Learning to be yourself is quite an accomplishment in a world where there is so much pressure to be someone you are not. Some people are pressured to be one way because they want the approval of certain people. Others try to be someone who will impress, so they garner praise. Still, others try to be someone else because they don’t like who they are. Whatever the reason being, anyone but our true self will eventually bring us disappointment.
I believe the first step to being yourself is to find out who God is. How could I, the creature, have any idea who I am if I don’t know my creator. Knowing God changes everything about me. It gives me value both now and for eternity. Knowing God gives me purpose because he has ordained my path. David wrote, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalms 139:13-16). Those words describe the purpose and value that come from God.
The second challenge is accepting who you are. This is big, and it will change your life. This is who I am, and I am thankful for my gifts, and I don’t have to envy another for his gifts. There are things I can’t do, but I will focus on what I can do. There are things I cannot be, but I will focus on what I can be. Accepting myself takes away the rivalry and allows me to appreciate my life and those God has placed in my path.
The final step is being who we are. Here is the challenge because there are reasons to be someone else, but I am determined to be just me. This includes being me at work, school, home, and church—there will not be any place that I forfeit my originality.
When we find out who God is, accept ourselves and determine to be ourselves, we have the greatest possibility of enjoying life, family, and ministry. We have the best chance of inspiring people with our sincerity. Learning to accept that some people will not like us is inevitable, but most people will, and most of all, God will always be pleased we have chosen to be who he made us to be.