Feelings aren’t facts

I remember someone told me this once and it stuck with me: Feelings aren’t facts. As someone who relies a lot on my gut instinct and emotions. This can be a little off-putting. But I think, especially when it comes to feelings, we can allow ourselves to be beaten down by negative self-talk and the perception that we aren’t enough. Here are some quick examples that I’ve thought just in the past year:

You might feel like you’re a failure, but fact: You aren’t.

You might feel like you are ugly, but fact: You aren’t.

You might feel like you can’t do anything right, but fact: You are smarter than you think.

I was washing my face or brushing my teeth the other day, all I remember is that I was in front of the sink, and I felt like God was reminding me that there were times in my life where I didn’t think I was good enough, and so I cheated on a test here and there, or whatever the case might have been. It wasn’t from a place of shame having done those things, but more like, why do you think so little of yourself? And this is something that you’ve had to fight feeling since you were a little girl.

I still remember being in elementary school and changing one of my answers to what the kid next to me had. I thought my answer was correct, but I felt like the boy next to me was smarter. After I erased and circled the new answer, one of my teachers saw, and said after we turned them all in, I wanted to tell you that you had the right answer the first time around, trust yourself.

I’ve never forgotten that.

Unfortunately I’ve been struggling a bit more than normal the past month thinking about how my Instagram page isn’t as popular as other women in my vertical.  Vertical is an advertising term. It’s when you’re in the same industry, you are appealing to the same audience, and it can often creep up on you because you feel like, why am I not as successful? Am I adding value to the market here? It can be a killer to the self-esteem and perseverance you need when you are attempting to build your dreams.

I decided to do something a little silly the other day. I’m so used to analyzing reports for clients in the advertising world and I decided to put my own worries about being “popular” or “important” to the test.

I pulled up three accounts that I felt like were really killing it when it came to my life as a Christian blogger. I looked through their profile and tried to find the lowest likes they got on average and rounded them up or down. Then I took that number and how many followers they had to see what their engagement was like and I have to say I was surprised.

  1. Lowest likes: 600 Followers: 26,400 = 2.27%
  2. Lowest likes: 650 Followers: 16,600 = 3.92%
  3. Lowest likes: 500 Followers: 8,400 = 5.95%

 

Me: On my lowest day the average “likes” are around 60.

If you take 60 and my current following of 611. 60 is 9.8% of 611.

Okay so maybe that’s a fluke right? Let’s see if I do the reverse with highest likes:

  1. Highest likes: 900 Followers: 26,400 = 3.41%
  2. Highest likes: 750 Followers: 16,600 = 4.52%
  3. Highest likes: 650 Followers: 8,400 = 7.73%

Me: On my highest day the average “likes” are around 100.

If you take 100 and my current following of 611. 100 is 16.37% of 611.

Like are you shocked? I’m still shocked. My feelings are still telling me: no one cares what you are writing. You’ve been doing this for years and no one seems to be following you. What’s the point when you aren’t doing as well as everyone else? Your style doesn’t seem that great. Where’s your awesome selfies? LOL. You know what I mean?

And yet, my feelings, are clearly not the facts.

I didn’t do this to make myself out to be the winner compared to these profiles that are KILLING it. I did it out of curiosity because too many times I’ve asked myself: It seems like everyone has tons of likes and followers. Am I a loser?

If you’ve ever felt the way I have and you want to reach other Christian women, let’s remind ourselves that we’re occupying our space. We matter. We’re making a difference. The people who are liking our photos and reading our captions matter.

Also just for fun, I did a bit of googling and created this graphic in Easil:

Potential Impact.png

 

It keeps everything in perspective because there are plenty of women to reach, plenty of people to reach, in just the USA alone.

This has helped me keep any negative feelings in perspective!

Comment below so I can hear what you think!


Tools Used:

It seems like everyone has tons of likes. Am I a loser?

https://percentagecalculator.net/

How many women are Christians in the US? (The 2014 U.S. Religious Landscape Study)

http://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/gender-composition/women/

How many Christians in the US? (This ABCNEWS/Beliefnet poll)

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356

How many women are there in the US? (Census is every 10 years)

https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-03.pdf

The Robbery of Kim Kardashian West

I read and hear a lot about celebrity news and news in general given that I work in the ad space.

The other day, some of the guys in my office were discussing Kim Kardashian West, and how she had $10M of jewelry stolen from her by robbers.

At first I’m not going to lie, I rolled my eyes. My first comment was, why someone would have that much jewelry on them. Who needs to spend that much money? I just couldn’t fathom it.

Usually my first response is empathy, but if I’m honest it was 100% judgement.

It’s hard to fathom the kind of wealth a celebrity like Kim has. It doesn’t make sense to me to put your toddler in a $3,500 fur jacket. I don’t like people in my own life who brag about wealth and so, this is no different. I don’t hate her. I don’t wish ill on her, but again, if I’m honest I was judging her.

Later that day I decided to participate in the click-bait of the articles swarming the internet about the instance and actually felt bad. I didn’t realize the extent of the situation and that she was actually gagged and had her hands bound with zip ties. No one deserves this. Even if it doesn’t make sense to spend that kind of money. Even if oftentimes she seems to be flaunting her wealth.

If I’m the same person who doesn’t believe any person is “asking for it” when they choose to wear a short skirt, than I want to be the same type of person that isn’t going to judge a Kardashian for bringing expensive jewelry to Paris.

I felt convicted that I was so quick to judge, when as I mentioned, no circumstance warrants being tied up and robbed.

Instead I pray that if her heart is materialistic, and her wealth is only being used on her family, that she will realize one day, that maybe she doesn’t need expensive things. There are so many desperate people in the world, who are just trying to get by. I hope she does charitable giving, and I hope that she will not feel crippled by her traumatic experience. But that she will use it to perhaps, change her perspective. And realize her life, any human life, is more precious than material goods. She has two beautiful young children and has the ability to influence the world for good.

I just wanted to remember that at the end of the day, I hope I can always remember empathy. Even when I don’t always know if the person deserves it.

Jesscbnyc Recommends: Unshattered

Last Saturday I attended the NJ Human Trafficking Summit. I attended various breakout sessions and gathered information about efforts being made in the NJ area and the US at large to fight Human Trafficking as well as to hear a few survivor’s speak about their experience.

 

One organization works directly with survivors to help assist in their healing and also gives them the ability to learn a skill, making handbags.

 

If you would like to learn more visit their website: Unshattered

 

If you would like to purchase an item from their shop: Etsy

 

If you would like more information about Human Trafficking efforts in NJ: NJ Coalition

[SHOUTOUT] – She Reads Truth

For those of you who don’t know, SheReadsTruth.com is pure gold. I follow them on Instagram and I just ordered their Women in the Word book which you can purchase here.

I just want to give honor where honor is due and give them a woohoo! I admire what they do and I would highly recommend their daily devo going on right now.

Today’s devotion was on Leah. Click here to read it for yourself.

Here are the main points I got from it today:

Who hasn’t felt overlooked, unneeded or simply unloved?

  • If you can’t relate..BLESS YOU. But I just cried myself to sleep last night. Out of the blue feelings of lost love, loneliness, etc creeped up on me. As a young person in church it can sometimes be really hard to be single. Speaking candidly I attend Hillsong church in NYC.

1. People in NYC are beautiful

2. People in Hillsong are beautiful

3. People in Hillsong NYC have jobs in modeling, acting, dancing, film production, writing, Corporate America, etc.

4. Hillsong in general has had a few years of crazy favor and influence in Hollywood and celebrity spheres.

Add these all together and you can often feel that you don’t measure up. I’ve personally felt insecure because of my own sinful comparison but also because it’s been spoken to me. This is in no way bashing my church at all. Church is church. I’ve experienced “discouragement”, “insults”, and “rejection” at all churches in my life. People are sinful, church is for sinners, so add the two together and we’re bound to make up for one dysfunctional “bride” of Christ. I’ve had male peers say my campus of church women isn’t as attractive as the one in Manhattan (I’ll pray for you sirs) and have walked into conversations where people are one-upping each other on social media followers. This is the young, foolish, generation we live in. So in a long-winded way—YES I have felt all of these things. Sometimes, the whammy of all three at the same time.

Her own father found her lacking

  • YES. Enough said.

God sees her as so human sees her

  • 1 Samuel 16:7

Her hunger for love and acceptance was met not by a man, but by the steadfast love of her Heavenly Father (Psalm 63:3)

Now go forth and read this truth!

Declaration for 2015

So there’s still 9 months to go in 2015 but I want to accept a challenge that was laid out by Rick Warren in the Bible Plan I am reading called “God’s Dream for Your Life”.

Three benefits of telling others about your dream:

1. It gets you started. Once you’ve announced it, you’re accountable to try and get moving.

2. It attracts other people’s support. The moment I stated my dream, other people wanted to get in on it. A dream from God will attract people that you don’t even know yet to help you.

3. It releases God’s power. Because of your faith, you step out of the boat and start walking on water. God will hold you up!

My declaration:

On November 11th 2013 I started this blog. I announced it. I posted. Most of my nearly 200 followers are complete strangers. That in itself is wild. I don’t even have 200 real life friends people! I am so grateful for the transformation that has occurred in me during that time. In a lot of ways I started broken and discouraged and now I am healthy and encouraged! I have a physical timeline of posts where I can revisit old Jess and the raw experiences she had, and compare it to the current Jess who has survived those experiences.

(As I was getting ready to type out my new declaration my WordPress crashed. Luckily my last session which was unsaved mind you came back, but this is an affirmation that this is the right day to declare what I want to see, and that the Enemy does not like declarations!)

1. My dream is to be a powerful speaker. As a girl I would write and illustrate my own books with crayons. As a school girl I used to write poetry and stories. In college I continued to pursue creative writing. It has always been a constant in my life. People have affirmed that I am “real”, that my experiences are powerful and help them. I believe that as insignificant as I often feel, as bitter as I have sometimes felt because of the things I have experienced, that God has purposed me and designed me, and I will reach many people, especially women with my words; both spoken and written. I declare God’s favor and truth over my life and my blog. I invite the Holy Spirit to send people who need encouragement my way. I leave it up to God to grace me with women who have yet to start their own blogs to be encouraged by me and participate in Guest Blog Posts on my site. I believe that I will be a voice to my generation. I believe God can use anyone and I want to be that someone.

2. My dream is that other people will see value in what I post and have to say. I pray that I will stay encouraged when people tell me that “the market is over-saturated” with people who are doing the same things as me. God’s word never returns void and even if I am among many, I know that my unique voice and journey is still valid and important and needed.

3. I pray that even when I do not feel bold or important that my simple vision and declaration in this very post will release God’s power as I continue to take ground, post by post and word by word to declare His glory and release His gifts through me.

I think the crazier life gets the more God needs His people to rise up. To not believe the lies from the world or even from fellow Christians that tell them their dreams are too big, or have been carried out already. Let us believe that our God is big enough to carry an eternity of plans, provision, and dreams, and is just waiting for us to believe that He is good enough to trust us to dispense them on His behalf.

Amen. Amen. Amen.