THE CHIEF EDITOR #PeoplePleasing.

Editors can be the best and worst people to ever come across. I say this from the experience of someone who is slowly warming up to the title of a writer and having an editor is imperative; it goes without saying.  It is more than just line edits but a means of continued learning. However, editors are known for their ruthless feedback which sometimes means bringing down your work , (which you toiled day and night), to nothing and yet I still appreciate the need to proactively ask for constructive criticism. I have actively written for three years now and like any person doing “creative” work (or so they call it ), they will tell you that putting yourself out there is one of the most terrifying things .The uncertainty of how it  will be received, whether it will be received at all is nerve wracking and yet we still do it. It takes daily and renewed courage, passion and devotion to keep going irrespective of the level of mastery or years of experience and like Gilbert says , “If you want to be a professional artist but aren’t willing to see your work critiqued and even rejected then you’re done before you even start.”

When I started out, I used to be my own content creative director, writer, editor and critic. You can say that I was self sufficient in my little writing bubble but five months ago, just as CMA begun, I received a response from someone that made me bounce in between feelings of pain, shock, embarrassment, fear and most of all feeling like a failure. Oh and (CMA is Christ My Anchor in case you hadn’t caught on) . It was from an acquaintance that I was just getting to know and whom I admired. Don’t get me wrong, the right criticism is good and very much necessary, I welcome it, but some people use that as a tool for discouragement because of the malicious streak in them. It wasn’t the first criticism during the launch period of CMA, I had received yet another one and I know it won’t be the last. Gordon McDonald said : Pass every criticism through the filter of God and let God either confirm it or reject it before you take it to heart and this has been my anchor point every time someone tells me something. God speaks back – always.

It is naturally built in us to yearn for encouragement and approval from the people who consume our content and the people in our lives; whether you are a writer, dancer, you tuber, poet or even someone who just has an Instagram or Facebook account. We find ourselves yearning for the positive comments of how our work has transformed the lives of people , we keenly have our eyes glued on the number of shares, likes and comments. But as I have learnt over time, this shouldn’t be our focus.

Numbers are the worst assessors of impact. Do I mean to say it is not important? Of course not, it has its pros in aiding strategy development but it should never be our focus. I love how Elizabeth Gilbert puts it “Once it leaves your desk, don’t try to police what people think about your work” If feedback comes, take it or drop it, but still stay on the path you are called nonetheless.

People pleasing is a human pandemic, not only a problem for the creatives.

People pleasing is something we will need to unlearn on a daily basis; we unconsciously do it such that it has gotten to a point that it comes off as just being “nice or accommodative Starting from failing to speak up your mind just because you believe it will offend someone else, choosing to purchase something you don’t like because you are trying to befriend someone who said that item was cool or it could simply be striving to do something a certain way that doesn’t reflect who you are simply because someone who passed themselves off as professionals advised you which then makes you mimic someone you’re not.

People pleasing is not an obvious diagnosis that can be evident at first sight but it is something that slowly seeps in and with time, we end up bending backward to fit into the mold of people and what they require of us and yet God created us for His own purpose. I once listened to a podcast and part of the conversation highlighted that people pleasing is evidence of self betrayal and since I am a believer, I will add that it is a betrayal of who God called you to be. God has known you and ordered your days from ages. Jeremiah 1:5 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; Psalms 139:16 are only but a few verses to remind you of the only person who ever had control over you before anyone else could have a say in it- God

God never put us on earth to please people but to pursue purpose. You had a purpose before anyone else had an opinion.

We should echo Jesus’ statement in John 4:34 so that we quit trying to be known and relatable but instead be the actual light of the world by diffusing His truth and doing Kingdom business regardless of whether people give a standing ovation or demean your work.

Many people will have an opinion about your life and yet they do not know you. Even when you think you are acing it, it will still not be up to someone’s standards and the cycle goes on and on. If you were to live by all the opinions, we would be tossed left , right and center. The same people that will qualify you today, may be the first to lift the first stone to stone you. The same people who hold your banner could be the same who will drop it in an instant when a more attractive one appears. 

“If you live by their compliments you will die by their criticism.” Cornelius Lindsey

HOW DID I GET INFECTED?

Society. If it was a rapid fire quiz session, this would be the answer I shout without shillyshallying. I say this because growing up, in our African, specifically Kenyan setting, we see people including our relatives struggling to raise money just to attend a party (e.g. weddings)Why? Simply because they want to get into the people’s good graces so that people would return the same favor. Gradually, this got embraced and is evident in how we allow them to even place expectations such as timelines for marriage or kids. Because of our incomprehension, we are then shaped by what we see, experience and are exposed to. Through this, we respond to whatever labels people ascribe to us as we try to fit into their mold.

“It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” E. Gilbert

More internal ways of infection could be rejection. Rejection hurts and sometimes too much of it puts us in positions where the slightest hint of approval has us drawing near for more. Could it be that we sometimes are not aware of who God has called us to be ? Such that we allow the world to define us? Be cautious and know that praise from people will never cure self esteem and identity issues. Could it also be that the fear of disappointing people has what has us in chains?

Meet The Chief Editor

In my writing space I welcome editors to keep advancing my skill but above all, I have access to the Chief Editor and so do you. Meet The Chief Editor :

  • the one who directs you in love.
  • the one who will highlight your faults with no looming condemnation and still guide you to paths that please Him.
  • the one who is able to give you ideas.
  • the one who will never be caught in a public shaming mob
  • the one who has no ulterior motives.
  • the one who will stay consistent in what He says.
  • the one who will show you off for His glory.
  • the one who will affirm you both in the secret place and in public.
  • the one who has your best interest at heart even when you sometimes don’t see it.
  • the one who requires no pay from you save for total devotion to Him.

But most of all, The Chief Editor is the one who will cause what He has put in you to impact the hearts of His children. He alone, has the power to take your song lyrics, your sermon, your post, your dance routine, your IG caption and have it minister to different people in different ways. Why then would we want to impress people who have no power to pierce and minister to the hearts of men through our work?

” God is the chief editor of everything He has put in me and which He will put out through me.” statement inspo by Rev Ken Oyola

With Him, you need not conform to anyone or anything else ; His word is all you need. With Him, you can be at ease and still be certain He will not abandon you even when you slip and fall. God is not a people pleaser which is why some of our prayers that are tied to pleasing people or merely proving a point are never answered because His purpose is more than that. He never answers prayer to merely prove a point. Have you granted access to the Chief Editor?

Lastly, knowing your WHY is one way to stay true and in the path so you are not caged by other voices. It  is what has kept me this far; whether it soothes a home or shakes the world, I will still do this. The why in your vision and even in some small things like why you’re posting that photo or why you are taking a loan is important. This helps filter our motives so as to stay conscious of the traps of people pleasing.

You are light and you are so loved. Stay anchored and Keep His light shining through.

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12 Comments

  1. Oh my God! I love I love! I have read the best always in CMA but this I will give a standing ovation even the Chief editor is happy I know!? ❤️❤️.
    People pleasing is a human pandemic, not only a problem for the creatives.???
    Praise from people will never cure self esteem and identity issues ????
    Thanks beautiful this was not revealed by flesh and blood we need this reminder everyday. Thanks for articulating truth and bringing us back to the original version of ourselves which is living for His purpose,to the audience of one???.This one I will read over and over again. Thanks love❤️❤️

    1. Thank you dearest!
      Such encouraging words. I want to come hug you lol . Thank you dear, God has used you time and time again to encourage me in this ministry and to guide me as well and I bless God that He used me to articulate His truth leaving hearts awakened!
      Audience of one FOREVERRRRRRRRR

      God bless you and keep you ma! ❤❤❤❤❤❤

  2. “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” E. Gilbert
    This part has hit me differently coz people won’t stop talking weather negatives or positives to give feedback to what i do but my response and attitude is what really matters and what helps to define me
    Awesome awesome as passy has said it helps on self realisation and self affirmation in Christ that only Him should define who you are

    1. Thank you for your feedback Janice!
      Yeees…that statement is one we should always remember; People will always talk. Nothing is ever beyond criticism, if one doesn’t talk, another will.
      Only Jesus should define us!

      Thanks again sweet girl. ??❤❤❤

  3. Wow! I love this topic. We all at some point been victims of this human pandemic. Trying to make everyone to like you or trying to avoid conflicts and therefore saying yes always to everything….apologising to much… Ooh how tiring this is… I am glad that you’ve introduced us to a new Chief Editor who’s our God. Who will cause an impact to the hearts of men with what He puts in us and through us… He has the final say. He is the one who sees our motives at heart…. May He be the only to stop us from doing something and not those who have malicious motives towards us and what we do.

    Thanks for this article. It is a life saver for sure.

    1. Let The Chief Editor be known all the way! No and Forever
      It is a much needed truth to take us through days…
      Inviting and yielding to Him is life changing. I am glad you have been blessed
      Thank you for your feedback dear
      ❤❤❤

  4. Wow….Wow!
    Such a great post I must say…

    “If you live by their compliments you will die by their criticism.” Cornelius Lindsey…?Goodness!
    The more concerned we are about pleasing men the less we pursue God’s heart.

    To care about the applauses of men robs God of the glory that is purely His.

    Proverbs 29:25…”The fear of man brings a snare but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe”…

    Let’s allow God to affirm and correct us.He does a better job at that!??

    1. Thank you Karey for your feedback.
      “The more concerned we are about pleasing men, the less we pursue God’s heart.” Love this. It is true to the very last word.
      The Chief Editor does a better job at this indeed.

      God bless you beautiful
      ❤❤❤??

  5. Truth. Periodtt!!!
    Thankyou Edith, thank you for speaking truth in my life. ❤️

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