many people I know that are struggling with the rising cost of living (especially out here in N. California), rising gas prices, and even recent downsizing or layoff.

So the question is, when you are going through the tough times, how do you recover, rebound, and bounce back?

While I was contemplating what I would write, I happened to catch a show called “The Big Idea” on CNBC with Danny Deutsch. That show always has the most inspiring guests and one of them today was talking about how they dealt with loss, and what they perceived at the time as failure.

Here are some of the things that I gleaned from the interview as well as advice I’ve given to candidates who are frustrated with the job search process that you may find helpful.

1. Belief in a Higher Power or Purpose – Puffy specifically cited his faith in God and prayer as helping him get through the tough times. I know personally, that if it weren’t for prayer (even my angry ones, lol) I probably would have lost my mind many a time during my periods of loss and frustration. There is a certain sense of peace that comes with knowing that you are not walking alone or by yourself through the tough times. In fact many people that we would view as successful have experienced tremendous failures and have attributed their recovery to a God of their understanding and their faith.

2. Focus on a Solution – Placing the blame, trying to find out why this happened to you, and thinking “this isn’t fair” is only going to place you into more of a depressed state. These types of thoughts only force you to chase your tail and not find any solutions. Being totally focused on the problem doesn’t give you any room to believe that their may be a solution in site.

3. Resist Negative Thoughts– This is critical when you are facing a challenge that seems impossible to overcome. This goes beyond “positive thinking” but its a matter of survival in most cases. For example, if you are looking for work, you can not afford to think “I’m never going to find a job in this economy”. The reason is because your THOUGHTS influence your ACTIONS, and your actions ultimately influence the OUTCOME of your situation. Try to remind yourself that a better day will come, and keep sending out your resume, networking and making phone calls. Something will come through.

4. Keep good company– It is important to make sure that the people that you have in your life during this time are encouraging, and emotionally supportive while you are going through this transitional period in your life. It is essential during this time to limit your contact and association with negative people, or those that discourage you.

5. Have a plan – I can’t stress this enough. With anything you must have a plan, a road map, if you will in order to chart your path to success. How would you plan a job search? There are some small things you can do. For example, understanding the type of job you would like to apply for, investigating on whether or not your resume could use some work, deciding which job boards to post to, etc. and how often. If you attack your job search in a haphazard way, posting your resume once every few weeks, or not updating your resume, you will find yourself frustrated with the entire process.

6. Reach out: During the time of loss, DO NOT isolate yourself. There are a few reasons for this. One is that you are more prone to sink into a depression if you allow yourself to be isolated. Its okay to acknowledge the feelings you have, but you don’t want to swim in the depression that may occur. The second and most important reason is, the more you expand your network, the more access to resources you have. No one makes it alone, they always have people that have helped them along the way.

The steps above are just a start on how to bounce back from what you may perceive as a personal failure. Many successful people have experienced this from Bill Gates, to Donald Trump. The difference between failure and success in my opinion is how many times you get up, dust yourself off and start again. Only when you sit down, and throw your hands up and say “I’m done trying” have you failed. Otherwise, its just a life lesson, and life can be learned from, fixed, and used to make you a better person in the long run.

I’d be interested in hearing about how you recovered from a layoff, downsizing or job loss. Please share!

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