We are always waiting for someone to tell us: You are SO (…this…) or SO (…that…)!
Funny… smart… beautiful… creative… sweet… hard-working… wise… loyal… kind… graceful… dependable… holy.
Choose any adjective you want. Multiply it by 10 if you’re waiting to hear it on a date.
And then there’s “The Defer”
When we don’t hear the words we want to hear, we pack up our hearts and go away mumbling under our breath… Well I guess I’m not that funny… smart… beautiful… etc.
For me… in the past it’s always been that someone else needed to be funnier or smarter or more beautiful than me… at least that’s what if felt like in the moment… so I let them be the center of attention. It was easier to keep the peace if I just let them go on basking in the spotlight.
A lot of times, I’d pretend to be ignorant and I’d say something to the effect of
No… I didn’t know that… tell me more…
when in fact I did know and perhaps even had extensive experience with whatever program or widget we happened to be talking about at the time.
And so I deferred.
Less than I am
I allowed myself to be and act lesser than I am… lesser than I am capable of being.
Most times it didn’t affect me or my self-worth. In some cases, I had to act this way for fear of losing my job. And then I did lose my job… twice in fact. After that, I turned a corner in my psyche and in my soul.
Around that corner, I became a new creation… promising myself that I wouldn’t shrink back in deference again. I would stand my ground and speak my voice. Always gently… but always with strength and truth. I never want to feel less than what I am ever again.
I will not go quietly.
Those kinds of personal goals are easy to write. But when it comes to the test of real life… sometimes they just fly right out the window. Why is that?
Because we don’t know or trust how others will perceive or receive us. Especially when we have strong convictions or opinions or personalities. Especially when we know what we want… when we know what we need to do to get it… when we are not afraid to actually go and get it.
Sometimes the world expects us to defer and when we don’t, everything spins into a tizzy… off-kilter and out-of-whack. People get scared.
So there are two and only two choices at hand:
Shrink back and defer…
Stand tall and move forward.
Simple to say. Hard to do.