On this episode of the podcast, Nicole Zasowski and I talk about the message, “never give up on your dreams”.
The “never give up on your dreams” message says that happiness is found on the other side of a met dreams and that we should endlessly strive for our dreams regardless of anything.
Fundamentally, this message tells women to rely on themselves and their effort, instead of God’s. Often we can pursue work and success as a way to cover up feelings of insignificance, inadequacy, or feelings of shame. Nicole and I talk about how our happiness is found in God and not in our circumstances and how our feelings of shame are only redeemed in Christ.
Nicole Zasowski is a licensed marriage and family therapist and author of From Lost to Found: Giving up what you think you want for what will set you free. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and two young boys. You can find Nicole here:, or Instagram: .
Here are some questions Nicole and I talked about throughout the episode:
- The entire season of this podcast is dedicated to the Self Esteem Gospel, or messages that point people to themselves and their power instead of Christ. This season we’ll cover popular messages like you are enough, you are the hero of your story, this is me, and ideas like self love and self care. This episode explores the message “Never give up on your dreams”. Can you explain to us what’s at the core of this message, and how does it promise us freedom and happiness?
- How does this message often require us to rely on ourselves and put ourselves in God’s place?
- Why is it better for us to trust God rather than ourselves and our own efforts, even though that’s everyone’s natural inclination?
- Our culture would likely never tell someone they should give up on a dream, but God sometimes does. Why can giving up a dream be something that is maybe good for us, and how does that not mean we’ve failed?
- Can you describe the differences between three things that people often lump into one category of “failure”: sinful failure, unmet goals, and surrendered dreams?
- How does the “never give up on your dreams” idea subtly promote the message that happiness, joy and success are really found when we achieve a goal or dream?
- How can our fear of giving up on our dreams, or the pursuit of dreams in the first place, actually be a way we are responding from shame that we carry?
- What are some signs someone might be dealing with shame in their lives?
- How can our performance actually be something we do to feel like we are “enough” and to numb feelings of shame and insignificance??
- Why are our own efforts and power not enough to keep us from feelings of insecurity? Why do those things keep us trapped from finding true security, and where do we actually find it?
- How does the “never give up on your dreams” phrase ingrain in us that we have to perform for our significance?
- How can we know if we find our affirmation and identity in met dreams or goals?
- How do we learn to discern a calling God wants us to keep pursuing and something that we think God might be leading us to give up?
- How do we learn to move forward with what we feel like God is calling us to with assurance in him rather than our abilities?
NICOLE’S DAILY HABIT THAT HAS MOST FORMED HER TO LOOK LIKE JESUS:
A daily prayer of surrender, saying “Lord, this day is yours”
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE:
Favorite Quotes From This Episode:
Anything in step with obedience to God is never a failure
Tuning into his voice and knowing an intimate relationship with him, whatever it is that helps you do that, but in constant conversation with him where you have your ear to whatever he has to say in his promptings in your heart, that’s never a failure.
We don’t need a new rhythm, we need a savior, a rescuer.
It’s good to have goals, it’s good to have dreams for you like, but if we’re not keeping our ear to God’s voice in the midst of those goals, we’re going to end up missing out on the joy that comes from listening to God and his promptings in our heart. When we don’t meet those dreams, we can easily feel like a failure, when there’s so much we can gain in the wake of what’s been broken or lost in our own hearts. There’s so much treasure to be found in listening to God and hearing from him in the midst of what we would consider failure.
I think the never give up on your dreams [message] gives us the sense that our life is up to us, and that we are the author of our own story, and that we’re the hero of our own story. I think the enemy wants us to believe that the “good life” is this self-constructed story in which we are at the center; Instead of a God-breathed story of grace where we are transformed and called to empty ourselves to those around us; Where were called to take that transformation and give to other people. That really makes God the hero of our story. He’s the author of that transformation, he’s the grace that allows it to happen in the first place. He gives us his spirit to influence the world around us.
Happiness is found in knowing our need for Him. Which is so counterintuitive because we don’t always want to look at our need. To recognize our need for Christ is to be able to be filled with him alone. A blessed person is a person who has recognized their need for Christ and is now ready to be filled with him alone.
Any time we hitch our identity to anything external, we will be hesitant to let go of that dream, even when it’s clear we should, because our identity depends on it.
Shame says I am not good enough, I am not worthy, my value is inadequate, and I’m no good. While, yes, we need to be aware of our brokenness and aware of our need for Christ to be filled with him alone, to be committed to those shame messages that the cross wasn’t significant in our lives. Staying committed to shame is to stay committed to the idea that we’ve gotta save ourselves with our own perfection and our own performance.
While he does ask for our obedience, he does not ask for our performance.
I think a lot of us know that we are saved by grace, but we don’t know that we’re significant by grace. We say yeah, we’re saved, that’s the baseline, but now it’s up to me to be impressive.
Any time we put our emotional wellbeing on a certain result is usually a sign we’re trying to perform or achieve a certain thing in order to feel like it was worthwhile.
We have to be willing to make obedience the most important thing. That means making all options equally exciting in our minds. As long as I’m being obedient to christ that’s what I’m most excited about.
Obedience is always the most important thing.
We have such a narrow idea of what it means to have big impact.