When you hear the words “innie” and “outie,” what comes to mind? I think of belly buttons! I know what you must be thinking: Why in the world is she talking about belly buttons? That’s so awkward!
I promise I’m not belly button obsessed, but they make for a perfect illustration.
I hope that from this day forward a belly button will never be “just a belly button,” but a reminder of the kind of girl you desire to be.
Two Kinds of Belly Buttons and Two Kinds of Girls
In this world there are two kinds of belly buttons: innies and outies. One points inward and one points outward. In a similar way, there are two kinds of girls: inward-focused girls and outward-focused girls.
Most everything in an inward-focused girl’s life is pointing toward her. She is most focused on her feelings, her happiness, her emotions, her wants, and her desires.
In contrast, most everything in an outward-focused girl’s life is lived in an outward way. She is most concerned about others’ feelings, others’ happiness, others’ emotions, others’ wants, and others’ desires.
I can tell you from firsthand experience that it’s no fun to be around inward-focused, self-absorbed types of girls.
If you’ve ever been around someone like that, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. “Innie” girls are straight-up exhausting and no fun to be around. On the other hand, outward-focused girls are like a breath of fresh air. Instead of draining the life out of the people around them, they give life.
Are You an Innie or an Outie?
The big question is this: Which kind of girl are you? Are you an innie girl who is totally focused on herself, or are you an outie girl who thinks of others first?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been an innie girl way more than I’ve been an outie girl. I struggle to keep an outward focus. I’m usually so caught up in my plans, my feelings, my wants, my moods, and my discomforts that life becomes all about me.
I don’t want to be that kind of girl, though, and I’m guessing you don’t either.
Five Ways to Become An Outie
Here are five ideas to help us figure out how to be life-giving, energizing, and outward-focused girls.
1. Ask questions.
When you are with your friends or family, make it a point to ask them questions about their lives.
Here are a few ideas:
How was your day? What’s been the best part of your week? If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Show others you care by asking good questions and then listening.
2. Speak words of encouragement.
Words are a wonderful way to bless people around you. Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”
Proactively look for ways to encourage your friends and family.
Here are a few Ideas:
“Thanks so much (Mom/Dad) for all you do for me.”
“Wow! You did awesome on the test. Way to go.”
“You look beautiful today. I love the way you styled your hair.”
Think of ways you can serve those around you in a hands-on, practical way. If you are at home, you can jump in and do chores without being asked. If you are at school, you can look for ways to help your teachers. Just start looking for ways that you can do things for others without being asked.
4. Be grateful.
Choose to view life out of a lens of gratitude. Make Psalm 118:24 your daily motto: “This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” If you choose gratitude on a daily basis, others around you won’t be able to help but be positively impacted.
Pray, pray, pray.
I’ve noticed that my outlook on life becomes much more outward focused when I pray for those around me. I can’t encourage you enough to make prayer a regular part of your life. Pray for your parents, pray for your siblings, pray for your teachers, pray for your friends, and even pray for your enemies (Matt. 5:44).
Are You In or Out?
I’m challenging you to evaluate your life and ask yourself if you are an innie girl or an outie girl. If you have any traces of being an inward-focused girl (and we all do because we are all sinners), I want you to do two things.
First, stop and pray, and ask God to help you become a more outward-focused girl.
Then I want you to look at the list I just gave you and pick one of the five ideas to work on this week. Pick a number, and then focus on developing that quality in your life.