“The vast majority of us go to our graves without knowing who we are.” –Peter Scazzero
Far too many people coast through life wondering who they are because they do not know how to find out (or Who can tell them); hiding who they are because they are afraid that people won’t like them if they know the truth; or being someone else because they have surrendered to other people’s assumptions about them. Few people, and even fewer Christians, are walking in their God-given identity. They lack self-awareness.
I was there. Ten years ago, I had the self-awareness of a square, the emotional intelligence of a newborn, and the self-control of a rabid dog. I was a complete mess with no idea of who I was, who God said I was, and who I was becoming. Quite honestly, I would have been content with chasing the “American dream” of having a husband, kids, a house, and a couple of nice cars. I would have “settled” for those things because that would have given my life some “definition.” It was a worldly definition, but it was a definition nonetheless.
Thankfully, an incredible friend introduced me to the motivational spiritual gifts and explained to me that I was a prophet. Oh, to feel understood and to understand how God had made me! And as I looked further into who I was, I saw where I needed to improve and how I could live out God’s dream and vision for my life!
So if self-awareness is crucial to great leadership, then where do you start? Here are two valuable ways you can improve your self-awareness:
- Find your motivational gift (Romans 12:6-8). Knowing why you are motivated in specific ways can help you understand yourself better in big AND small ways. It also can show in which areas you need to improve. For example, prophets tend to value truth over relationship. This is an area I am constantly trying to improve as I learn that God is the real truth-giver who has called me be quiet and be in relationship—especially when it is tough. Knowing this about myself has helped me to solve a host of issues at my job, home, and church.
- Acknowledge and overcome your past (see the story of Joseph in Genesis 37). Your past does not have to define you, but you can learn from it and move forward. If you have unresolved wounds from your past, you cannot fully experience the life God intended. Explore your family of origin, how your parent(s) raised you, and significant life events—both good and bad—to discover who you are so that you can live joyfully in your new family: God’s family. I acknowledged and overcame my past through Celebrate Recovery, but there are many awesome programs/people out there that can help you walk through your hurts, hang-ups, and habits and discover new life in Christ. The old saying is right: you can’t know where you’re going ’til you know where you’ve been!
To become a great leader, you must know yourself. Who are you?
Interested in discovering your motivational spiritual gift and leadership style? Click on “Contact Me” at the top of this page and submit the form. I’d love to have a free discovery call with you.