Having a reputation consist of beliefs and opinions that are generally held about someone or something.Having a character involves having the mental and moral qualities as an individual. The question to ask is whether it is possible to have and to sustain both. I believe that it is possible to have both, but I do believe that one produces the other. I also believe that they coexist with one another. This blog post was needed because it is a hard battle to overcome finding your character and sustaining your reputation.
I had a habit of choosing my reputation over my character. When my name was being lied upon, I felt I had every opportunity to act a fool because no one should have my name in their mouth. Talk about being triggered. Whenever I was triggered I would react. I had to learn that being triggered meant that it was another opportunity for me to heal. I did not know that a year ago. All I knew was that I wanted peace. Fighting was the only way I knew how to resolve this issue and to gain my peace so I thought.
I thought if people ruined my reputation then they would ruin me. After losing countless altercations. I began to understand what was really being tested. People were hurting my feeling deeply about misunderstanding who I am as a person. It was reminding me of how I would defend my character as a child. It is one thing when you feel that pain from strangers but love ones is another level of hurt. This entire month I was facing situations, where my character and reputation were in jeopardy, but instead of fighting my way out. I decided to change and grow from what I knew by unlearning what I knew to right at one moment in life.
I had to rise above the trauma and the drama. It has been mainly women, who I had to tiptoe around because I did not want to easily offend anyone. I also did not want them to think a certain way about me either. This time last year, I faced so many battles and lost all of them because I refused to let anyone destroy my name like I faced when I was a child. When those same situations came around again, I began to understand that there were lessons I needed to learn. I was missing out on opportunities to grow if I focused on the details of the situation. The moment had come for me to level up and act like the women who God called me to be and not respond as the little girl once would.
Growth needed to be displayed and my spirit yearned to be evaluated. I had no more time to keep looking at the card that was dealt with me, but it was time to play the game. I had to use what I had in the moments to obtain victory over the situations and circumstance that kept me wounded. I am facing obstacles in every aspect of my life. Here was another opinion for me to heal physically, grow emotionally, and evolve spiritually. Here are the four things I learned when facing the feud of defending your character versus your reputation.
1.Focus on The Bigger Picture
I had a bad habit of treating people the way they treated me and holding a grudge when the thing did not happen the way I intended. Trust, it took everything within me not to shut down and isolate myself from others who I felt were out to attack me. When I feel easily attacked, I know it is the little girl in me ready to hold grudges and treat people the way I was treated. I also must focus on the bigger picture and understand that people are facing their own issues, where I was a part of the situation for the person to teach me a lesson or for me to teach the person a lesson. Either way, the time will never be wasted. Focusing on the bigger picture helps you look at the situation from different angles to give you peace and the optimism that is needed to overcome.
See I had certain behavior traits and belief systems that would tell me whether a person could be trusted or relied on. Most of my old belief systems came from hurt, not from wisdom. I knew it time to say goodbye to the survival belief system, which took me years to move on from and welcome in my new belief system called wisdom. I had grown accustomed to living with the toxic belief system that I was too stubborn to admit I was wrong about the person or even the situation. I no longer wanted to look like the fool, but it was time to focus on the bigger picture to be the adult in the situation. I desired peace and I found creative ways on how to do so.
2. Believe Who God Says You Are Not Man
Human beings will say just about anything to hurt you especially when they are hurt. Hurt people hurt people. I can admit that I was that person and I must be conscious enough not to return to old habits and beliefs of hurting those who hurt me. Ask yourself who does God say you are? What are you meant to do or be? Who are you in God’s eyes? Who God says you are will never change, but the unfortunate part that this statement does not correlate to humans. It is ok once you know, understand, and accept that your destiny is not in the hands of people but of God.
God is the one who will never forsake you, especially during your darkest moments. It one thing to read in the bible, but it another when you experience God not forsake you in your darkness or loneliness moments. I had to experience God in a way I never thought was possible. I thought it was possible for others but not for myself. Experiencing God in a different way helped me to believe more in who he says I was versus what others said about me. This helped me to walk with self-confidence and say goodbye to fighting for my reputation. My reputation was not in the hands of man but in the hands of God. God’s grace is sufficient.
3.Embrace and Own Who You Are
When self-confidence is produced so is courage. Self-confidence gives you the courage to show up as yourself even when others work overtime to convince not to show up as your true self. Think of it this way. It is so easy to for others to focus on other’s because involves less work to evolve.
In fact, you are not evolving at all. I cannot tell how many time others tried to convince that I did not evolve and I wasn’t able to evolve because they were too afraid to do so. I was once a person, who worried deeply what others think. Do not get me wrong, I care about what others think due to consideration and respect. It is not in the position of pleasing people and making them happy. That is an unrealistic position for anyone to be in.
Embracing who I was involved shredding everything such as memories, excuses, beliefs, and negative self-talk that reminded me constantly that could not and should not show up as my true self. I learned that people will gas you up one day and destroy your name on another day. I believe this hard pill to swallow for those who have a big heart.
Embracing who you are and owning it involves not walking around with arrogance. Many confuse confidence with arrogance because they seem to appear the same. They are not the same. Arrogance is produced through insecurity and confidence is produced through love. I believe you will need to know the person to begin to understand whether acting arrogant or confident. Like, I always say we must get to the point to where we accept the good, bad, and ugly of self. Depending on your reputation produces arrogance and relying on your character will produce confidence. One outweighs the other. It is up to you to choose which one is more valuable to your well-being.
4.Respond from a Loving Place Verses a Hurting Place
When you are easily triggered it is so hard to respond from a loving place versus a hurting place. This is where the spiritual and emotional aspects of self are being tested the most. This your opportunity if you would evolve or not. Every action does not require a reaction tends to sound very generic, but it holds true. You tend to strengthen your spiritual and emotional muscles when you tend to not a reaction to situations that were formed to push you in a negative manner.
I had to ask God to help find the good in others that hurt me so badly because it was so easy for me to see them as my enemy verse opponent who was used as a vice to help me to evolve. I would like for you to recognize that the hardest things to do in life are usually the moments that will benefit us and produce growth. If your goal stays the same and remains miserable that you will result in anything that is easy and fast.
If you want to evolve and produce character, then you will have to get used to going the slow and long route. Producing your character cannot be done in one moment, but it produced over time. This makes you so much valuable and rare to others, where so many will steal, kill, and destroy anyone who goes against their reputation. I learned that I cannot fight all situations that come my way, but I do have the control to stop myself from reacting to anything that does not serve me well.
Obtaining and sustaining character is a goal of mine not because I am worried about my reputation. Building character improves my well-being and allows me to create a life that makes it possible to maintain living a positive lifestyle especially when obstacles arrive. I began to recognize that I am not who people say I am, but I am who God called me to be. This means I do not have to answer to anyone but him. I decided I no longer wanted to make decisions that just made me look good, but I wanted to make decisions produced truth, self-worth, faith, connection, self-acceptance, responsibility, optimism, purpose, and sense of direction. Ask yourself if your reputation is more valuable than your character? Remember to live out your truth, but ensure that your truth inspires other verses to demoralize others.