Who Do You Choose to Be Today?
by Linda Potgieter
I have the awesome privilege of writing this article from Jerusalem, halfway through a 10-day Spiritual Equipping journey with my business coach and 96 like-minded people. We are diving passionately into the bible to gain a deeper understanding of our faith, our roots and our how these commands and blessings apply to us as women, wives, mothers and businesswomen.
The calling on our lives is to love. There needn’t be a desperate plea or pursuit of our purpose. We are on this earth to love our heavenly Father, love ourselves and love His people. And I have learned that in order to love well, we need to be confident in our own skin. To achieve that, we need to understand our identity. This is the foundation to everything. Because without an intimate understanding of who we are, we cannot love well.
So I’m going to shoot straight here and ask you something…
Do you take offense easily? Do you get annoyed with certain people and how they behave? Is there a recurring conflict in your life? Some conflict is normal – the best relationships are formed by overcoming the tough times together. But are you someone who pursues restoration, or are you someone who cuts people off? And here’s where my straight shooting comes in.
If you cut off, you don’t know your identity. Why? Because a lack of identity breeds insecurity, which in turn opens the door to arrogance and judgment. These monsters are a hot breeding ground for offense and conflict.
More straight shooting: we have to make the choice to address issues within our relationships! If you cut someone off, you give him/her zero opportunity to understand your hurt or your offense, and zero opportunity to make it right. That’s not only tragic in our Father’s eyes and dismissing His commands, but it limits your personal growth, too. It limits your influence, your leadership, and your trustworthiness. If you are not a safe place for people to fail in, you will become more known for that than for your personal or professional integrity.
Every important relationship faces conflict from time to time. It’s not only normal, it’s biblical. God guarantees us that there will be trouble in our lives. James encourages us to consider our trials pure joy. But unless you pull out your best communication tools and address the issue in the very spirit that you expect others to extend to you, you are simply sitting in a dirty, murky pool of unforgiveness…which means your Father in heaven will not forgive you. That part is scary!
Choose to communicate your feelings! Sow time and effort into the relationship that you have so swiftly ended. It might just be one of the best relationships of your life – sent to test you, sent to grow you, sent to bless you.
Matthew Arnold said: “If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the greater good of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.”
Women are powerful! We are natural nurturers, we are deeply spiritual (regardless of our personal faith), we are both fierce and feminine. And if we would simply choose to accept that most conflict is born out of different perspectives and not black & white rights or wrongs, we would position ourselves to raise a whole new generation of fierce and feminine beauties who love well!
Friend, I challenge and encourage you as you read this to ask yourself if there is anyone in your life who you need to make things right with. We are out of time and our kids are watching. Be the one to rise up in leadership and go make it right. The world will never be short of people who are quick to take offense or quick to criticize – but remember that hurt people hurt people. So that behavior itself is a reflection of what’s going on in their hearts. It’s not who they are. So if you are on the receiving end of being cut off, fight the urge to judge – I know it’s painful, you might think it’s completely unjust. But again that’s just your perspective, and it’s easy to love those who love us. We rise up in our leadership when we love those who do not love us.
Be the one to violate reciprocity! Be the one to face yourself in the mirror as you go to bed tonight knowing that you did the right thing. You can’t control anyone else, but you are 100% in control of your words and your feelings. And if you’re reading this article, perhaps you are being called to soften your heart and make the world a better place through your humility.
We are called to play from a position of victory with a strategy of humility. Humility is the secret weapon. Humility is the oil that lights the lamp – the lamp to your future, to your children’s future.
Every day is Chooseday. Choose unity. Choose love. Choose life. But to choose well, you have to answer the question: Who Do I Choose to Be Today?
Linda is a wife and mother, and Partner & Director of JPA Ltd, a global negotiation training firm headquartered in London. She is also Founder of LindaPaige, a fashion brand that empowers women to be a bold light on a hill in this world. Born and raised in South Africa, she currently lives in the UK with her husband and 2 children.
Linda started working at age 17 and spent most of her career in the corporate arena, often the youngest on the team enjoying powerful on the job training, learning from ambitious, accomplished executives what the marketplace wants.
Linda had the immense privilege of serving on former President Nelson Mandela’s PR team in 1998. As the final member of a team of 5, Linda and her colleagues organized the Vulindlela Water Supply Scheme in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, on Human Rights Day in March 1998. Awarded along with her team members for her performance in this role, she cites this experience as one of her distinct career highlights, referencing Nelson Mandela as her leadership standard in life, and continues her involvement today in fighting oppression and injustice.
After relocating to the UK in 2002, Linda won a national sales award in January 2006 from the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (UK) (ISMM) for ‘Best New Sales Professional in Britain’. She is passionate about sales and loves working with people, a combination that opened up fantastic career opportunities for her across geographical and cultural boundaries, working on negotiation training projects with some of the worlds largest brands such as Adidas, Network Rail, EON, Mercer, Nestle, Pfizer, Nokia, and Vodafone. Her clients cite her training style as “…highly motivational, passionate and performance impacting”.
Linda is extremely dedicated to her own personal growth and attends regular leadership training in the USA which she cites as life-changing. On a personal note, she is an adrenaline junkie continuing her pursuit of the next thrill in adventure sports, she loves traveling the world exploring good food, good wine and when there are gaps, she is home socializing with her family and friends.