For 15 days, we’re exploring the topic of making our health and well-being a priority as part of the 15 Days to a Healthier You series. You can read Day 1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here, Day 6 here, Day 7 here, Day 8 here, Day 9 here, Day 10 here, Day 11 here, Day 12 here, Day 13 here, and Day 14 here.
We’ve talked about a lot of different aspects of healthy living in this series on 15 Days to a Healthier You. As we close out this series today, I want to end with one of the most important lessons regarding health. And it’s not about eating better or exercising more or getting more sleep. It’s the belief that changing your life begins with changing you.
You could have the most amazing consistency when it comes to workouts. You could eat incredibly healthy. You could always get great sleep. Those are all wonderful things.
But you could still not feel happy and fulfilled and vibrant as a person. And that’s because your mindset affects everything else in your life. It affects how you think, how you process, and how you view all of life.
As we end this 15-day series (that has taken me much longer than 15 days to actually get written — thank you, thank you for your patience with me and remind me to stick with shorter series from here on out!! :)), I want to challenge you to make two mindset changes — that might impact your overall health more profoundly than any eating or exercise plan ever will:
1. Stop Worrying About What Other People Think
Recently, I’ve gotten some pretty strong pushback for some decisions and choices our family has made. One of my friends — who knows about this pushback — called me yesterday and said, “Crystal, I feel like I’m supposed to tell you this. God just keeps bringing it to mind and I think I’m supposed to tell you to remember this: Don’t mistake your calling for her calling. Your calling is not her calling.“
It was a profound word for me because my nature is to get really wrapped up in questioning and over-analyzing and worrying I’m doing the wrong thing when someone questions or criticizes decisions we’ve made.
I have to realize that, many times, those questions and criticisms come from a loving place. But they can also come from a place where a person is mistaking their passions and callings for universal passions and callings (i.e. She’s called to be a stay-at-home mom so she then believes it’s a global calling for all women everywhere).
We aren’t all called to do the same things or to live the same life or to follow the same path.
Some are called to adopt. Some are called to support those who adopt.
Some are called to full-time ministry. Some are called to run a business. Some are called to have a business that is also a full-time ministry.
Some are called to write a book. Some are called to support those who write a book.
Some are called to be stay-at-home moms. Some are called to be working moms.
Some are called to move to another country. Some are called to reach out to those right in their own neighborhood.
Some are called to start organizations in their home town. Some are called to start worldwide organizations.
Some are called to volunteer. Some are called to say no to volunteering.
And on and on it goes.
Your calling is not her calling. And that’s the beauty of life and the fact that no one was created to be a carbon copy of another person.
We can celebrate our different seasons and gifts and callings, but we don’t have to feel guilt when they are very different from our season and gifts and callings.
Focus on your calling. Do that well. And be okay that it might look very different from someone else.
Many times, we waste all sorts of time, effort, and expense to have others think highly of us or be pleased with us. But ultimately, we’re trying to fill a void that’s been created because we’ve believed lies about ourselves — that we don’t measure up, we’re not good enough, we’re failures, and so on.
Slowly ever so slowly, I’ve been breaking free from the bondage of worrying about what other people think. I’ve been focusing on seeking the Lord with my husband for what God wants for our own family. We’ve been making decisions for our family based upon what we believe is best for us — not based upon what we think other people would want us to do or what others would think we should do.
I realize that not everyone will understand why we do what we do. Not everyone is called to have the lifestyle we do or parent the way we do or follow the path that we are on.
We’re all different in different situations with different families and different needs. What is right for one family won’t necessarily be right for another family. And sometimes, those choices won’t make a lot of sense to everyone else, but that’s okay.
What’s most important is that our family is carefully seeking God’s will, carefully and prayerfully making decisions based upon the needs of our family and children, and regularly re-evaluating to make sure those choices and decisions are still the best for our family.
When we let go of worrying about what other people think and instead focus on doing what’s best for our own family, we’re all much healthier and happier for it.
2. Stress Less About Stuff You Can’t Fix
I have control issues. Let’s just put that out there.
I like to have a plan. I like to follow the plan. And I’m a doer and a fixer.
Which translates into me wanting to also make plans and create solutions for other people. I’ve got great ideas for things they should change, goals they should set, decisions they should make, and ways that they can make their life “so much better”.
I can get easily frustrated or bothered when other people don’t get all excited about the plans I make for them or my “amazing” fix for their life. I know, I have no idea why people wouldn’t… I mean, come on! 😉
In all honesty, it was really only this year that I woke up and realized just how much I try to control everything and everyone in my life. Oh, I usually do it in a somewhat gracious manner… but oftentimes, it’s passive aggressiveness cloaked as graciousness. I care more about doing things my way and following my plan than about trusting people to make their own decisions for themselves.
I’m slowly learning to catch myself when I’m trying to fix or control and instead, listen, care for others, and shut up with my unsolicited solutions.
And guess what I’m learning? The less I expend effort trying to keep everyone else’s life in line and according to my plan, the less I feel stressed and frustrated and the more I can just focus on enjoying and being intentional in my own life.
Check out the following posts for more encouragement and practical help: