I Am an Important Influence in My Family
Have you ever had the feeling that even though you are trying to be a good example in your family or trying to teach those you love, that it’s not making a difference?
Sometimes the things that you do go unseen. Sometimes the impact that you are making is just not seen by you. Just because you are not seeing the results does not mean that they are not making a difference. This is something that I really learned on my mission. I went to Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT. I was able to meet tons of people while there from all over the world. It was amazing! I had so many wonderful experiences, yet after meeting them they left and I would never see them again. I wondered at times if I was making a difference. In those times, I remembered the experiences that I had and the love that I was able to feel for the people that I met. Even though I only knew them for a short time I could feel Heavenly Father’s love for them. And that made it all worth it.
Sometimes you do not see the impact that you are having but that does not mean that it is not there. You are having an influence on your family. You are making a difference even though at times you do not see it.
Here’s the thing, you do not have to see your influence or the results of your influence to know that you are making a difference. There are things that are keeping you from embracing the idea that you do have an influence.
Here are four of those things holding you back. If you work through these, then you’ll find more confidence within your ability to influence those whom you love and in turn serve them with greater patience, strength and energy.
I had to start with this one because in actuality this one also impacts the other ways things that hold you back. When you stop doubting yourself, your confidence grows, and you then find that you have more resilience and that you can figure out how to work through the difficulties that you have. When you work through your self-doubt to embrace confidence, you can then see your divine worth and potential on a much deeper level. Your faith in the Lord grows because you know that you can follow through on what He asks of you.
I’ve been reading Brooke Snow’s book, “Living in Your True Identity,” and in it she quotes
When you doubt yourself, you keep yourself from embracing the divine purposes that the Lord has for you. Embrace your worth and allow your light to shine.
I wanted to bring up comparison because it fuels self-doubt. When you compare you are focusing more on what others are doing and what they might think about you rather than focusing on what the Lord wants for you. You’ll find, as you focus on looking up, that the Lord knows what’s best for you and your family and that deep inside, you do too.
When I worry about not doing things the right way, because others are doing them differently, or because I am worried about how I’ll be perceived, my light lessens within me. I can feel it. And I’m sure you can too. For me, there’s a tightness in my chest, anxiety, and I also become depressed. It’s in those times that I realize I am not focused on what’s important. I am not focused on my divine identity and purpose.
Listen to your heart, look up, embrace your uniqueness and the uniqueness of your family and put your trust in the Lord. You’ll find that your focus shifts from comparison to faith and your light will grow.
- Unfulfilled Expectations
Things rarely go the way that we planned. And I don’t say that in a pessimistic way, but realistically. What’s more is that often times that turns out to be a hidden blessing. The Lord has a greater perspective of our lives than we do. It’s like when I tell my kids not to climb the shelves in the closet. I’m doing it because I am concerned for their safety. But, in their limited perspective, they see it as a way to get something from the tops shelf or they just see it as a fun thing to do because they like to climb. They aren’t looking at the big picture.
At times we are the same way. We don’t see the bigger picture. Even in times where a promised blessing is delayed and we can become frustrated. That frustration keeps us from letting our light shine, it keeps us from having the patience that we need in order to be an influence in our families. What we expected to happen did not happen. Yet, those delays and struggles, build strength and patience within us.
Lately, I’ve been teaching my kids due to COVID-19. I expect them to listen to me as they do their teachers at school. And yet, many times over, that expectation goes unfulfilled. The process of teaching and getting them to do their school work becomes a much longer process than I expect. And it’s SO frustrating at times. When I’m telling my 5-year-old as I’m teaching her how to write a 5 to draw a curve the bottom a certain way for the 8th time in a row, I start to feel that frustration build within me. I am expecting her to be able to do something that she is still learned how to do. When I focus more on what I want done vs. the struggling little girl beside me, than my influence with her diminishes. So, shifting my focus, helps me to show up in a way that guides her.
Letting go of those unfulfilled expectations will help you to focus on your relationships around you and not on getting what you wanted.
- Not Forgiving Yourself
If you have a hard time with this, raise your hand.
When you don’t forgive yourself, you are less likely to take the steps you need to do in order to live a life full of joy, connection, and meaning. Not forgiving yourself is like a vicious cycle that keeps you looping around in self-pity and self-doubt. You focus more on the ways that you are lacking vs the strengths that you have. You are human and yes imperfect. And that is okay. You are here on the earth to learn and to grow. It is part of the human experience. Allow yourself to grow, forgive yourself.
Take time today to review these things that can be holding you back. Also try to come up with other things that could be keeping you from seeing that influence that you are having. Determining what holds you back will then help you gain more clarity about where you are and what you need to do in order to open your eyes to seeing that influence you are having.
You are an important influence in your family. You can have an impact. First, though, it starts with believing that you can.
I Am Exactly Who My Family Needs
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