“Hustle!!!” I hear my father’s voice over the clash of shin pads and the scuffle of cleats. “Hustle, Shelly, hustle!!” And I do, I hustle, springing after the soccer ball, challenging defensive opponents twice my size, refusing to flinch when the ball is kicked square at my face.
Truth be told, I hustled on the soccer field and off all through my childhood and young adulthood, and not just to please my father. I don’t know if it’s a product of nature or nurture or a combination of both, but I’ve been driven to produce, achieve and succeed for as long as I can remember.
“Make it happen” was a directive repeated often in my house when I was growing up, and it’s a mantra I’ve chanted in my head ever since.
Decades after hustling on the soccer field, in the classroom and in the workplace, my specific priorities have changed, but my overall end goal is often still the same: to succeed and achieve. And while it’s no longer the grade on the top of quiz, the score emblazoned on a board, or the next job promotion that motivates me, if I’m honest, my definition of success is still largely based on numbers.
In recent years I’ve turned my attention to growing my number of blog subscribers and website page views, as well as the number of social media followers, shares, and retweets my posts earn. Once my first book released I relentlessly tracked its rank on Amazon. I was still focused on “making it happen” – the “it” being success as a published author – and I was more driven, more obsessed, than ever.
I cringe now to admit this, but there have been seasons in my publishing journey in which I’ve monitored the Amazon rank not only of my own book, but of my peers’ books too, as well as stats like the number of times their blog posts were shared on social media – even writers I respect, admire, and with whom I am friends.
Subsequently I vacillated daily, sometimes hourly, between euphoria when I my numbers measured up and despair when they didn’t.
I was hustling daily, even, at times, hourly, for the numbers. I looked to the numbers to determine my value and worth.
Hustle, productivity, busyness and striving have taken up a lot of space in my soul over the years. I’ve hustled so long for my self-worth, I know now that it’s become a habit deeply ingrained in me. I’m also just now beginning to see how destructive this habit is to my sense of self, to my relationship with God and to the well-being of my soul.
Today’s post is an excerpt from my newest book, True You: Letting Go of Your False Self to Uncover the Person God Created. It releases on January 1, 2019, and honestly, I think this book would make a great first read to kick off your New Year!
Our culture tells us hustle, busyness and striving are the only way to satisfaction; our soul tells us something different. God yearns for us to live in the spacious, light-filled freedom of Christ and to know ourselves in him, through him and with him. It is my hope and prayer for the New Year that True You will help you uncover who you are at the very center of your God-created self.
– a beautifully designed Companion Journal with insightful questions and ample space for reflecting
– a guided audio meditation entitled Learning to Listen to Your Soul
– and a series of beautiful Scripture cards.
You can find out about where to pre-order True You and how to receive the free gifts over HERE.