I want to start this particular piece off by asking the very question that led to the creation of my first book Discovering Destiny. Who exactly are you ? Now take a moment and think deeply about this question. Write it out as a list if you must. Now take another moment and allow the answer to fully resonate within. When I ask you who you are, I’m not referring to the identity you are most known by. As a result of coaching dozens of women over the last few years, I have learned that most answer this question by looking first from the outside in. But I’m not asking you to speak from the perspective of an onlooker, but from the inside looking out. This requires an answer based on a first hand account. I must be very transparent and let you know that there was a season in my life when I struggled with finding the answer to my own question. Here’s the irony, there was once a point in time that I assumed I had solidified their answer to what seemed like an obvious question, and yet surprisingly it became more enigmatic than imagined . It wasn’t until the pieces of the identity I created started to break before my face, that I began dismantling what I misguidedly thought was my established truth. This was when I went back to the drawing board of my life. A now divorced young woman, wandering to find purpose outside of being a wife while struggling with remaining in the societal and biblical box I had always been placed in. So I began to cleanse myself of who I allowed my environment, my experiences, and my level of exposure to convince me that I was; and I set out to find the answer to my very own question once and for all.
Sadly, as a society we identify our self-worth by our titles, roles, responsibilities and sometimes even by our possessions. I labeled myself as just a wife, an administrator, an auxiliary leader etc. Once the conditions of those titles changed, so did I. I was so consumed with maintaining the titles in order to maintain my identity that I never realized I had already lost myself I’m the process. Who are you not?
Before I could pinpoint who I was, I had to start ruling out who I was not. I knew I was not the sum of my problems, circumstances, and past failures. I also knew I was not worthless. Although I sometimes experienced rough depression, I was not going to accept depression as part of my identity and existence. Many times I felt like I was at my wits end battling the burdens of bad decisions or the insurmountable responsibility placed upon me. And yet I had to tell myself, you’re not crazy ! You are not a failure. Once I went ahead and knocked out all the other negative low level thinking of all things I allowed myself and others to convince me of. I soon gained clarity and insight into myself. What about you? If you are someone who also defines yourself based on the titles, roles and responsibilities you assume, then it is with sincere regret that I must inform you that you are sadly mistaken. Take another moment to ponder on the list you made to define your identity. Now allow me to submit this for your consideration. What if everything you named and identified yourself as was all stripped away in the blink of an eye? What then would be left to make up who you say you are?This was a hard reality I found myself facing. I had to overcome the complex I created as a way to overcompensate for the lack of self-confidence I truly had in myself. The lesson here is never allow what you do and what you have to take precedence over who you truly are at your core. Yes, you may be a parent by choice, a spouse by marriage, a business person by profession; and you may consider yourself to be wealthy, popular, or even poor, but none of this can embody the true essence of the real you on the inside. You are so much more than the sum total of these things. You are a person with a purpose far greater than anything man could create or label you as. Ultimately, you have to know who you really are, and who you were called and chosen to be. You were made perfect and with a purpose. You have no need to impress nor pacify the unrealistic pressures and expectations of the world around you. You were made perfect in the image of God, so don’t let life make you insecure. Don’t pressure yourself to fit someone’s definition of you. As women especially and leaders, we’ve mastered the art of leading while bleeding at the same time. This doesn’t leave us room to uncover and discover ( discussed in another chapter of my book). Remember, before discovering your destiny... you must first discover your identity. -