Are You A Fair-Weather Friend?

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Fair-weather friend: A friend who supports others only when it is easy and convenient to do so: “I thought Jane would always stick by me, but when I got into trouble, she turned out to be a fair-weather friend.”

You’ve probably had some. Hopefully you haven’t been one. But odds are, you treat yourself like this all the time. Let me explain.

When you do well at work, spend quality time with family, make smart health choices, stay within your budget, make time to rest and recharge, you probably give yourself a pat on the back. But when you struggle with work, neglect your family, make dumb health choices, overspend, or burn out, your inner critic yells, “You idiot. You blew it again. You’ll never get this. You’re worthless. Why even try?”

Sound familiar? Perhaps not, but that’s the running dialogue for a lot of us.

If you had a friend who was only supportive when you were succeeding and always critical or absent when you were struggling, would you keep hanging out? I hope not.

Yet many of us never break from the fair-weather friend within us. We allow the lies, discouragement, negativity, and conditional love to remain. As a result, we’re never at peace.

When you’re having a hard day, what you need most from yourself is compassion, not judgement. When you mess up again, what you need most from yourself is encouragement, not criticism.

Many of us never learn how to actually be kind to ourselves. So we look to others for affirmation or try to numb our pain in destructive ways.

And ironically, we tell ourselves that this lack of self-support somehow makes us stronger. As if hurting ourselves was somehow helping. How’s that working for you?

Think of someone you really love. Would you want them to talk to themselves the way you talk to yourself? Why not? Give yourself a break. You are a human being. Imperfect. In progress. On the journey. Welcome to the club.

Are you ready to move forward? Here’s how to ditch your inner fair-weather friend:

  1. Believe the truth that you are deserving of love.
  2. Reject the lie that you are deserving of hate.
  3. Support yourself when you are struggling.

As you do these, you will discover that self-compassion makes you stronger, not weaker. Your personal growth will accelerate instead of stall. And you will actually become a kinder, more generous person because you’ve learned how to love yourself.

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Why Not You?

You are capable of much more than you realize.

I believe that God has given each of us the time, volition, talents, and opportunities to do things that matter. No one dreams of treading water their entire life. But many do so anyway.

It’s easy to exchange our potential for the temporary relief that fear, comfort, and control bring us. We busy ourselves with the business of life and before we know it our lives are over. What have we built? Who have we loved? How well have we served? Were we faithful?

I read this book called Mindset awhile back that explained the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. I realized that while I valued growth, there were still parts of my thinking that were stuck. I had to push past those artificial boundaries and learn to see myself differently. If God wasn’t limiting me, why was I limiting myself?

Perhaps you’ve boxed yourself into a certain role, a certain identity, a certain pattern. And I just want to say that, yes, you can do those things, but you are capable of so much more.

What strikes me about The Biggest Loser is not the weight loss, it’s the identity loss. And I mean that in the most positive way. The people on that show have some sort of false belief about themselves which has enabled them to become dangerously overweight. In order to lose the weight and keep it off, they need to change how they see themselves.

It’s no different with us. We all have self-limiting beliefs which get played out in our daily lives. The effects aren’t always so obvious, but they’re there.

“I could never do that.”

“Oh, I’m not one of those people.”

“I’ve always been this way.”

Earlier this year I broke my phone and had to wait awhile for it to get repaired. The experience was really positive. I realized that others might benefit from a similar tech disconnect so I reached out to an app developer and we began working on Digital Detox Challenge.

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I’d never made an app before. Doing so was not part of my plan. But life has a way of presenting opportunities to us, especially if we’re paying attention. So I went for it. And I’m proud of it. And I hope it helps others.

What opportunities are in front of you today? What will you do with them?

Before the excuses set in, a few more questions: Why not you? Why not now? Why not try? What could you lose if you do? What will you lose if you don’t?

What Defines You Can Destroy You

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If you give something the power to make you, you give it the power to break you.

It might be something good, like eating healthy, working hard, being disciplined with your time, spending your money wisely, fill in your own blank.

But it doesn’t matter.

Because if it defines you (and by defines you, I mean that it has become inseparably linked to your identity/sense of worth/purpose in life, etc) then when it inevitably crumbles, you will too.

What defines you can destroy you.

So the question is, are you defined by something or someone that’s bigger than yourself, your circumstances, your passions, your peers, your insecurities?

The truth is that we are only ever really secure when we allow ourselves to be defined by Christ. Not the idea of Christ, or even the belief in Christ, but in the actual person and work of Christ and our relationship with him.

So, what defines you? If you’re not sure, wait until hardship comes and notice what you’re clinging to, clawing at, devastated by.