Welcome back to Dream Destroyers (Part 2!). Today we're going to be exploring 3 ways that Hook (AKA, the enemy of our souls) tries to sabotage and shut down our God-given dreams!
Jesus boldly declared in John 10:10: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (NIV).
We need not be surprised or bewildered by the way the enemy tries to add resistance to what God is doing in our lives. In fact, we shouldn't even be impressed by it.
Personally, I do not like giving extra spotlight attention to the enemy and his perverted ways. But in the midst of a war, we must have a level of understanding about the enemy's strategies so we don't fall prey to them.
When you choose to boldly step out in faith and pursue something God has placed in your heart, you're not always going to have a fan-club cheering you on.
In fact, I can almost guarantee that you will come face-to-face with those who don't believe in you and what you're doing.
Ouch. Sound scary?
It doesn't have to be.
Facing the issue of "Fear of Man" in my life has been a huge one, and for dreamers, this is something we all have to come to face at some point!
Are we overly concerned about what others think of us? Are we hoping to get endless approval from those we care about the most? Are we afraid of meeting the ugly monster of rejection?
The first few years of working on Crown of Beauty, the idea of facing rejection was pretty terrifying.
It went to such an extreme that I was hesitant to reach out to strangers, people I didn't even know, to ask for interviews, collabs, or other partnership opportunities.
As a young girl, "No", was my least favorite word. I hated asking for something, reaching for the stars, getting my hopes up, then facing a closed door.
I was almost afraid to knock, for fear of not being let in.
With the launch of this magazine and website, I knew that if I wanted to move forward, I had to start knocking on doors.
I had to email total and absolute strangers, ask for interviews, backstage passes to events, partnership with other blogs, etc.
I quickly learned that I had to nip that fear in the bud and pick up the phone. I had to get over my deadly fear of "NO."
Oftentimes when I work with clients in our Cheerleader Sessions, and I share about the power of collaboration and strategic partnerships, I see the fear begin to creep in.
"You mean...I actually have to ask people for something? I have to reach out and ask if someone wants to be part of my Blog Tour, participate in a giveaway, or be a guest on my blog? Ahh, how scary! What if they say no?"
One of my favorite, most encouraging mantra's in this is, "Go for the No."
Meaning, the more you reach out to people, the more "No's" or, "I'm not interested" responses you get, the closer you are to getting some Yeses!
The truth is, not everyone is going to want to work with you. People are busy. They have priorities, and you will not always be one of them.
Beyond just being busy, there are people who, quite frankly, won't like you and your brand. Simple as that.
It can be a hard truth to swallow, but we have to come to peace with the reality that not everyone is going to approve of us! And that is 100% okay! :)
Another great thing about getting so many "No's," is it makes the "Yes's" SO much more precious! Those who choose to partner with you, to come alongside to support and encourage you, will be that much sweeter!
So go for the, "No's." Reach out and ask for the hard things! You never know who might say yes! ;)
Hook #4 is a very, very dangerous one. One that has probably caused more blood than all the rest.
The hook of comparing myself to where others are at in their journey, cuts oh-so-deep.
I love this quote:
"Don't compare your Chapter 1 to someone else's Chapter 9."
Getting in the habit of comparing ourselves to others is something the enemy tries his very hardest to instill in us when we are young girls. I went through years of battling with this in Elementary, Middle, and High School, and there are still days this nasty liar tries to show its ugly head.
I think we're all highly aware of the fact that this kind of thinking is NOT healthy.
So, instead of repeating everything you already know, here is your friendly, weekly reminder, to STOP comparing yourself with others!
Your unique journey is supposed to be unfolding just the way it is.
If you were supposed to have more followers by now, you would.
If you were supposed to be further along in your process, you would.
If you were supposed to have sold more books by now, you would.
If you were supposed to have reached more people, you would.
Trust the process, sweet girl. God knows exactly what He's doing in your life, and He has a very unique path that was designed by Him, just for you!
One of the best ways to combat this crooked hook, is by taking the time to celebrate others! Take the time to thank the Lord for what He's doing in the lives of others, and choose to be genuinely excited for those who are doing things at the level you wish to be someday.
Woah. Betcha' didn't guess I was going to say that!
"Wait," I see you scratching your head, "A crazy schedule? How is that an attack from Hook? Did I miss something?"
Yes, my friends, like it or not, extreme busyness is a hook all it's own. It can be just as life sucking as everything mentioned above. And what's worse, is that some don't even realize this hook is at play in their lives.
Neglecting to carve out the time needed to pursue the things that God has placed in our hearts, is a surefire way to allow the enemy to steal from us.
The truth is, we CAN pursue our God-given dreams, even if we feel like we have zero time on the clock. Have fifteen minutes a day you spend scrolling on your phone?
Guess what? You've got time to pursue a dream, my friend!
Excuses can be all-too-easy to come by. And some of them may feel and appear to be extremely valid. But how will those excuses fly when we stand before the Lord one day, and He asks us, "What did you do with the dream I placed in your heart? How did you steward it? Did you find ways to spend time on it, and move forward in faith?"
The truth is, that if God has place something within our hearts to pursue, it doesn't matter how impossible things look in our current circumstances: There is ALWAYS an answer!
If we seek the Lord for wisdom, He will help us be strategic with our schedules. He will show us what to cut out, how we can be more productive, and how to get go of some time-stealing burdens that aren't producing fruit.
(Again, this may link back to being worried about what other people think. If we turn down invitations and activities with others to pursue something we're passionate about, we can't live in fear of how they'll respond if they don't understand. I love the example of Lin-Manuel Miranda, the screenwriter of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. He said he chose to miss out on a lot of parties so he could devote time to writing his masterpiece!)
Everyone is given the same 24 hours to spend however they wish. Dreams don't happen without time being invested. If we desire to return to Neverland and see some of our craziest, childhood dreams come to pass, we can't give into the idol of busyness.
Creativity comes from a place of peace. And I don't know about you, but I personally need enough space in my life to feel like I can take a deep breath, spend time with God everyday, and get inspired and energized by Him.
Without my daily Quiet Time in His presence, I don't know how anything would be possible. Without Him, I'm sure I'd be easily defeated by Captain Hook.
So, my sweet friend, don't let these hooks tear into your life. Examine each area we discussed, and ask God how you can grow stronger in the areas you're struggling in. We all have weaknesses. But thank God that His strength is made PERFECT in our weakness! He is faithful to help us overcome every enemy that tries to lie to our hearts!
Fighting Captain Hook isn't easy. But it is so, so worth it.