Saturday, May 26, 2012

confessions of a chronic time waster + people pleaser

hello there. my name is Crystal and i'm a chronic time waster and people pleaser.

also, it's possible that i have ADHD...  that or i just have a really short attention span. either way, i'm just admitting here and now that i have issues with both starting projects and not finishing them, and simply putting off starting projects all together.

there, i said it. now what. and why?

well...first of all, this has been weighing on my heart for some time. 'this' being the subject of blogging in general. again, for starters. (and though it may seem like i'm on rabbit trails here, i promise i'm headed somewhere...). blogging is a relatively new medium, i mean new as in it's become a world of it's own only in the last few years. bloggers all over the web now offer e-courses on how to blog.  most websites link to blogs in addition to stores, facebook pages and twitter accounts. much of blogging is social-media related, stemming from a desire to enhance business, create networks, become popular and, ultimately, generate cash flow.  which inevitably leads to competition.

i started writing a web-log, or online journal, 5 or 6 years ago and it consisted of relatively simple devotionals based on what God was showing me through his Word.  as the blog world changed and became more visual...or as i became more aware of it anyway... i began to change my blog format as well.  i started including some photos and behind the scenes stories of various trips and shows and goings on along the way.  and i want to confess and admit that i got a little carried away.

without going in to excessive detail, i want to admit that i began to look at other peoples blogs and feel that mine was not up to par. mine didn't compare.  it wasn't as pretty, as creative, as cool, as popular. i took a couple courses to learn how to get it up to speed. my focus became comparison. and, i guess, competition.

i'm sharing this for a couple reasons.  one, because i don't think i'm the only one that feels this way. i read some similar sentiments on a couple of other blogs recently... you can investigate here and here.
and i hope by sharing myself, some of you may gain some freedom from the chains of comparison.

which leads me to two... that there truly is freedom in being yourself, rather than constantly competing and comparing yourself (and your work) to other's.  i have literally grown up in an industry that encourages competition. few industries don't!! but the music business is one that thrives on it.  and even in the Christian music world, it's nearly impossible to steer clear of the evils of 'you should be more like her, sound more like that, look more like him'.  but it's not impossible.

Psalm 139 says that you and i were intricately, intentionally and purposefully made.  Jeremiah 1 says God knew us before we were born.  Isaiah 43 says He knows our names.  God is offended when we think we aren't good enough. my third reason for sharing all this with you is an encouragement and a promise: i read once that there is no competition when you are true to your unique self. there is no one like you. or me.  when we adhere to our own calling, do what we love, be who we are... there's no need for comparison.  Theodore Roosevelt wrote that 'comparison is the thief of joy'. and the Bible says that the enemy came to steal that joy (john 10:10)...he'll use any means neccesary. if he can get us to focus on others, thereby making us feel inadequate and stupid, he will. and we make it so easy, don't we?

so, my encouragement is:  focus on Jesus and let him remind you of your purpose and calling. spend time with him...listen.  figure out what you love, what you're good at, your calling, your purpose, the way you like to do things... and do it. be it. go for it.

my promise is: that i will do the same. i will continue to post fun photos of ranch life and road's part of my journey. but i will no longer neglect MY calling or purpose, which is to write what God shows me, both in written word and song form.  

which brings me back to the beginning of this post and my issues with wasting time.  i've found that when i spend time {or more accurately waste it} comparing myself and my work with others, i find that i'm more confused, less inspired, less able to make a decision and more apt to put writing off altogether.  how dumb. i've learned that the biggest waste of time is comparison and allowing my mind to wander into the woods of negativity.  

so... i'll continue to enjoy all those food blogs, party blogs, fashion blogs and photography blogs... but i won't compare mine with theirs.  i'll just be me.

ps: i recently spoke to a group of girl photographers (ages 16-20) at a retreat. can you guess what i spoke on?? God has clearly been speaking to my heart on this subject of comparison.  if you'd like to read what i wrote you can do so here... (it's long!!)


David said...

I admit I have the same issue about short attention span or whatever we call it these days. I think it has something to do with personality types but I'm no expert. I have found that if I just get started on something, then I will finish it. The more I think about it, the bigger it looks and eventually I don't do anything. Anyways, have a good weekend.

~Crystal~ said...

I've heard it said that "Comparison is the stealer of joy." And I couldn't agree more. I try very hard to not compare where my life is to the life of others around me. Especially in the baby department. I'm 35 & my husband & I have yet to begin our family. It's been a long struggle. It's extremely difficult when I look around at friends who are younger than me who have several children. And their life seems so complete, where my isn't. I have to diligently remind myself that my life is where God wants it right now. It's easier said than done though. I do let it get the best of me from time to time. Thanks you for being honest. I adore you! And I think you are pretty spectacular just the way you are.

Unknown said...

You know, I just watched your DVD "More" (2002?) and your emphasis of spending time with God, away from all the distractions of this life, is 100% consistent with this blog! It's comforting to me, to know, that when you are in tune with God, your focus does not change. Thank you for your admission on struggles with comparisons and competition. If it means anything to you, many, including myself, struggle with this same thing. You are correct in that God made us unique and special and all we need be is what God made us to be. It's little wonder I've loved your music (besides your incredible talent) all these years.

Rubyellen said...

this post is so encouraging! thank you! i think knowing that we are called to Christ first is the biggest and most important thing. anything we do after should be under that. i fall into the comparison thing too and get so frustrated that i let myself be discontent for sinful reasons. i love your blog for the wisdom you give and how you point me to Christ!

Tina said...

Wonderful post and very encouraging! I am a chronic time waster and non-finisher, I am so trying to change that!! I can start a million thing have great ideas but following through a different story. That's one of my projects this year, find something I started already and finish it, no matter how it turns out.

Whatever you do (and I'm sure you hear this all the time) don't stop recording your beautiful voice and songs!! What a blessing you are to me, I've listened to you (and sang some of your songs as well) over the years and you are truly unique, I cannot compare you to anyone!

Isn't it wonderful how the Lord has a special use for each of us? He uses us all but so differently, the giftings he gives so diverse, that shows He loves creativity and diversity. That's what helps me not compare myself to others (which I used to do in the past). Now I just want to do my part, only my portion and I know only I can do that, it is so freeing and I am able to enjoy and celebrate the giftings of others!! What a joy to be in the Body of Christ!!