I like to be picked. Do you remember those days of recess way back in grade school? Two captains were chosen to pick teams. You lined up, praying you wouldn’t be the last one chosen. More times than I want to admit I received the honor of being last. The only exception was when they chose teams for Red Rover; my obese body could slam through the line.
The fondness for being picked remains. In my career as a pastor I waited to be picked. I waited for the phone to ring or an email to arrive informing me a large church picked me to be their pastor. And after leaving my last church I waited to be picked for another ministry. Or a job. Or anything. I waited. I waited some more. It suddenly dawned on me no one was going to pick me.
At that point I made a decision I should have made 30 years ago. I decided to stop waiting for someone to pick me and choose myself.
So what about you? Are you waiting to be picked? Trust me. I really do get it. You are waiting for the boss to notice how hard you work. Your mind dreams of the moment when the email arrives informing you someone wants you to join the team. “I hope they choose me.” How many more years are you going to waste waiting to be picked?
It’s time for a reality check. The older you get the less likely you are to be picked. Three months after I resigned my last church I turned 60. I interviewed at one church. In the interview several young folk asked about my age. Uh oh. I didn’t get picked.
So, at the age of 60 I stopped waiting for the magical email to arrive or the Boss Man to call me. I chose myself. And so can you!
Here’s what it looks like to choose yourself:
- You embrace proactivity instead passivity. Waiting to be picked is passive. Picking yourself is proactive. The only exemption I can think of to this rule is the NFL draft. In this instance waiting to be picked might be a good thing. Adopt the mindset of proactivity. Realize you are going to make good things happen instead of sitting around waiting for the good to happen to you.
- You start looking inside instead of outside for answers. Real joy and fulfillment is found by searching your heart and mind instead of waiting for Mr. Bigshot to notice you. What are your passions? What is your skill set? What need do you see that must be met but isn’t? How you can you meet the need of someone else? The answers are there on the inside waiting to be discovered.
- You start believing in yourself. Success starts the precise moment you stop waiting to be picked and you pick yourself. You have skills and abilities. You can do this; whatever “this” might be. Sure it’s hard. But believing in yourself gives you a better chance of success than waiting to get noticed.
- You examine your options. Maybe your best option is to pick yourself to be the star in your current job. Don’t wait for an award or the boss to give you a raise. Believe in yourself, work hard, and let results declare you did a smart thing by picking yourself. Or perhaps it’s time to move on to another way to invest your life. Now is the time to pursue your dream. If you could pick yourself to go and do one thing, what would it be? Here’s an idea: go and do that one thing.
When I chose myself, life became exciting and fulfilling in surprising ways.