There will always be a debate over if a person who wants to change in some area of their life should begin “inside” or “outside” of themselves to begin this journey. Even I can argue both sides and give concrete example of how working from the “inside out” helps a person in specific circumstances and how working from the “outside in” helps in other circumstances.
Here’s what I know: If a person has never stopped to consider what they believe about any part of their life, who helped to shape it, who or what is influencing their life, how they make decisions and so many other things to consider it is very hard to move forward and it is my belief that if you work outside first you truly are delaying the inner work that only you can do.
I’m not saying not to give back, or help others here! There is a very clear distinction.
A person cannot give what they do not possess or own on their own.
Do you understand this?
You cannot lift another person out of depression if you yourself are depressed.
You cannot give advice about great relationships if you yourself are in a poor relationship .
It is great to donate, it is great to help another person learn how to read, it is wonderful to serve food at a shelter, to purchase school supplies, a warm coat, hold a grieving person who has just lost someone, to help out others is such a wonderful calling.
None of us is perfect by any means, what I know is that when you really know:
1. What you believe (in every area of your life).
2. Why you believe what you do (in every area of your life).
3. Does that belief still serve you or is it still relevant in your season of life today?
Then you are able to be a mentor, an influencer, and a role model to lift up and support others.
Many of these people (mentors, role models and influencers) have all come through some very tough damaging life experiences and they have come through the fire with a new perspective and the three questions well in hand with the answers for their lives in tow.
There is a very well used saying:
“You can define the struggle, or you can let the struggle define you.”
Which is true for your life?