Finding a Satisfaction Beyond Performance


" Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." - Philippians 4:8


One of the hardest things for me as a student, an employee and as an athlete is finding self satisfaction. Even when my team has won, I have had a very good game, and everyone has been supportive, I still am often dissatisfied with my performance in some way. Although it is important to recognize your own mistakes, dwelling on them to the point that you are never satisfied with yourself can lower your self confidence, cause stress, and make your sport less enjoyable.

While running cross country my first year, I finished a race, running a good time; however, I was not happy with how I did because I did not meet my personal expectations. After I finished the race, I walked off alone, not wanting to speak to anyone. One of my teammates, however, began to walk with me. I continued on in silence, keeping my head hung low. “What is it that you feel that you need to do in order to be satisfied at the end?” she asked. I could not answer this question, which seems silly. I was not happy, yet even I could not think of a thing that would bring me the satisfaction I sought. So often in our sports, we allow our performances to control our attitudes and let a poor performance steal our joy. We think if only we score a certain number of points, block significant shots, or run a set time, we will be happy. When we finally reach our goals, we are happy for a day or two, then set higher goals, always wanting more, never satisfied.

While it is good to always work to perform better in your sport, God calls us to see the good in every situation and rejoice in Him continually. When we look at everything in this light, we find a joy that is not based on what we do, but on what God is doing. Though we may fall short of our goals, we can trust that God will never fail. 

  1. What is the basis for my self-satisfaction?
  2. When have you allowed falling short of your goals to steal your joy, and how could looking at the situation a different way have made a difference?
  3. How can I incorporate rejoicing daily into my schedule?

James 1: 2-3; Psalm 16:11

Bible Reference: 
James 1:2-3
Psalms 16:11