Fitfully Made…interesting…what does it mean? This has been a question I have gotten over the years since the phrase came to me three years back when I was brainstorming a name for a health and fitness accountability group that I was hosting. Since then, it has become the name of my company, the name of this blog and really kind of my “brand” so to speak. But what was my thought process behind it? How did it come into being? I thought it was time to sit down and actually write it out. So here it goes…and hang in there with me, this may be a bit of a roundabout way of explaining the inspiration behind it, but I promise it will all come together in the end.
I am a competitive person by nature…like really competitive. I also have a need for significance, to be seen as credible, to be heard, to be known and stand out. Believe it or not, both are actually considered strengths of mine, according to the assessment in StrengthsFinder 2.0. But there are some pretty significant downsides to these strengths, the biggest one being comparison.
For better or worse, as a competitive person I see most activities I engage in as a competition and most people as a potential competitor. So in my head, this means there is one clear winner and several clear losers. And as for significance, when I am not seen as credible or successful, I feel like a complete and total failure.
I know you are probably thinking, “Michelle, most people struggle with the same issues, comparison is something everyone deals with daily.” This is totally true, especially in the age of all things social media. But to me, and maybe this resonates with you too, comparison doesn’t just get me down for a bit, it is usually the driving force behind EVERYTHING I do.
This is my ugly confession: being “better” than everyone else or doing an activity “better” than everyone else and then being praised for it, is what motivates me far too often.
The problem with viewing life through this lens is I that I tend to feel like a failure…a LOT. Either I have “lost” because I think I am not as good as someone else at something. Or, even worse, I am “as good or better” as someone – but then quickly realize someone else has set the bar higher and I have to push on and compete with that new person until I get the “win” or accolade I want. It feels like a never-ending battle, one that, most of the time, is just fought in my own head. I bet most people don’t even know that I am trying to compete with them…example, everyone on Pinterest.
A few weeks back, when I was searching for something completely unrelated, I stumbled upon the following thought: comparing causes you to look inward rather than upward. Since I believe in God, what this means to me is that giving into comparison causes me to focus so much on myself that I forget about the One that created ME to begin with, who is worth way more of my time and energy.
This is probably why, before I could even put into words that I struggled with comparison, I have always loved the Bible verse Psalm 139:13-14:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
The key there is I praise YOU because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. You see the shift in perspective? It’s about praising God for how He created me which King David says is wonderful. I am wonderful (and so are you) because He created me that way. He does not make mistakes, and when I focus on that…on HIM..everything changes.
But resting in God’s love that tells me that I am ENOUGH is hard. Its a truth I have to remind myself daily…ok, more like multiple times a day. And while God gave me a competitive drive and a desire to make my work truly significant, it wasn’t so that I would feel constantly inferior. God does not have some yard stick He is measuring me up against…thank God…literally! I am already FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE. Everything about me was known before I was even born. Mind blowing when you really sit down and think about it.
I firmly believe God is the Creator of the universe, of all things wonderful and beautiful and magnificent and powerful. Just think about the hues of orange and pink and yellow that paint the sky as the sun sets over the ocean. Or the power and beauty in a thunderstorm as it rolls over snow-covered Rocky Mountains. I firmly believed God created all of that and so much more. And this same God, this same utterly, creative Creator, created ME. And that should be enough. Enough to stop striving, enough to stop competing, enough to stop comparing myself into oblivion. I AM Fearfully and Wonderfully Made and that is worthy of His praise.
Simply put, when you pair that powerful truth with the passion that God has instilled in me for fitness, well you get the spin on words, Fitfully Made. A brand that not only encourages me, but hopefully encourages others as well.