The Road I'm Taking

{This is the first in a guest blog series I will be hosting over the next month and a half. The series will zero in on a variety of themes from my book, Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert's Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. The writers of these posts are people I deeply admire for their wisdom and their constant seeking of Christ’s Kingdom on behalf of their neighbors both near and far. We are talking salt of the earth peeps right here! This first post was written by my dear friend, Marcus Houtsma. His words are something we all need to hear as we remember to not only see the world through God's eyes, but to look in the mirror to see ourselves as God does too: absolutely loved, and absolutely invited into the work of His kingdom! Be sure to read his bio at the end of the article, and check out his incredible business called KOYAH.} {Photo by Bradley Productions.}

{This is the first in a guest blog series I will be hosting over the next month and a half. The series will zero in on a variety of themes from my book, Here Goes Nothing: An Introvert's Reckless Attempt to Love Her Neighbor. The writers of these posts are people I deeply admire for their wisdom and their constant seeking of Christ’s Kingdom on behalf of their neighbors both near and far. We are talking salt of the earth peeps right here!

This first post was written by my dear friend, Marcus Houtsma. His words are something we all need to hear as we remember to not only see the world through God's eyes, but to look in the mirror to see ourselves as God does too: absolutely loved, and absolutely invited into the work of His kingdom! Be sure to read his bio at the end of the article, and check out his incredible business called KOYAH.}

{Photo by Bradley Productions.}

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

And I had no idea which one to take. I never did.

Long I stood around until I eventually drifted down one of them too far to turn back and take the other.

“Great!” I would think, “Now I don’t have to decide on which one to take.”

 

Not quite as beautiful as the opening to Robert Frost’s poem, but so went the first twenty-five years of my life. 

Carrying my childhood dreams felt too heavy early on in my journey, so I exchanged them for the “dream” of having an average day job that would keep my introverted self out of the spotlight. I just wanted to make a decent wage to support a modest life and future family. Personal growth and learning didn’t matter if I could scrape by as I usually did. Self-confidence and large ambitions were for other above-average people, but not me. I was average. After all, having a 2.98 GPA in college doesn’t lead to great things. It’s just average.

Talking to a co-worker one day, I heard these words come out of my mouth: “I’m just average, and I’m okay being average. That’s just who I am."

After hearing myself say that, I was unsettled. Who said I was average, and why was I okay being average? I was suddenly angry with all the people throughout my life who told me I was just okay. I mean, that must be what happened, right? That was the only possible explanation as to why I would think little of myself. Who could I blame for this? I rattled off a few names and was rewarded with a dose of guilty pleasure.

Clinging to the hope that I would coast through this feeling and eventually drift down the road too far to turn back, I felt relieved. But days went by, and I couldn’t find confirmation that the people in my life thought I was just "average." This confused me. Where did this insecurity and lack of self-confidence come from?

Eventually I moseyed down the path of realization that I was giving myself the “I'm Just Average” message. BAM! It was like being hit by a bus.

All those times I thought I was somehow being humble by not being passionate about things, or I believed I was being loving and kind by agreeing with someone to avoid conflict, it all just came down to me not having any self-confidence in who I was. The fear of failing at something crippled me. Not trying too hard was my mantra, and if something didn’t work out: “Well I didn’t really try my hardest, so I’m not too disappointed.”

Realizing this about myself was a huge lightbulb! I simply flipped the switch and my life fell into place—happily ever after! Not quite, but a little spark of self-realization did get lit, and I started to kindle the flame of a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset.

I began shifting my thoughts from "Am I passing or failing?" to “What am I learning?” And slowly, the outcome of what I did mattered much less.

The process of learning was the success, and that was the key I had been missing in my first twenty-five years of pass or fail. It is incredible how understanding the “why” behind what we do can change our entire life.

With this growth mindset, Kendra can launch her book without being crippled by whether others think it “succeeded” or “failed.” Whichever it is, she will learn from it and her next book will be better, as will the one after that.

With this growth mindset, I can leave a job that I am comfortable in to put effort toward my passion of starting my own business. Do I worry about KOYAH {my business} failing? Of course! It makes my knees shake and my voice crack like a pubescent schoolboy asking a girl to the prom. But rather than letting the self-doubt of doing something new cripple me, I look that gut-wrenching fear straight in the eye and use it to fuel my determination to succeed.

With this growth mindset, fear becomes just an indicator that I am growing and learning. And that is a success.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I developed a mindset to take the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

 

Who is holding you back from pursuing what you were created to do? {If your answer is someone other than yourself, you might want to try asking yourself that again.} 

 

Grace and Peace,
Marcus

 

P.S. If you can relate to this and are interested in reading a book that changed my life {after reading Kendra’s new book of course}, I would highly recommend Mindset, by Carol Dweck.

Marcus is the Founder, CEO, product formulator, website designer, sales rep, customer service rep and janitor of KOYAH. His products improve people’s lives by making it simple to eat the most health promoting foods on the planet: fruits and vegetables. KOYAH makes smoothie powders using 100% organic fruits and veggies {and nothing else} that are simple to use and shelf-stable. Their convenient products are great for people who want to eat healthier, but can never seem to develop a habit of doing so. They are also great for traveling {planes, trains, and automobiles,} and as an added bonus, a portion of their revenue goes toward sponsoring children living in poverty. Learn more at www.KOYAH.org. 

Marcus is the Founder, CEO, product formulator, website designer, sales rep, customer service rep and janitor of KOYAH. His products improve people’s lives by making it simple to eat the most health promoting foods on the planet: fruits and vegetables. KOYAH makes smoothie powders using 100% organic fruits and veggies {and nothing else} that are simple to use and shelf-stable. Their convenient products are great for people who want to eat healthier, but can never seem to develop a habit of doing so. They are also great for traveling {planes, trains, and automobiles,} and as an added bonus, a portion of their revenue goes toward sponsoring children living in poverty. Learn more at www.KOYAH.org.