I’m a curious person. I like to analyze things in the past and find patterns. I am a deep thinker. I love reading books on personal development and psychology (for fun)! I often need time alone to process the events of a day.
I feel deeply and forgive easily. I strive to love others as God does and treat them the way I’d like to be treated. If someone is hurting I often tear up even if they aren’t. I go above and beyond for my clients, friends, and family because I value relationships.
I love how God made me.
I've learned that the unique qualities God gave me paired with a history of childhood abuse left me vulnerable to bullies, narcissists, and spiritually abusive people. The beautiful and sensitive heart God gave me was preyed upon by others. They were happy to let me overanalyze and over-serve because it meant they didn't have to compromise or change in any way.
To the outside world, people like me are servant leaders, hard workers, peacemakers, and caretakers. We are applauded and honored by the faith-based community. We apply Phil 2:4 “Think of others more highly than yourselves” to every situation.
No one knew it but I'd get mad at myself for not speaking up or allowing certain behaviors. In fact, I felt broken in many ways. I used to call it “my broken no.” I didn't know how to say no at the moment and if I tried to bring it up later, I got push back because I'd already said yes. I was afraid to risk the relationship so I'd do all kinds of things I didn't want to do. I even used a Bible verse to justify it, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.”
I was always trying to be the perfect friend, girlfriend, or employee. Like shooting in the dark I would guess at what was expected of me and hope I was good enough. If they rejected me it must have been because I did something wrong. I'd count it as a loss and try to be a better person with the next friend.
Doesn't that sound like a dreadful way to live? Yuk. I'm soooo grateful for freedom in Christ and how He heals our emotions, renews our thoughts, and reshapes our beliefs. I'm such a different person now and I know it's all because of Jesus.
One of the things my counselor and I discovered while working together was a false belief that played out in different scenarios in my life.
The underlying theme had been “My needs don’t matter.”
However, a belief that your needs don’t matter is actually rooted in fear. Fear that if you voiced your option or need you’d be rejected, ridiculed, criticized, abandoned, ignored, or abused. Fear is a bully in itself and tries to get you to believe a story that hasn't happened.
Here is how it works:
- You have an experience where someone didn’t consider your needs. (Usually at an early age.)
- In trying to make sense of it you decide if you’d done it differently your needs would’ve been met.
- That leads to you trying to get your needs met by being easy to get along with, kind, peaceable, hard-working, etc.
- Others applaud you and you feel good about yourself.
- You form a belief based on your experience that your needs don’t matter.
- You end up having another negative experience in your life because you aren't walking in the fullness of who God made you to be. And the cycle continues and creates a stronghold of the belief that your needs don't matter.
So how we do get out of this cycle?
The first step is to go to the Lord about this revelation. Ask Him to show you the first time you decided or came into agreement with the lie that your needs didn’t matter. Repent for doing that. (Yes, you didn’t do anything wrong but you did agree with something that didn't originate with God.)
Ask God to show you how He saw that situation. What did He think? How does He want you to see it now? Then agree with Him in prayer. Forgive someone if you need to.
Be open to new opportunities to voice your opinion or needs. And be willing to take the consequences that come along with it. What do I mean by that? Well, people have been very comfortable with you not voicing your needs. So it’s not always going to be smooth sailing.
Take steps to be true to yourself. Set boundaries. Say no more often (or ask to think about it before saying yes.) Speak up even if you don’t have a strong opinion. Practice. As you try you may be clumsy and mess up so be quick to apologize if necessary.
Evaluate and see if you have any one-way relationships. Who always takes and never gives? Who doesn’t like it when you push back with your needs? Maybe some of those relationships need to change or end.
I realize this is an oversimplification of an intricate process. But these steps will help you on your journey to discovering that your needs do matter. The more you do it, the stronger you will become.
If you want help with being who God created you to be, then please reach out to me for Freedom Coaching. We can discover what lies you believe and replace them with God’s truth. Because once you know … you are excited to go after your God-given goals.
You matter. The world needs you to be who God created you to be.
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