Chosen. That is such a loaded word. By simple definition it means being selected as the best or most appropriate. It is a word that came up two different times for me already this morning which has caused me to do a lot of reflecting. It first appeared during my daily devotion where I was reading about how we are each individually chosen by God for a purpose. Then it came up again when I watched a Trades of Hope training video talking about how we have been chosen to make a difference in the world. I have been thinking about times in my life when I was chosen for who I am. Going back to the simple definition of the word, I immediately start to think about those times that I was chosen but didn’t feel like I deserved it because it didn’t feel like I was the “best or most appropriate.” An example that comes to mind is from a few years ago. I was chosen as my school’s teacher of the year and then chosen a few months later as the city-wide teacher of the year out of over 40 other individuals who were the best of the best. While that was probably one of the biggest honors I have ever been chosen for, I have never felt like I deserved it. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most incredible teachers in the world over my career, and I always felt like many of them deserved to be chosen way more than I did. I am certainly nothing special. You see how my mind immediately goes to comparison? I have to remind myself all the time not to do that.
I think many of us feel undeserving a lot of times and often find that we are comparing ourselves to others. I know I do. In fact, I am not sure there is a time in my life that I was chosen for something or by someone that I didn’t have those feelings of doubt and unworthiness. Why do we do that? Why do we not feel worthy of being chosen or that someone else is better or more deserving than us? I wish I knew the answer to that. As much as I get on here and write about struggles and how to fix them, sometimes I need to remind myself to take my own advice. God placed the word chosen on my heart today. I don’t know if that is because it is something I need to reflect on for myself or if it is a message one of you needs to hear, but I feel like it is probably a little bit of both.
One way that was suggested to me years ago to help to turn the narrative around in my head is to use positive affirmations. We have to turn the negative feelings and thoughts of unworthiness into a positive statement that needs to be repeated over and over again out loud to ourselves. In the case of the example I used above, I need to tell myself that I was chosen as the teacher of the year because I worked hard and was passionate about my students and their needs. I was chosen because I was worthy of the honor. By turning the negative thought into a positive, I am able to change the narrative in my head. The more you tell yourself you are worthy, the more likely you are to believe it. Post those affirmations around your house or your office if you have to. Speak them out loud daily. You have to really commit to the affirmations for them to work, or the negative thoughts will leave you at a standstill. They won’t allow you to grow, learn, and change unless you reverse them to positives. Wouldn’t you rather tell yourself that you are worthy of being chosen rather than telling yourself you aren’t? Sadly, that is exactly what we all do, though.
Another way to change the narrative in your head is to stop comparing yourself to others. This is probably one of the hardest things for me (and likely many of you) to do. It is hard not to see someone else as more valuable or more deserving than you, but I’m here to tell you that comparison steals your joy. It will rob you of happiness and take away the value of being the one who was chosen. No one is you but you, and you are the only one that you should be comparing yourself to. Are you better today than you were yesterday? That is what truly matters and is the only kind of comparisons you should be making when it comes to your self-worth. You are unique and special. You were chosen for whatever is making you feel unworthy because of who you are. You. Not anyone else. Whenever those thoughts of comparison start to creep in, immediately put a stop to them by repeating your affirmations. Tell yourself that Sally isn’t really better than you. She is just different. She has her own unique strengths and those are different than your strengths. One is not better than the other, just different.
Always remember, you were and are chosen because of who you are. You alone are worthy. Whether it is that you are chosen by your spouse, chosen to be the mom of your children, chosen to be a leader at work, chosen to win an award, or whatever else you are chosen for, YOU ARE WORTHY. You were selected as the “best or most appropriate” because you deserved it. Tell yourself that every single day because it is the truth.