Just wondering, have you noticed over the past few weeks that you’ve had an uncontrollable urge to do something to grab attention? Perhaps when you were at your Christmas gatherings or parties - with family or friends. Maybe it was outward and obnoxious like being the clown and making everyone laugh. Or, maybe it was a strong assertion of control over certain events, or opinions, or decisions. Or, maybe it was more passive-aggressive, and it looked more like sulking or withholding or even hiding. And have you noticed that when you do this, the only person you really are thinking about and considering is yourself. You really aren’t thinking about other people in the moment. You can’t consider others. Your brain is transfixed, as with tunnel vision, or single-minded on a purpose. No, that probably wasn’t you. Someone else probably came to mind, though.
Do you wonder why you often do this? I mean, if you were asking for a friend.
When we respond in these ways, it’s usually because we don’t have a firm grasp on our true value and worth. Because when you know your value and your worth. When you learn to love yourself and know that God loves you deeply. Then you no longer have to grab attention from other people, outside sources. It’s no longer necessary to act out for attention.
So then, when you’re not so focused on yourself and what you need, you’re able to put the focus on others. The bible tells us that we’re to not only look to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4 But we can’t look to the interests of others, or pay attention to the interests of others, if we’re so caught up in ourselves - grasping for attention. And for someone needing to get something from other people, negative attention is just as powerful as positive attention. And getting that attention is a dopamine hit to the brain. And every time we do something that triggers that hit, it makes us want more. It feels good to the pleasure center. It satisfies the longing and the need. And we become addicts to attention. And we need more and more. And that’s why we’ll even be willing to do things that will bring us negative attention. Because sometimes we run out of ways to get positive attention, so we’ll resort to negative actions that will surely get a reaction - attention - that surge of dopamine…even if it’s a negative response to a desired outcome.
This supports the (quote/unquote) “law of effect” that states that responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again, while responses that produce a discomforting effect are less likely to be repeated. The first of the brain’s motivational triad is to seek pleasure. It wants the pleasure center satisfied. And as an attention addict, any attention received is a satisfying effect and will more likely occur again.
So, we don’t want to be an attention addict anymore. Right? It’s making us miserable and it’s keeping us from having honest and authentic relationships. The remedy is to know your value and worth. To see yourself the way God sees you. To appreciate and celebrate YOU. God made you with very specific gifts and talents, abilities, passions, He placed dreams and desires in your heart. Why do we have a hard time admitting all the ways God made us extraordinarily wonderful? Do you think that’s prideful to admit? To recognize the ways God has fearfully and wonderfully made you as Psalm 139 verse 14 tells us? Because, honestly, the way you are made, even the talents you have, were not from you. They’re natural born. They were given from your Heavenly Father. So if all good gifts come from above, then you are not bragging when you admit your unique and extraordinary ways. And not that you’re better than anyone else, we’re not saying that. We’re just recognizing the wonderful that you are. We could and should do that with everyone. Let’s celebrate the wonderful in everyone.
How much better would our society be if each one of us had a healthy self-esteem and quit peacocking around, trying to get people to notice us, trying to get attention from others, trying to prove to others that we’re something to be valued? When your Creator, your Heavenly Father, already says that you are.
If you’re not sure that you have a problem with loving and celebrating who you are, take this test. Quickly, write down 10 things that make you extraordinarily wonderful. If you need to pause this, that’s fine. Or maybe you can make a mental list. Are you having a hard time even with number one? Maybe you can think of 2 or three, but that’s it. It’s time to be okay, my friends, with recognizing all the ways God fearfully and wonderfully made you. It’s time to appreciate and celebrate your uniqueness.
The word Fearfully translated from the Hebrew means with great reverence, heart-felt interest, and with respect. The word Wonderfully translated from the Hebrew means unique and set apart. So, to recognize that you are fearfully and wonderfully made means you look at the unique individual that you are with great reverence, heart-felt interest and respect in order to be unique and set apart. And not set apart like you’re in a different class than others. Or, again, better than. But set apart for a specific purpose. Every human being was created to be Christ’s image bearer for an amazing and unique purpose. And we are all made, created, differently so that He could use us to fit together as a whole body. So that we’re not all the foot or the hand. But each one of us different, wonderfully different, with different purposes and abilities to carry out the good plans He marked out for each one of us, even before we were born, Ephesians 2:10.
And we all go together. No rivals. No comparisons. Just celebrations.
Can I encourage you, friend, to go back and finish that list of 10 wonderfully special, wonderfully unique things, gifts, God gave you that makes you extraordinarily you? And can I encourage you to celebrate that. Give thanks to God for those things. And then find someone else to celebrate. Because once you accept and appreciate your amazing self, you will quit trying to get attention, even negative attention, from others, and start seeing, noticing and celebrating - having interest in - others. Want to get rehabbed from being an attention addict? There’s your answer. Love yourself - see yourself the way God sees you - and you’ll be able to love others. No more need for attention. Not when you’re already giving yourself the attention that you deserve because you’re an amazing creature made in the image of God. This is not pride. It is celebrating the Almighty God’s creation. When you see a majestic mountain, or the expanse of the ocean, or, my favorite, a dahlia in full bloom standing tall and strong waving in a field, do you refuse to give it praise for its glory? How much more arrayed are you, image bearer of God, than any other creation? Not celebrating or appreciating your beauty and wonderfulness is an afront to the One who created you. No, it’s not pride. It’s necessary. It’s essential. It’s crucial. It’s fundamental. It’s for His glory and for your good.
Let’s start there. Celebrating the fearfully and wonderfully made you.
Friend, are you ready for a new you in 2022? Ready for version 2.0. Let me help you! I’d love to be your Life Coach and Mentor.
I have two ways we can work together - through private one-on-one coaching or my new 8-week group coaching program. If you’re interested in finding out more about either of these,
I’ve put a link in the show notes to my calendar to book at quick 30-minute chat to see if we’re a good fit to work together. Or you can visit my website tricizody.com and send me an email there.
Have a wonderful week, friends! See you next Wednesday for the next episode of Another Beautiful Life podcast.
Group Coaching Program: www.triciazody.com/betagroup
Calendar Link for Life Coaching Consult Call: https://calendly.com/triciazodylifecoach/30min