A STRONG IDENTITY, PART 2
I talked last week about how to develop and cultivate a strong sense of personal identity. It really seems impossible to me to navigate this world’s ups and downs without it. I promised I would talk about the personal benefits of having a strong identity. This may best be illustrated by including some of what life looks like with that identity intact contrasted with what it looks like when we have an identity that is frail or what I will call “unidentified”.
What I mean by unidentified is that we have neither described ourselves in terms of good nor bad. We just go through life hoping it will work out and are confused when it doesn’t. It basically describes a person who really isn’t giving any attention to who they are. This lack of self-awareness can lead to the aforementioned confusion because most of life’s successes can be attributed to living life purposefully. We don’t achieve goals if we don’t identify what goals we would like to accomplish. We have a hard time setting goals if we don’t know what is important to us. We have a hard time identifying what is important to us if we don’t pay attention to who we are: What makes us light up? What excites us? What are we passionate about? What do we value? What do we like? What don’t we like? All of these questions can lead us to discovering who we are. As stated in last week’s blog, we can also ask what others notice about us. And most importantly, we need to ask God who we are (in general, as in being a part of the human race He created and, personally, in what aspects of Himself He put in us specifically that He wants to use to show Himself to the world).
In a nutshell, here are some of the benefits to having a strong identity:
- We have a confidence that solidifies life’s decisions.
- Our confidence in who we are enables us to receive God’s and others’ love and compliments. Receiving in this way enhances our overall quality of life.
- We are better able to identify what our purpose is and can easily say no to those things that distract from that.
- We believe we are important and can speak up for ourselves when needing to navigate a variety of discussions and conflicts in our personal and work relationships.
- When we realize how important we are, we realize the same is true for others (they are important, too!) so we are able to humbly submit ourselves to authority, other’s ideas, other’s opinions, and others disagreeing with us without feeling threatened.
- If we face an accusation or an uncertainty and then weigh it against what God has said about us, we find that we are more mentally and emotionally stable. We are not tossed around by every circumstance or opinion. We have a foundation to return to and can easily get recalibrated to what is true.
- We get to dream BIG dreams when we align ourselves with what God says because nothing is impossible with Him and “God don’t make no junk!” He was purposeful when He made us and His plans for each of our destinies is to prosper us, not to harm us. (Jer. 29:11) Another added benefit in this is that we have less fear concerning our future.
- When we know who we are, we attract people with similar dreams, passions, values, and plans and align with them to work out each person’s destiny as we travel together. (Notice I did not say we have the same personalities. It is often true that God also brings those different from us into our lives so that His plans come to pass. That’s a whole other blog!)
- There is a decreased need for control when we realize we are all made uniquely for a reason. This leads to an increase in good communication and exciting discovery within our relationships. Although we may experience short term anxiety learning these skills, we should experience an overall decrease in anxiety as we increase in understanding and value for these relationships.
I’m sure there are more benefits, but even if we only experienced these, life would certainly be an upgrade for many of us! Just looking at these benefits, you could imagine how a person’s inner peace as well as the peace within their important relationships would be significant. More on the latter next week. For now, continue to grow in your own personal identity. Grow in it and then let it flow out into the world. I know as I grow in this, I am all the more confident it is the first thing every individual should pursue and continually maintain.
Declare over yourself, “I am who God says I am. He created me in a magnificent and wondrous way for my benefit as well as for others. I am His and that makes me special!”
Author of this post: Melanie Connell