Over the years I’ve worked with numerous clients who are looking for fulfillment in the wrong places:
- A corner-office executive who doesn’t know his children
- A pastor who is more concerned about congregation size than helping people follow Jesus
- A mom who yells at her children for making messes because she wants the house to always be spotless
- A husband and wife both trying to advance in their careers but haven’t been on a date in months
- A dad who travels, proud to say he rarely misses his kids’ games, yet the only time he does see his children is from the bleachers
- An athlete who has a career-ending injury and doesn’t know who he is now
- A woman who counts every calorie, thinking it will bring happiness
Maybe you are experiencing this right now. A sense of wandering, a sense of being lost.
- Do you feel like your ladder is leaning against the wrong building?
- Is your life as fulfilling as you thought it would be?
- Are your priorities in the right order?
- Are the people closest to you getting the best version of you?
- Are you securing your identity through temporary pursuits?
- Is work currently more important than your spouse? Kids? Physical health? Spirituality?
- Are you making first things second and second things first?
- Do you ever feel you are pursuing a lifestyle, an accomplishment, a dream that is to be the answer to your questions about yourself and life?
- Do you ever feel you are putting your eggs in the wrong basket?
- Do you ever ask God for help in the small decisions, or do you just call on Him when you are in panic mode?
- Are you successful in a worldly sense but still feel insignificant?
If any of these questions resonate, the great news is there is a better way. But it starts with understanding your identity.
Before you can lead well at home or work, you have to know yourself. Brandon Schaefer, my executive coach for years, says, “You have to know yourself, so you can forget yourself, so that you can freely give yourself.” Unpacking that idea, if you truly know who you are, what you stand for, and what you are going after, you can forget your imposter-self, your selfish desires, your insecurities, your fears, your doubts, your cares of what others think of you. And you can actually “give yourself away.” Or, in other words, you can be present with people—actually listening to people talk instead of waiting to talk. Thinking about how you can serve others instead of the other way around.
If you do not understand who you are, you will always be looking in other places for the answer. You will take your questions of identity and self-worth to your job or your spouse or another man or woman. You may look to the success of your kids. You may even take your questions to coping mechanisms like alcohol, TV, or porn.
None of these places will provide a sustainable and life-giving answer. If you take your questions to your job and you do not get the promotion, or you get fired, how will you view yourself? If you take your questions to your spouse, what if he or she is having a bad day and does not give you the answer you want? What if your kids don’t make the sports team or drop out of college?
When we take our questions to temporal things, we are building an identity on very sandy soil. Instead, we need to understand that our identity is in being a beloved son or daughter of God.
One of my absolute favorite teachings on identity is taught by The New Frontier, a ministry founded by my friend and mentor Chris Hartenstein, who helps people better understand their true identity as a beloved son or daughter of God. This ministry has weeklong immersions in Montana, helping people process four main life questions, one of which is, “Who am I?”
One of the activities we do in Montana is going on a three mile hike to the top of Bear Creek Overlook. When we get to the top, the view is majestic.
Imagine standing on a mountaintop in western Montana. You can see for miles. You see mountain ranges all around you, even into Idaho. Standing on top of Bear Creek Overlook, you also can look over Bitterroot Valley and to the Sapphire Moun- tains on the other side of the valley. You see the beautiful yellow tamarack trees spread up and down the mountainsides, mixed in with the green ponderosa pines and evergreens. Looking directly down you can faintly see Bear Creek flowing below.
Now Chris pulls everybody together and tells you to look around and say words to describe what you see. “Awesome,” says somebody to your left, just as someone in front of you says, “Beautiful.” “Epic.” “Unbelievable.” People throw out words like this for some time. You toss in some of your own. Chris looks at all of you and reminds you that after God created this mountain range, and all the other beautiful parts of the world, Genesis tells us that on the fifth day, God called it “Good.” Yet when He created man and woman on the sixth day, God said, “Very Good.”
Even in all of our brokenness, weaknesses, and quirks, we are “Very Good.” With that in mind, we can start…CONTINUE READING…@https://www.faithdrivenentrepreneur.org
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