You Don't Need to Live LOUDLY to Be Significant - Lisa E Betz

Do you live loudly? What do I mean by “live loudly”? I’m not talking about the volume of your music or how loudly you speak. Instead, I’m talking about a lifestyle that strives to gain notice and win applause as much as possible in order to prove one’s significance.

The good news is, such striving isn’t necessary. As the saying goes:

Confidence is silent. Insecurity is loud.”  When we are confident in our worth and identity, we don’t need to live loudly to prove our value or success.

Your significance is not measured by how loudly you live

If the motivation behind our actions is earning applause or approval, we will always be at the mercy of our audience. Our success and significance will be subject to their whims. In contrast, a quietly unconventional lifestyle frees us from the constant pressure to live loudly, because we know our worth isn’t based on performance.

Instead, our true character is who we are when no one is looking. Much of life isn’t lived center stage. Our everyday life is filled with a succession of small daily decisions and mundane tasks that don’t warrant applause. The kind of stuff people only notice when you fail to do it—like laundry or filling out paperwork. It is the sum of these small actions that is the basis for our success, self-esteem, and significance.

An example:

All through high school I was involved in school plays. However, I was on stage only once, and no one saw me! The set involved several large boxes on wheels, each powered by a student hidden inside. (Boxes that mysteriously moved all by themselves! This was a pretty cool technique for a 70s low-budget school play.)

When the show wrapped, I was recognized as the best box. I was proud of that award. The director and cast knew I’d done my job well and been a vital part of the team. That was enough recognition for me.

I admit, I’ve always gravitated to behind-the-scenes work. I feel safer backstage, where no one sees me. But sometimes God has asked me to take center stage, to teach or give a keynote speech, because that is part of my calling, too. I am content in my quietly unconventional lifestyle either way because my goal is neither public attention nor avoiding it. Rather, my goal is consistently doing my best at whatever I’m called to do.

An unconventional life doesn’t need to be loud

A quietly unconventional lifestyle also frees us from the need to build our identity on our unconventionality. Since inauthenticity is everywhere, living authentically sometimes means we stand out. But standing out isn’t the goal. The goal is always personal integrity and doing our best to be our best self.

In summary, living a quietly unconventional life is not about making a scene, rebelling against authority, or otherwise striving to get noticed. Instead, it’s about living our values and following our calling with integrity whether anyone else notices or not. (I notice and God notices. That’s enough.)

How does the quiet part of quietly unconventional play out? In ways like this…

  • We don’t live unconventionally to gain attention. Instead, we choose to pursue godly values and priorities in a world that sees these choices as unconventional. Sometimes that means standing out. So be it.
  • When we are obedient to our callings, we are fulfilled and content. We’re doing our part to change the world for good, whether anyone else notices or not.
  • We don’t need to make a big splash to have an impact. We can change the world one small act at a time. I am content to work in my own quietly unconventional way.
  • Our significance is not measured by how many people notice us, how popular we become, how influential we are, or how many achievements we accomplish.

Next steps


Thank you, Lord God, that you see me. Even when no one else notices me or what I do, you notice. And you care.  Help me to be faithful in small things today. Help me remember that my goal is not to be seen by men, but to be a good steward of all the blessings, talents, and opportunities you have given me. Enable me to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly as I go about the good works that are on my plate this day.


Practice living quietly. Do an anonymous act of kindness today. For example, unload the dishwasher, refill the coffee pot or the copier, leave an encouraging note, hold the door for a stranger, pick up roadside litter, or give someone else the choice parking spot.

Keep in mind, the goal is not to be sneaky, but simply to be consistent in doing good whether others notice or not. It’s OK if others see what you do, but it’s also OK if they don’t.

Here’s the key: pay attention to the satisfaction of doing something worth doing, even when no one is looking. And remember that your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (whether you are aware of it or not).


Finally, let these words inspire you.

You have been created by God and for God, and someday you will stand amazed at the simple yet profound ways He has used you even when you weren’t aware of it.

Kay Arthur