Last week Ruth wrote about a teen girl who was basically forced to quit her job due to sexual harassment by her boss. I’ve seen this happen and experienced it myself. It’s horrible. I was personally harassed by my boss at a fast food chain, and I know for a fact I was one of many he’d put his moves on. Like teen girl, I quit instead of playing the game. Working in the banking industry, honestly I saw many more women supervisors harassing and coming on to their male employees than men coming on to female employees. All were married with children. But that’s a whole other story. What I want to talk about today is not letting your experiences determine your destiny.
Don’t Let Your Debt – or Anything Else – Define You
Melanie at Dear Debt wrote about this here when she talked about net worth not equaling self worth. It’s really easy when you go through something traumatizing to begin labeling yourself by your experience. Someone who has suffered abuse might say “I am an abused person.” Someone who’s messed up their money might say “I am not good with money.”
While it’s important to acknowledge – and then deal with – your struggles, it’s equally important to not allow yourself to be defined by those struggles.
We did this for years, even after we began our debt free journey. We suck with money. We’ve made such a mess with our money. we would tell ourselves over and over. And guess what. Our finances didn’t change much.
Eventually, we started telling ourselves differently. We didn’t ignore the past, but we did take on an identity that spoke what we were striving for instead of what we had. We started saying things like
- We are well on our way to debt free.
- We are building wealth.
- We are working toward financial freedom.
- We have more than enough.
The more we focused on where we were going instead of allowing ourselves to be defined by our mistakes or by the bad things that had happened to us, the higher our rate of success. As we changed the way we viewed ourselves, our outside circumstances began to match up with our inside view.
And this is why it’s vitally important to not let your experiences define you. Yes, you should face up to them. Yes, you should deal with and heal from them. But you should also work to define yourself as a victor over your bad experiences instead of being a victim of them.
It is in doing so that you can learn to truly overcome those bad experiences and then use them to help others do the same.
My personal message to teen girl today is that your former boss’ actions are a reflection of him – not of you. You are still the same beautiful, wonderful person that you always were. Don’t allow this experience to convince you otherwise.
By acknowledging what has happened to us, working on a plan for healing, and then using positive actions and affirmations to establish and solidify that healing, we can see ourselves as the person God intends us to be – more than a conquerer! (Romans 8:37)