LET. IT. GO. Blog Hop with Melissa Taylor

My friend and Proverbs 31 ministry partner Melissa Taylor just started an online Bible study of my new book LET. IT. GO. (You can still join us. Click here for details)

Today, she is hosting a blog hop with gals from around the country (and world) blogging about an aspect of the book. (If you are a blogger, you can see details here and join us!)

Be sure to hop over and check out the blog posts. They will encourage you in the area of letting go of the need to control and learning to trust God instead.

Some are talking about the tangents that knock us off course in our day. Others are blogging about the verse of the week. Others are confessing the areas of life (or people in life!) they like to try to control.

I’m gonna talk about the tangents.

I have one that trips me up often. It has been causing me to lose joy, time, sleep and mental energy since probably about the 3rd grade.

Ready? Wait for it…..

I am addicted to the approval of others.

There. I said it.

Since I was a little girl (and especially in middle and high school) I have cared waaaaaay too much about what others think of me. I can remember getting a painful pit in my stomach when a bunch of girls in the eighth grade, whom I’d hung out with for two years, decided they didn’t like me anymore. Didn’t want to sit with me at lunch anymore. Or invite me to their sleep overs or mall shopping trips. It was devastating to me to be left out and then overhear them in the hallway talking about what they’d done together. (Can’t imagine how that would feel today to see their fun splashed all over Facebook and such!)

As an adult, I’ve also wanted others to like me. It seems funny when I think about it. No one is liked by everyone in their life. But somehow, it always bothers me when someone has a negative opinion of me.

Then, I dwell on it. Let it rob me of joy. And time. And mental energy spent wondering why they don’t like me or trying to “fix” their opinion of me.

I can do fairly well when they don’t like me because of my faith in Christ. (Been slammed online for agreeing with the Bible on some black-and-white areas of scripture that current culture doesn’t like.)

The worst is when I find out that someone has a bad opinion of me that is based on something not true. Oh that hurts. And that is when I spin the wheels of my mind wanting to correct their incorrect image of me.

It happened just this week. A woman wrote a rather accusatory email slamming me for what she thought was a dishonest and shameful thing I’d done. She saw something I’d written here. She also saw something very similar on the site of a well-known Christian writer. She scolded me for stealing their material and running it on my site.

What she failed to check out was the signature line on the other site. I was a guest blogger for famous sister-so-and-so. The piece she’d seen was written by me. I hadn’t stolen anything. SInce it was a lesson God has been whomping me upside the head with a lot lately, I decided to write about it twice. (And I’m glad I did. It got one of the biggest responses I’ve ever gotten on both sites with women asking. “Have you been spying on me? I struggle with this too!”)

What hurt even more was that the email she sent made it to some ministry partners of mine. Now thankfully they clicked over to the post she’d seen and was so upset about and quickly saw at the bottom that it was written by me. Still, I let this whole affair bother me and my mind kept dwelling on it. It was a tangent that knocked me off course for a while.

At times like this, I have to tell myself God’s truth to block out the lies. My friend Renee calls this “bossing my heart around.”

The truth was that I hadn’t stolen anything. The truth was that this gal was remiss in checking out who’d written the blog post. The truth is, she’d harshly accused instead of gently inquiring. (Inquiring would have been to ask, “Hey, can you help me understand something? These two posts seems so similar but it looks like you only wrote one. Can you explain this to me?)

Inquiring doesn’t cause offense. It clears the air.

Thankfully God gave me grace to respond gently. It was really a mistake. She hadn’t seen that I was the guest post that day. In her mind what appeared to be true really was wrong. So I gently thanked her for her concern but explained that I wrote both posts. Then….. I LET IT GO!!!!

Are you someone who too struggles with what others think of you? Or with being left out? Especially in this era of Social media when you see others doing things together and realize you weren’t invited? Tell us about it today.

And don’t forget to hop over to Melissa’s blog hop and check out the other great posts.

NOTE: Winners! The winner of the contentment giveaway is Amanda S.: comment left 2/4 at 5:46 pm and the winner of No More Perfect Moms is Meg: comment left 2/5 at 9:51 pm. Please email your home address along with what you won to [email protected]

31 Comments

  1. I, too, have let this devastate me so many times when I was younger. And, the truth is, God showed me yesterday that I am still sensitive to this – that time of the month is quickly approaching, and I went off on one of my co-workers who quite honestly did not do what I asked him to do (pressing forward on a meeting invite to the right people is not unreasonable), and at the crux of it, I think it was at least to some extent because I was concerned he was making me look bad in front of his supervisors, whom I support in a specific technical area, which might get in the way later. And, the worst of it yesterday was my response to my husband’s response to a request – I asked him to make what I thought was a small change to his schedule so I could go to bed a bit earlier, and he did his angry huff and puff, jerking things down and stalking away. As I had just done him the favor of taking the kids so he could exercise and have tried to bend over backwards to help him out with his nutritional goals (and that time of the month, remember), I went off. Not productive or helpful, but in processing, I could tell I was hurt that he could ask, but I couldn’t. It really goes back to the working for The Lord, not for men, and taking refuge in God rather than humans. Time and again it amazes me the capacity to hurt that I can feel with my husband that isn’t deeper with anyone else, and yet I guess that’s just reality when I love him so much and therefore am just that vulnerable to him. The worst of these times is it takes me time to open up again because I am so scared to be hurt again, even though I know that closing off isn’t healthy – I’ve done it too many times. Abba, please change me and guide me to do what ever it takes to be able to be vulnerable again to my husband – to trust in his love and care for me, which doesn’t go away even in the moments that hurt so much. Please help me to remember all of the good and beautiful times, even in the past week, where we’ve encouraged and supported each other. And please help me to realize that I am loved by him just as much if not more, and he probably feels just as vulnerable to me, even if he doesn’t process and react the same way. It’s the same, isn’t it? The same way I do with You when things hurt? I have to remember that Your love doesn’t go away no matter the circumstances I’m in, and you, unlike my beloved human husband, are never too tired, too irritable, to what ever to deal with me. What would I do without You?

    Karen, apologies for the volume, and thanks so much for the opportunity to process with my Abba on your blog. Please pray for me if you can when you can, as I think today could use all the prayer it could get.

    Much love,
    Jennifer

  2. Karen, thank you for boldly sharing this with us. Im sure there are plenty of women who go thru the same thing. I can definitely relate. Yes we should boss our mind around before we loose precious time on thoughts that really should be put to rest.

  3. Yes! Yes. To. This! And I often have to remind myself that even if others were to think poorly of me, that my God looks at the heart. And He, thankfully, knows mine inside and out. I love how the internet allows us to see that we’re not alone.

  4. If only we lived near each other we would definitely be friends and have a lot to talk about. I have always, and continue to, struggle with my desire to be “liked”. I often over-analyze conversations and lose time and sleep wondering what people think…Yep, I’m an approval addict who needs to remind herself there is just an “audience of one” I should be concerned with-God’s! I really enjoy your blog and always come away with something to think about. I’ve only read two chapters in your book (I’m doing Melissa’s online study) yet my heart and mind have learned so much. I feel like you wrote “Let it Go” and today’s post just for me! Thank you!

  5. It hurts my feelings to see someone wrongly accused or “picked on” when there is absoultely no reason for it. I was a big people pleaser when I was younger. I wanted everyone to like me (since I usually liked most everyone) and I took it personally when they didn’t. Thank goodness, as I get older it seems to bother me less, although there are still moments. I really don’t need the approval of others. I will meet those people who do not care for me for one reason or the other. Thankfully it is getting easier to let it go!

    I am loving your book!! Thanks for being so open about a topic so many women struggle with daily!

  6. I previously really struggled with people pleasing and approval but it was driving me crazy because it seemwdbno matter what I did someone was unhappy. Now, I do what God called me to be and dont worry about the rest. There are some people, even in ministry that mistreat their followers because they are so addictes to pleasing certain ones; others are foegotten. Sad. I am enjoying the book.

  7. Oh Karen, yes! I am an approval of “man” kind of gal. I am so sorry to hear you were wrongly accused. That can feel awful. I’d know your “voice” anywhere. Just to affirm, you have a wonderful style that is uniquely yours. I was always a people pleaser. Could so relate to Sally Field…You like me?! You really like me?! And when I disappoint someone, well the dread can overtake me. And then I’m reminded. Oh yeah, I am not perfect and not expected to be. There’s only One! And I bring Him the thoughts and feelings related to this need to be approved and He assures me I am fearfully wonderfully made and He loves me just the way I am (but too much to let me stay that way). He’s the only One I really need the approval of…this has not been an easy road. It’s been painful and tearful. And it’s led to comparison and not measuring up and shame. But at least I can name it and know what I’m up against. I had a situation the other day where I thought I had offended another. And I was tempted to worry, wring my hands, and try to run away (maybe to the arms of a piece of cake or something). Instead I talked about it with a trusted friend and prayed about it. I apologized and sought clarity. And I got it. Imperfect progress!

  8. Amy shared your link on FB and so glad she did. Approval Addiction is awful. I think a majority of women wrestle with it more than we care to admit. I would so much rather have a clarifying discussion than deal with a fight and try to clean up the aftermath. The apostles were patient leaders, may we learn the discipline of patience as well.

  9. This is so true, Karen. I’ve had the same type of thing happen to me. It seems as though people are much more comfortable tearing someone else down when they are behind a computer. I know enough to realize they must be hurting or else they wouldn’t be doing such things but it doesn’t make me feel good about what they’ve said. I also get very protective of people, even those I don’t know, when others attack them. There is no need for that and you are right, most of it could be cleared up with a simple inquiry.

    I might not say it often but I adore you sweet friend and I am so glad God brought you into my life. You have taught me so much. I treasure your friendship. :)

  10. Karen,
    First, I’ve only done the first two chapters and I know that being apart of this OBS is a God thing! All my life, I’ve been more concerned with what others think and if I’m part of the “click” that I’ve done things best left unsaid. It wasn’t until I decide that God is the ONLY ONE who I need to worry about. But to be honest…I’m still working on it :)

    ~Tammy

  11. Karen, you speak for a LOT of women today. I don’t know many women who don’t feel that need of approval. If we could just remember WHO WE ARE IN GOD and quit paying so much attention to the world, we’d all be joyful, well-adjusted women! I’m like you and mull things around in my head way too long sometimes. Thank the Lord for OBS and our sisters here! Thank you for your wonderful book, also! BTW, your Funny Hats Skit is a real smile maker!

  12. You just described me to a “T”! I have always worried about what people think of me! I walk in a room and my first thought is…do they like me??…are they talking about me??…..It drives my husband crazy! I don’t know why I am like this but I am trying to Let.It.Go! Thank you so much for your book and your post today!!

  13. Yes, yes, and Yes! I struggle with the acceptance of others, and Social media is a comparison trap. Thank you so much for describing it so well. I”m truly trying to live for an audience of one. And I’m really enjoying reading Let. It. Go. !

  14. Thanks for sharing this Karen. This is an area that God is gently walking me through. Over the last two years, I’ve been deeply affected at a leadership level as not one, but 2 churches I was on staff with, went through some severe issues, one ending in a split and the other on the verge of collapsing. I, along with many others were accused of terrible things not because there was any truth to the accusations, but because of assumptions being made and as you put it, a lack of gently inquiring. It was so hard to have my character and reputation questioned and relationships being affected by lies and inaccurate conclusions and I was so caught up in trying to clear my name and making others “know” the truth. Along the way, one of the promises I have been clinging to is that someday God will make all these things right and he will shed light on all things hidden and expose secret motives and agendas. You’re right…it is a conscious choice to re-direct our hearts at times and not get caught up in what others think and I’m having to choose to just trust that God will deal with those that are spreading rumors and making those assumptions. But in the meantime, I can choose not to allow others to steal my joy. Thanks for such a great reminder and for bringing a spotlight on this.

  15. Oh, how God speaks to us in so many different ways! This has always been an issue for me as well, but lately I am feeling it with increased intensity. As a college instructor with 150 students each term, it can be so exhilarating when they laugh at my jokes and seem engaged, but so demoralizing when they show disapproval. Just one negative face in the classroom can have such a devastating effect. I think this has stepped up lately this term (some days it feels like all of my students hate me) because I have been working on not taking any of it personally – the adulation or the disapproval. And I feel like I must be making progress because Satan has increased his efforts. But I am needing constant reminders lately, so thank you so much for yours!!

  16. I have always wanted, yearned, and almost expected the approval of others. Growing up, I would strive to be perfect in every way. I was quiet in class and tried to make straight A’s, but when I had trouble with understanding a concept, I would not DARE ask a question, raise my hand or go to the teacher’s desk. That would have been admitting that I didn’t know or wasn’t perfect, and what would people think? I should have been able to figure it out myself. I was in drill team, twirling and cheerleading. I worried about everything being good enough from my outfit down to my hair and shoes. To look back now, I was so hard on myself, and I still am. I am trying to LET.IT.GO, but I realize it is a process. What is bad is that I see the same behavior in my 15 year old son. He wants to be perfect, but becomes so overwhelmed that he becomes lazy because he doesn’t know where to start. I can only pray that these tendencies ‘loosen up’ before he goes to college.

    I SO love this blog! It is so cathartic to know that I am not ‘the only one’. :)
    Blessings to you all,
    KK

    1. I have a 30 something son who was much like yours. He is super intelligent but refused to do homework – and you know where that led. One day I was reading an article about perfectionism and there he was – either perfect or a perfect slob. It suggested that I give him permission to be less than perfect. (Did I tell you that I tend to be a perfectionist also?) You should have seen his face when I told him that. As an adult he has mostly worked in construction as a carpenter/framer of houses. He is also a natural teacher – he taught his Dad how to build as they built a shed together that was very close to being a small house. We have been blessed with special sons. Praise God and give them both permission to be what they were designed to be, God and the son of God.

  17. Why are we so concerned about what otheres think? To the point that it robs us of our peace? I do it all the time. If someone doesn’t speak to me at church/work/exercise class/etc – or if they don’t act/respond to me in a way I think they should, I automatically begin to worry about what I’d done….why were they not as friendly with me…etc. When,in reality they were probably just distracted with things going on in the lives that have absolutely nothing to do with me. Why am I so insecure? And the truth of the matter is that ofent I probably treat others the same way….I’m so caught up in my own thoughts that I might not respond to them like I normally would. I wonder, do they worry and wonder if I’m mad at them?

  18. What you describe happening to you in 8th grade I had happen to me in 5th. But, as God works all things to the good of those who love Him, He used that time to draw me closer to Him. For the first time, I understood that God is! He grabbed hold of me on a playground during recess and He has not let go in the almost 44 years since.

  19. Well I could have done without this! LOL! I can so relate.. and have always known and admitted this was an area of struggle in my life, but when thinking of tangents this week it never occurred to me that this was one! And it is! It robs me of so much and takes my focus completely off the One I am to serve and glorify and it often causes me to act based on what I hope to get from it instead of from a heart of obedience and love. You nailed it Karen.. not sure if I should thank you or frown at you! LOL! Ouch, ouch, ouch. Got some work to do!

  20. Just last night I had asked my husband if I am a “bad woman” all because of one situation last year. Last year my dog and I were in training for pet therapy. An evaluator said she was so excited and had so many ideas on where we could go to do pet therapy. But that changed after I passed the test, and I did not hear a word from her. Turns out I had heard from her co worker that she was too busy to email me that she did not have time for me. I was deeply hurt and wondered what I had done wrong. On top of that, I am deaf. So I struggle sometimes to what some people think of me because of my deafness.

  21. Great post, Karen! I can relate to your problem as this used to be a problem for me. Luckily, as I have gotten older it doesn’t bother me as much today. I have learned to accept the fact that I am ME, and I also realize I will never be able to win the approval of everyone in this fallen world today. Every time I used to dwell on the fact that someone did not like me, I finally learned that as long as I have God’s approval then I know everything will be okay in the end. This is a hard tangent to Let Go of at times when we have a desire in our heart to be liked by everyone. In the end, as long as I know I am doing my best to be the best me everyday, then I know I am on the right track regardless of what others may think about me. I finally had to learn to let this tangent go when I realized it was affecting my self-esteem and self-confidence growing up. I guess you could say these are more important to me in defining my true character and be the person God wants me to be.

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