Category Archives: Identity

The Trio: Coworker Coexistence

trio of chairs

image courtesy of satit_srihin at freedigitalphotos.net

Let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t. (Romans 12:6, The Message)

I struggled with which of the Trio to begin with because I have a lot to say about each of them. However, I’m starting with the coworker, because though I met him last of the three, he is the first one who influenced me deeply.

The Introduction

Coworker and I met on my first day on the job. I knew from the first moment we met that he was a mercy gift; I actually told my friend that my coworker was a mercy male, and I knew it was going to be difficult. He is my age—we graduated the same year, but he is already in a high ranking government position, making hand-over-fist money-wise, and one of the smartest people I know in his area of expertise. One time, he was talking shop in my office, and I thought, “wow, this guy is smart, good-looking, and wealthy–what is wrong with him?”

I quickly found out: he lacks identity in Jesus.

Within one week of working with him, I could tell that my coworker was rebelling against his mercy gifting. I could see it in his lack of compassion for others; the way he shuts everyone out, the way he refuses to let anyone care for him at all; the way he treats the people who work for him, the almost robotic nature of his relationships with others; the way he wraps his identity in his job; the rumors about his sexuality. I could see the struggles he was having, even though he tried to hide them.

The Involvement

I began praying for him and speaking very heavily into his identity as a mercy male. I wrote him notes to thank him for showing generosity and to encourage the compassion within him that I knew was there. We had a bit of a dispute—which is NOT the mercy’s strong point, as they just can’t deal with the emotions of conflict—and I made it a point to come into the office on the weekend, when I knew I could catch him, to talk the issue out with him. He hugged me (something that no one in our office has ever experienced, EVER), and we resolved the issue. I spoke life-giving words to him whenever I could, and my other coworkers noted that even they noticed the difference in him.

But after six months of praying fervently for him and speaking into his identity, I stopped. I found myself dealing with feelings for him that I did not want to have. I struggled so badly and felt so despondent about the experience that I asked a friend to take over the prayers and I pulled back from him significantly. And I watched much of the positive changes in him fade away.

During these last six months, I have seen him become even more withdrawn, argumentative, and wholly focused on himself. He has distanced himself from staff without reason and refuses to engage them when asked. He recently said that he could “take care of himself, because he had been doing so his entire life, and he didn’t need anyone.” And even worse, as I have not prayed for him, I have seen my own heart harden towards him.

The Importance

Praying is imperative, and one of the things that I said I was going to do for the mercy male, regardless of what else I felt led to do, was pray for them. And one reminder I gave myself was, “what if I’m the only person in this entire world that is praying for him?” I don’t know that his parents are Christians, and he doesn’t have many friends. So pondering that question drives home to me the importance of bringing him before the Lord. But I’m also under this realization: prayer is not sovereign; God is sovereign. God doesn’t need me or my prayers to work in my coworker’s life. God needs me to pray so that I can cultivate a better relationship with Him and become more like Him in my daily interactions with everyone, including and perhaps especially with my coworker. I want to see him walking in His God-given identity as a mercy gift, and doing so cheerfully (Romans 12:8). I want Him to know the Lord as I do.

I was worried that I was getting too close to my coworker through my prayers. Now, instead of worrying, I am learning the importance of trusting the Lord to protect my heart as I fulfill His directive to pray. And though he doesn’t know it, I have my coworker to thank for this invaluable lesson.

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Breaking Bad: The Sin

image courtesy of Staurt Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Woah. Did I just dream about Chris Evans?

I woke up that morning in a daze. I was at the beach with my friends, trying to relax after a horrible summer (year, really) at work. My mind had enough to think and worry about…so why did I just dream about Chris Evans?

I don’t even know that much about him. Pretty sure I hated him after seeing Fantastic Four (loved the movie, but I remember thinking it wasn’t too much of a stretch for him to play the obnoxious Johnny Storm—which is mean, but you know, prophet here). I’m a huge fan of the Avengers, but Cap is not my favorite Avenger by any stretch—I waited to see the two Captain America movies on TV, and I hadn’t seen much else with him in it. This isn’t like in last April when I couldn’t stop dreaming about Alex Ovechkin because I was watching tons of hockey and the playoffs were consuming me. No, this was weird—I don’t even know what could have possibly triggered me to dream about Chris Evans. I knew nothing about him and didn’t really want or need to.

Except that I couldn’t stop thinking about him after the dream. For four weeks, I just allowed myself to keep thinking and dreaming about him…which was, in many ways, my own personal highway to hell.

When I can’t get someone or something out of my mind, after a while, my preoccupation with it tends to drive me to research the heck out of it. For example, when I started liking hockey, I learned as much about the sport as I possibly could. I didn’t just know my team, I knew all the teams. I was a sponge, taking in everything I could. There was nothing I didn’t want to know.

So naturally, after four weeks, I needed to know who Chris Evans was. It wasn’t enough to just dream…I needed to know. And supernaturally, thankfully, that’s where God met me—because the first article I read not-so-surprisingly confirmed to me that Chris Evans is a mercy gift.

This seems like no big deal, but for me, it fell right into a pattern. Mercy and prophets are beautifully opposites that attract and need each other. I tend to draw mercy males like a moth to a flame. It’s my prophet boldness, fearlessness, and decisiveness that draws them to me. I can pick them out of a crowd with ease. Once I met a friend’s best friend and knew from the moment he looked at me that he was a mercy gift. We became fast friends, and he (of course) eventually broke my heart (as most mercy males tend to do).

Two weeks ago and six weeks into my lust-fest, I was driving to my friend’s house and listening to some worship music. The song My Beloved (amazing song!) came on, and I found myself thinking of Mr. Evans as it played. Did he know he was God’s beloved, God’s child, specifically made the way he was for a reason? I broke down into heavy tears. For the first time, I was thinking about him as God did and I began interceding for him.

As I continued praying, I distinctly heard the Lord ask me how many mercy males he has put on my heart and in my life over the years. The answer was innumerable. I couldn’t even begin to count how many mercy males I have been drawn to or have torn at my heart strings. I have consistently had bad boundaries with them and experienced heartbreak at their hands. So many mercy males have been a part of my life. And then the Lord asked me very loudly, very clearly, and very pointedly: “And how many of them have you prayed for instead of lusting after?”

OUCH.

(The answer was very few.)

This was the moment that God began breaking bad in me.

Breaking Bad: The Problem

image courtesy of jscreationzs / freeditigalphotos.net

image courtesy of jscreationzs / freeditigalphotos.net

There’s a whole slew of people for whom being good is first nature. They want to be good people; they don’t tire of doing the right thing; their natural position is to desire holiness. When they sin, they are grieved by it. There’s only reveling when there’s reconciliation with their God. They may struggle with something, but it’s a brief struggle and then joy returns as they know they’ve overcome. They love being good because it brings them closer to holiness, closer to righteousness, closer to the Lord.

Then there’s me. I just wanna be bad.

It’s not that I don’t desire to be good and be godly; sometimes, I do. But sometimes (right now being one of those times), I don’t want to be a good person. I don’t want to be godly or holy, I don’t want to do the right thing, and I don’t want to represent Christ in my actions. In fact, right now, I think it’s safe to say that I want to be the exact opposite of godly. Yeah, that’s right Willa Ford—I get what you were feeling. I don’t want to be evil, killing innocent children or anything like that. But I do want to be a little dirty, a little crazy, and a lot self-indulgent. And I know there are other people out there who feel just like me, because I have been talking around to others and trying to find if there are others like me. And they freely admit it.

I go through this every now and again, where the desire to be bad outweighs my desires to do anything that honors the Lord. My motto right now is, “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” And what’s worse is that this desire plays itself out in my daily decisions. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what the cause is (it’s just sin, quite honestly—human nature, flesh) or how to fix this; I’m just here to tell you that if you’ve ever felt this way, I understand. I’m there right now. The struggle is REAL.

This isn’t one of those times where I have done something wrong and I regret it—this isn’t every day living and every day sin. This is one of those intense struggles with my flesh where I don’t want to be good and I’m not even trying. I’m watching things I shouldn’t watch, thinking about things I shouldn’t think about, and indulging in my fleshly desires—whatever they may be. I don’t have discipline and quite frankly, I don’t want it. Interestingly enough, I’m doing my devotions every day, I’m praying and going to church, and I’m fellowshipping with other Christians. I’m just being very honest with everyone about where I’m at: I want to be bad, and there’s nothing anyone can do to convince me that being good is the better alternative right now.

So why am I blogging about this? Because I think there are more people out there struggling like this than there are struggling about the fact that they said a bad word or had a fight with their spouse or had an impure thought. I’m not saying those things aren’t struggles or that they aren’t real. They most definitely are. But this here, this hardcore struggle against flesh and blood, this is where the rubber meets the road. And nobody is talking about it (except maybe the guys from Bad Christian Podcast, and God bless them). So I want to be a voice crying out in the wilderness…I’m struggling, man, and I want to share it with you so that if you’re struggling like this, you know that you’re not alone. And maybe together, we can start breaking this desire to be bad. Lord willing. 🙂

Pardon My Hiatus…

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image courtesy of digitalart / freedigitalphotos.net

Oh friends, it’s been a crazy 2015. I didn’t plan on taking such a long break from blogging and writing, but it happened nonetheless, and I am truly sorry for such a prolonged absence online. I have been coaching and also working full-time at a job I don’t really love while looking to move down south away from a climate I don’t love (snow?! NO!). I have been helping a friend with her kids due to a herniated disc in her back. (Yes, me! With kids! I’m really awesome with them, haha!)  I have been tired.

But most importantly, I have been learning several tough but necessary lessons about my life, about my gift (and all the gifts), about the Lord. The most recent one was yesterday…and I plan to share much of it with you over the next several weeks. I’m going to delve back into the spiritual gifts, because they are so much a part of who we are and who God created us to be…and because I KNOW they are such a large part of my calling and my passion. Your spiritual gifts are, perhaps, the most important part of your PureID™. So I am going to talk about them and share more and more about them with you.

I look forward to being back here with you–and perhaps even sharing shorter posts more frequently–very, very soon!

Spiritually Healthy Habits: Serving Others

spirit health by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

I serve the homeless every month with my church. I love doing this for many reasons, but I wasn’t always keen on serving others. I used to believe that serving others meant I could just serve my family, friends, and church community and call it a day. Or that it meant that I could just donate money or needed items and never have any kind of hands-on experience. Then I went on my first mission trip. I took a team of youth to Kentucky to fix up a shelter for women and children. “This will be easy,” I thought. We are just fixing up a house…anyone can do that. But I soon realized that our tasks consisted of more than just painting, gardening, and cleaning. We were to work alongside women and children who had lost everything—they were homeless and hurting, sometimes physically. At the week’s end, one woman showed her appreciation by giving me the boots right off her feet.

Serving others goes is a tricky subject in Christianity, because it entails so many different things we could do! However, here are three things that serving others should do for us if we want to truly reap its benefits:

  • Serving others should stretch us. Serving our family, our friends, and even people we don’t like is definitely a call that God puts on our lives. We should seek to serve everyone. Serving others should make us uncomfortable. It should put us in positions that we haven’t normally been in, because then we rely on Christ instead of our own strength! I could easily claim that I go home and serve my family by helping my disabled uncle. But that is comfortable to me, even though it’s a pain. What makes me uncomfortable is going to the homeless shelter, traveling to a foreign country to teach God’s Word to persecuted believers, and serving in prison ministries. But those are the exact things we are called to do. Jesus says in Matthew 25:35-45 that when we stretch ourselves to serve others, we are actually serving Him and growing in Christ-likeness.
  • Serving others should humble us. There are few things more humbling than to accept the gift of the shoes off of a homeless person’s feet. I had thought that I was going to serve others and show them God’s love; but in fact, I was the one who was served and shown the true love of God. It reminded me of the story of the widow’s offering that Jesus noted in Mark 12:41-44. I had gone to Kentucky believing I was giving out of my wealth, believing that my offering of time and talents was pleasing to God—and they were. But this woman at the shelter, much like the Biblical widow, joyously gave to me out of her poverty, insisting that I take one of the few possessions she had. I have never felt so small in light of God’s love. But that is what serving others should do for us.
  • Serving others should change us. The stretching, the humbling, the discomfort—those are the things that truly change us by decreasing the amount of “us” in us and increasing the amount of Christ in us. So while serving others shouldn’t ever be about us, in many ways is IS about us. It’s about changing our perspective, challenging our ideals, and choosing to trust God. If God’s goal is to remove us (not improve us), then serving others is one of the best ways to achieve that. Jesus put Himself in the servant’s position and encouraged us to do the same to increase the power of the Lord in our lives (Mark 9; John 13; Matthew 23). When we are decreasing self, we give God more room to work and move through us. And nothing could change us more than increasing the power of the Lord in our lives!

If you want to see lasting change happen in your life, practice the spiritually healthy habit of serving others. Get yourself out of your comfort zone and into a place where you truly have to depend on the Lord’s strength and power! You won’t regret it!

Emotionally Healthy Habits: Boundaries

health pyramid by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

I was at my family’s house for the week helping to take care of my uncle. My normal schedule includes a lot of solitude, very little television, no pets, no children…lots of quiet time for my thoughts and prayer, and always a good night’s sleep. At my family’s house, however, there is a loud 8-year old, three barking dogs, a television running 24-hours a day, and two other adults. It’s chaotic and lacks quiet—completely opposite of my normal routine. One night, after I went out and got dinner, I went into the kitchen to enjoy eating quietly. My dinner wasn’t even open before someone said, “Did you see the latest news report?” I sighed and calmly (but firmly) said, “Can I please just have some quiet time?” I was granted my request, albeit grudgingly, as they left the house. I then retreated upstairs to write and enjoy that quiet time—and the enforcement of necessary boundaries in my life.

I’ve blogged about boundaries before, so I won’t repeat what I’ve said (check it out, though!). However, in light of my recent experience, I do want to note a few positive things that boundaries do for you:

  • Boundaries keep the bad away. You should set boundaries in your life for your own protection, because while they definitely keep out things like bad people and bad circumstances, boundaries also keep out bad attitudes like anger and frustration. What begins in your mind as anger can easily build into other unhealthy emotions and actions, so having healthy, firm boundaries keeps you away from bad habits, bad feelings, and bad interactions with others. I may have waited a bit too long in my experience with my family, because I was already feeling frustrated when I communicated my boundaries. However, I knew I needed to say something, so I did and then I stuck to them by retreating to the bedroom for some solitude. When you are creating boundaries, ask yourself, “What bad things am I keeping out by setting this boundary?”
  • Boundaries allow the good to stay. Boundaries are not just about keeping the bad out. You don’t put a fence up just to keep the wild animals out; you do it to keep the kids inside the yard and out of the street. I wanted to be in a good mood for my family; I am not a nice person when I don’t have alone time or when I don’t have enough sleep and peace. I wanted to set and communicate my boundaries so that I could be in a good mood and be useful to them, instead of tired and cranky. I wanted to have joy and peace when dealing with them so I could show them Jesus. So when you are creating boundaries, it’s also good to ask yourself, “What’s good things will stay in my life if I set this boundary?”
  • Boundaries, when communicated, remove anxiety. Quite honestly, I was stressed about going to stay with my family before I even left my home. I knew that their routine and environment was incredibly different from my own, and that I might not be able to operate in the same fashion that I do when I’m at home. If I had discussed those issues with my family, set the standard, and shared my boundaries, I would have enjoyed myself and accomplished more while there. I realized that once I communicated my boundaries, I felt less anxious about staying there—but it was almost too late, because by then, I was already sleep deprived and bothered by the noise. So now I know that the next time I go to help my family, I will ask myself beforehand, “What stress can be removed from my life by communicating my boundaries from the get-go?”

Ephesians 4:15 says, “speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” Boundaries involve speaking the truth about ourselves in love to others so that we can grow and mature as Christians and become more Christlike. And being Christlike means practicing emotionally healthy habits—and spiritually healthy habits, as we will begin talking about next week!

Emotionally Healthy Habits: Unoffendable

health pyramid by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

I’m extremely sensitive. In fact, for a pushy prophet girl, you would be surprised at how easily I get hurt by others. Because I’m so honest and forward in my dealings with others, people often think that it’s okay to treat me the same way—which it should be, but my sensitivity finds me taking offense all too easily. In addition, I also find myself quite hurt by God’s activity (or inactivity) in my life—because it doesn’t seem like He’s listening to my needs and wants and doing things my way. “God hates me!” is one of my favorite phrases to scream when I’m feeling sorry for myself and offended by His ways. But what I have recently learned is that in order to be Christ-like, I need to develop an unoffendable spirit.

Having an unoffendable spirit is one of the most overlooked traits in the Bible. In fact, we often believe that we have a right to be “offended” by the people and circumstances in our lives. But here’s a two things that I’m learning about being unoffendable:

We should strive to be unoffended by others. In our offense-driven, self-centered society, this is also very difficult. We tend to make things all about ourselves, and then we get offended when our expectation of a “me-focused” world isn’t met. Even Christians striving to be less “me-centered” will find themselves offended by others. In our desire to be Christ-like, however, we have to look at ourselves when we feel others have offended us. As Francis Frangipane notes, the best question to ask yourself when you feel offended is, “How can this produce more Christ-likeness in me?” Recently, I had a conflict with someone who said a few things that were quite rude and pious. I was quite offended, but because I know this person very well, I expected that response and also knew that responding to every single offense would just lengthen the conflict. Instead, I overlooked most of the offenses and only responded to the issue at hand, and I did so with love—the other person even commended me for my loving response! I chose to be unoffended, and I was able to resolve the conflict easily. This is a small first step we can practice in being unoffended by others.

We should strive to be unoffended by God. This is the biggest culprit for me. Quite often, I will have a plan in mind that I may or may not run by God, and if it doesn’t turn out the way I expected, I immediately go into prayer and question God about why this did or didn’t happen. But the Bible says that the ones who do not take offense at Him are BLESSED (Matthew 11:6). The context of this verse is that Jesus sent these words to John the Baptist, who was waiting on Jesus to rescue Him from being beheaded while in jail. It’s important to know those circumstances because sometimes, we are waiting on the Lord in dire circumstances and situations, and the only word we might receive from the Lord is Matthew 11:6. The question is, will we be offended by God or will we choose to be blessed? I’m not speaking as someone who is great at this, because I’m not. Often, in the dire circumstances, I will take great offense because God hasn’t answered a prayer the way I think He should. I try to take things into my own hands. I try to act outside of the will of God. And every time, when I quiet my soul, I feel God asking me to not be offended, but instead to trust His perfect plan.

It’s not easy, but having an unoffendable spirit is a serious step towards Christ-likeness and being emotionally healthy—because being unoffended means we are less likely to carry grudges. And if we are less likely to carry grudges, we are less likely to suffer under the weight of unforgiveness (which is our next post topic!).

What are some ways that you can practice having an unoffendable spirit?

Fall Into Healthy Habits!

health pyramid by Stuart Miles

image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Pornography addiction is a habit that takes up quite a bit of your time. It’s just like any other addiction—once you get into it, you need it desperately and spend most of your time trying to fill the void of time with your addiction. But substance abuse and pornography addictions are not the only bad habits we accumulate. Last September, I was just beginning my coaching ministry, and I wasn’t quite sure how to handle my new part-time status at my job and starting my business from the ground up. Suffice to say, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should be doing and not enough time doing it! I built some incredibly unhealthy habits—sleeping too much, trying to work at home from my bed, not exercising—and in return, I did not create many healthy ones. This summer, I decided that I would do things differently. I would find ways to be healthier—not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well.

September is a great time to begin anew—summer has ended, school has started for the kiddos, and change is in the air. Over the next three months of autumn, Pushy Prophet Girl Ministries will be talking about how we can fall into healthy habits in the three biggest areas of our lives:

Emotionally. In September, we will explore how to create better emotional habits in our lives. Being emotionally healthy is one of the most important steps you can take—so building good emotional habits is one of my ministry’s focuses! This month, we will discuss our hang-ups—forgiveness, anyone?—and how to better handle our hurts. How can you overcome that spirit of being offended? The Word frequently talks about compassion, but in what ways do we live that out in our daily lives? How do we practice responding to others in loving ways, even when they aren’t being loving towards us? We will talk about these things and more this month.

Spiritually.  Pete Scazzero says that you can’t be spiritually mature without being emotionally mature first! That’s why we will talk about our spiritual health during the month of October, after we have addressed our emotional habits. What are some spiritually healthy habits we can begin to practice? When can fasting help our spiritual life? What is worship—is it just what we do in church on Sundays? How does giving to others affect us spiritually? Our spiritual lives consist of more than just prayer, attending church, and reading Scripture. While we will talk about those things, we will also discuss many more spiritual habits we can practice in healthy ways.

Physically. We mature and grow from the inside out! Once we have thoroughly discussed our emotional and spiritual health, we will focus on our physical health habits. We will look at the different aspects of our physical bodies and how caring for them is not only a Biblical command but a necessity in this day and age. How does eating healthy become a habit? Where does sleep fit into your fitness regimen? If your body is a temple, are you caring for it the way God wants you to? I am always seeking to improve in this area as well, so I can’t wait to begin talking about these issues and more in November.

Today is a brand new day, and I am here to help you and cheer you on towards being fearlessly fulfilled. Are you ready to fall into emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthier habits? Then contact me today to get started on a personal coaching journey and keep checking my blog this fall for ways to become the best you!

DISC and Spiritual Gifts: So Happy Together

DISC-logo-2014

image courtesy of Christian Coach Institute

My friend is a mercy gift—loving and kind, compassionate and empathetic to everyone. She can’t be around me when I’m angry because she will actually “absorb” my feelings. She is compassionate and giving, loyal to the nth degree. However, she is also very dominant and direct, especially in leadership roles. She has no problems telling you what to do or taking charge of situations, especially if the leadership is questionable. It seems she is crazy sometimes, though, because her primary concern is that everyone feels loved and is shown compassion, yet she can be very bossy and demanding. When you meet her, you may wonder what’s going on inside her—the conflict of her driving personality combined with her gentle, mercy-gifted spirit. But she was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the universe, who saw fit to give her these conflicting motivations.

What happens when DISC and spiritual gifts combine? Can the two work together to give us a better picture of ourselves and our Creator? Of course they can! And here’s what you need to know about DISC and spiritual gifts together:

  • DISC personality profiles focus on your natural motivations. These are the motivations that you were born with that have been shaped by your upbringing, your experiences, and your desires. My friend’s personality profile is a high D because her life and natural inclinations have been to be someone who direct and in control in her home life and her work life. A lawyer by profession, she is used to taking action in situations at work. As a single mother, she also must be the driving force in her children’s lives. Her high D personality has been strengthened over the years as through leadership positions both personally and professionally. When I’ve worked under her leadership, I’ve seen first-hand her motivation for challenge and directness. However, I also know there is more to her!
  • Spiritual gifts focus on supernatural motivations. While our Creator God gave you your personality as well, He also gave you spiritual motivations to do His will and bring glory and honor to His name. My friend above is a high D and a mercy gift who God made to bring comfort to the hurting. I love seeing her spiritual gift in action, as she weeps with those who weep and celebrates with those who celebrate. I know when she is acting on her supernatural inclinations, she is walking in the will of God very clearly. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” I watch this play out through my friend’s spiritual gift of mercy, and I know that God is pleased to be working in and through her.
  • DISC and spiritual gifts are better together. When you understand that you have not only natural but supernatural motivations, you see a bigger picture of yourself and the God Who created you. Why is this important? Because the more you know and understand God, the more you will know and understand yourself—and vice versa! When I think about my friend, I think about how imaginative God was when He gave her an oddly opposite combination of a high D personality with a mercy spiritual gift. But Jesus also embodied that same of “odd” pairing—mostly because he was all four personality types and all seven spiritual gifts! This also makes Jesus a great mirror to which we can compare our personality types as well as our spiritual gifts. And DISC and spiritual gifts are definitely better together!

As we close this series on DISC, I hope you’ve learned a little more about yourself and the individuality that God has blessed you with through your personality (and your spiritual gifts). If you would like to know more about DISC and/or spiritual gifts, please feel free to contact me—I would love to talk to you about your uniqueness and how it can help make you a better leader, friend, spouse, and family member—because knowing yourself is the best thing you can give to the world!

DISC: Is This Really Me?

DISC-logo-2014

image courtesy of Christian Coach Institute

I have a new coworker at my “day” job, and since we have finally gotten settled into our office after a month offsite, I decided to take her on a tour of our facility. While she is not new to the organization, she is new to the building—the only building I’ve actually worked at during my tenure at the company. We left the office for our “brief” jaunt but ended up taking a little longer than usual as we walked throughout the entire building. When we returned, the intern asked candidly, “What took you guys so long?!” I was about to say, “It’s a large, confusing building”—which it is. But before I could say anything, my coworker replied, “Michelle knows everyone, and everyone loves her, so she had to stop and catch up with everyone!” That was an interesting observation about me, a task-oriented high D!

Luckily, the DISC profile covers those discrepancies in our personalities, giving users two graphs to consider. The first is the “This is expected of me!” graph, which addresses who you think other people want you to be—how you act out others’ expectations of you. The second is the “This is me!” graph—who you really are when you are with close friends and family. My coworker’s observation of me was simply her seeing my “This is expected of me!” graph (high I) on full display—the people-oriented salesperson who loves and inspires everyone. However, when she made that comment, I had to ask myself…is that really me?

Here’s a couple of things to remember about that tension between who you believe others expect you to be, and who you really are:

What you think others expect of you can change. I’m going to be honest: I’ve found that when I’m working at something that I don’t care about, my “This is expected of me!” graph tends to change with the situation. I can be super steady, candidly cautious, a demanding director, or an inspiring people person! For example, I currently work with a high C, a high I, and a high S—so I am comfortable being the high D in my office. But for the previous three years, I worked with two high Ds, a high C, and a high S—so I needed to be the high I to balance the office environment. This high I personality was the person that everyone in the building knew—and the one everyone liked. It was my job, but I wasn’t passionate about it, so I simply adapted to my circumstances. I equate this to the apostle Paul, who noted that he became “all things to all people” so that he could preach the gospel more effectively (1 Corinthians 9:22). However, it was way more exhausting for me to constantly be someone other than my true self.

Who you really are is what’s important. Ultimately, you want to have both graphs match or at least be similar, because you don’t want to spend your life being two people—one that others expect, and one that you actually are. But how do you merge the two? I’ve found that one of the ways that I can help my graphs to become more similar is to do something that I love. When you are doing what you are passionate about, it is much easier to be yourself without caring what others expect or think of you. The second way is to mature, both emotionally and physically. Physically, the older we get, the less we care what others expect of us (yay for that!). But emotionally, as we concern ourselves more with finding our true passions and purposes, the better we become at letting go of “This is expected of me!” and embracing “This is me!” The Bible warns us that caving to others’ expectations is a snare (Proverbs 29:25); instead, we should accept who God has made us to be and live confidently as His children.

The pull between expectations and reality are a daily battle for each of us. However, you can begin to win those battles for reality simply by being yourself. Learn more about who you are, what you love, and what God has called you to do so that you can confidently declare in every situation, “This is me!”

What is your “This is me!” personality? Let me help you identify it through personal coaching!