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5 Ways to Become an Outward Focused Girl

By: Bethany Baird

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.”

3. Serve.

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.

Photo Credit

girl looking off into distance

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  • Sandra

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

    I think I’m both – an inward girl at times, but also an outward girl. But I don’t think it is bad to be an inward girl sometimes. I found out I needed it. To read, to pray, to discuss things with myself… But next to that, I also try to do the best for the ones around me: listen to the people who need it, but also giving advice. Do things without being asked for it. I have to think of the Bible verse Matthew 22:37-39:

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

    In my opinion, being a little inward can help you to love the Lord, because you can build a relationship with Him by praying. And I think you first need to have a relationship with God, before you can be there for others, because only then you know what (Gods) love is. You need Gods love to be there for the other. And I think you need a relationship with the Lord first, to pray for the ones around you.

    I’m not saying you should have your focus all inward – I’m absolutely sure outward focus is way better. But in my opinion just a little can’t hurt.

    And about the little task: I think I will work on all of those points more. My outward focus could always be bigger :o)

  • Hailey

    I think of infield and outfield 😉 Great post, I’ve really been trying lately to be more outwards-focused. It’s hard, though!

    • Way to go, @disqus_8Tzn08gHi3:disqus Keep it up!

  • thehappygirl

    Great job, Bethany! I’m guilty of being an “innie ” girl… A lot more than I’d like to admit. One of my recent prayer objects has been having the heart of a servant and putting others above myself. At first (I’m being honest here), I basically hated every moment of it. But now, I realize that true joy for myself (other than the joy of the Lord) comes from serving others. I am going to work on number 2: speaking words of encouragement. Thanks for the great challenge to my heart! 🙂

    • @disqus_hihTx5ZolR:disqus That’s awesome that you are working on become a more “others focused” kind of girl! I love it 🙂 -Bethany

  • Carliss

    Thanks so much for this reminder! Just a question, when I clicked on The link under number one “Ask Questions” it took me to the post “20 Amazing Reasons to be Greatful Today”. I’m guessing that’s not where it was supposed to lead?

  • Jessica

    I love this post! I am so excited to work on being an “outie” girl!!! 😀 I really do notice a difference at my workplace, and I love seeing the results in that if I am “others-focused” I can positively impact people. I know that I need to work on destroying the natural tendancy to being an “innie” girl with the help of God. I truly am so excited to work on being an outie girl even more at my workplace, but also, just as importantly, in my home. Thanks so much for the encouragement!!!

  • God Never Fades

    ♥ My favorite post so far! I say that every time, though! ☺ I love your blog, I come here often to check for a new post. They are so inspiring and very well-written! I very much enjoy my visits every time I come! Thank you, and God Bless!

  • First Amendment

    Mission trips, either domestic or international, are great ways to humble oneself.

  • Pingback: Two Simple Truths that will Radically Change Your Heart and Attitude()

  • Eli

    Thank you so much for this article! I have been kind of trapped lately in self-pity, I even felt like if I died, others’ lives will be much easier without me. I have been christian my whole life but I sunk too much into a puddle of sins. One day a priest told me that Jesus love me and he died for me – what greater sign of love do I expect in life??
    That kicked me up a little bit and I today at least feel sorry for those feelings and ask God for forgivenes any time it gets into my mind again.
    While reading this article, I realized that I am total “innie” girl and I hate that! I’d love to be an outgoing positive happy person that brings sunshine everywhere she goes.. but it is not easy..
    I became so focused on myself and my hurt feelings, I believed that no one love me.. Maybe I just should forget those, put a label “sin” on those and try to fight them with God’s word and His love that was giving and never asked “what will I get for myself from it”
    I expressed my crazy tangled thoughts but I hope you get my point..
    Thank you so much Bethany and Christin for what you do for all the girls out there!
    Best wishes


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