I had just done the most stupid thing ever. I mean, in the history of Lisa, this one ranked with the dumbest. I was making the announcements during our Sunday morning service, and I was describing how excited I get to make the announcements because I LOVE to hold a microphone. And in my zeal, I let out a squeal. Into the microphone. Imagine a loud shriek, amplified around a room, zinging into your ears. OUCH!
I was mortified! I’m taking steps to become a professional Christian Communicator, and I know better than to squeal into a microphone.
I immediately started to apologize for my behavior. I think before my short stint of holding the microphone was over, I apologized three times. I walked off the stage feeling like a total failure, knowing I would NEVER be asked to make the announcements again.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever let part of your personality seep out and then you were embarrassed about it? Perhaps its your extreme shyness or your OCD-ness or your boisterous nature. We try to keep parts of our personalities hidden or “tamped down” so that others will like us more.
I do this every day when I’m out running errands. I’m a talker, and I will freely admit, I’m a bit ditzy. I’m not being critical of myself, I just am. So when I go to the store, I do ditzy things, like walk out without my purchases or leave my debit card behind. I’m always doing these silly, stupid things that make me laugh at myself and certainly give the cashier a good chuckle.
When I try to tamp down my ditziness, and be serious and focus, it is just no fun. It’s not fun for me, and its no fun for the cashier. There is no humor or joy, there is just me trying to be serious and concentrate so hard in order to do everything right. After a while of doing this, pretending to be someone other than who I am, I am exhausted.
Finally, I gave up on being a focused, serious Lisa and just decided to be silly, joyful, talkative, ditzy me. And it’s so much more fun for everyone. I smile and give people a reason to laugh.
The day that I squealed into the microphone, I had an older, wizened pastor approach me after the service. I had never seen him before, but when he talked, I listened. He said,
“Don’t ever apologize for your bubbly personality. You never know when someone needs the joy that you carry.”
My bubbly personality – my ditzy, silly, squealing, talkative nature – brings joy to others. This is a good thing. I need to embrace my joyful nature, and be me. Even when it is embarrassing. Because people need joy. They need what I offer.
Can you embrace your personality too? Quit apologizing for being yourself. The people around you need you to be yourself with them. God gave you your personality because people need what you offer.
If you are shy, they need your quiet strength. If you’re a bit OCD, they need your structure. If you’re boisterous, they need your joy. If you’re spontaneous, they need your sense of excitement. If you are serious, they need your sense of purpose. The people around you need you to be YOU, not someone else.
Embrace your personality and join me in being real. Being fake chains you down, but being real is oh so freeing.
And if you see me doing something ditzy, just laugh with me.