“You will never be good enough.”
Have you ever heard that before?
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve heard that. Not from other people. Not from outside opinions. But from myself. It’s the one phrase that will throw my endeavors, creations, and purpose into the fiery furnace of defeat, never to see the light of day ever again.
To be honest with you, I’m sometimes afraid of hearing that voice, because that voice has said some pretty damaging stuff in the past. Sometimes, the voice sounds like:
“They are better than you can ever be.”
“That number on the scale will never go down.”
“You’re not as attractive as them.”
“You’ll never find love.”
“You are broken beyond repair.”
For all of us, there has been a time when the inner critic inside of us has crept out of the dark corners of our hearts to tell you something that has brought insecurity, lies, and falsehood to your calling. Your biggest struggles can stem from the deepest, darkest corners of your insecurity. Simply put, you are your worst enemy. And that inner critic inside of you will always have something to say…and it’s usually not a good thing.
Being a maker is understanding that life is a process that has both good and bad. Life is a battle of an inner war that you constantly fight with yourself. So much so, that life will bend and break you in the moments when you least expect it. You will wake up one day, and tell yourself “this is the best I have been” and two days later, all four corners of your heart can come crashing in. Any coward can seem courageous when he’s surrounded by a life that fills him up. But when you are alone and your blood runs thin, that’s when you decide if you’re going to let your own doubt, fear, and hurt control the foundation of who you are.
Trust me when I say, the monster of hurt can come when you least expect it, from nowhere with absolutely no reasoning. But that hurt you feel has a deep truth attached to it. It has refinement. And as a maker, refinement is a very valuable tool in creating.
When hurt comes into your life, you have one of two choices. The first, being that you can sit in that hurt, and let the anger and confusion of your hurt slowly erase away who you are as a person. The second being, when hurt is created into the deepest parts of who you are, you can take that hurt, and craft it into something beautiful.
Friend: choose the latter. Take your hurt, and craft it into progress.
Always remember, you were made to kill your monsters. Study your monsters. Figure out what scares them, and then crush them. The monsters in your life give you a lack of complacency. And that’s exactly what they’re there to do. Don’t let yourself become comfortable. Comfortability equals complacency. Complacency equals status quo. Status quo equals failure. If you let risk become fear, then that means your monsters have defeated you.
At the end of the day, when all your monsters have been slain, it’s important that you don’t become a monster yourself. Keep yourself and your art humble. Just because you conquered today’s monsters does not mean a bigger monster isn’t going to come right at you tomorrow morning. Keep your work, your art, and your profession a place of humility.
Don't let the monsters of your life dictate what your masterpiece will look like. Let life breathe into you a sentence, and write back a novel. Put on a sweater with a loose thread that your hope and dreams cannot resist pulling, and then pull with the fear that all may unravel around you. Give yourself a boat, mount it with the fastest sail, and take on the darkest of storms.
The nightmare that is your monsters can be your crafting tool. Where many would be scared, you can find yourself fascinated. Don’t allow the shadows that surround your life engage you in frightfulness. Embrace your night, and battle your monsters.
Sure, this doesn’t sound normal. The world inside of your imagination can be a twisted a dream. But that imaginative journey is what makes a maker smile. Monsters can make us do crazy things. But always remember, you decided to be a maker and to choose that life, you’ve got to be a little crazy already. Embrace the darkness of your life. Craft that darkness into beauty.
I was reading through the Psalms while I wrote Makers & Monsters. David is a tremendous example of someone who used his inner artist to celebrate Jesus, but he sure had has fair share of his monsters. We're going to go on a journey with David through the Psalms and learn about the monsters he faced while finding who God created him to be. To start this journey, we’re going read through Psalm 139. In this passage, David showcases just how beautiful God is, but at the very end, he asks God to “investigate his life.”
And that’s what we need to do today. Reader: before we can fight our inner critic, we have to allow The Maker permission to completely rip open our emotional wounds so we can fight our critic with Jesus on our side.
Are you ready for this 5-day journey? I’m ready to go on it with you. And during this journey, let’s see if we can figure out how we can take what you think are the worst parts about you, and create something absolutely astonishing with it.
Yup, it’s as crazy as it sounds. And it’s going to take a lot of work....and a lot of fighting. But the outcome is beautiful, because we’re going to learn that we’ll never be good enough, because Jesus is more than enough.