We all have experienced identity crisis in one way or another. We allow an event of failure or mistake to defines our identity. This kind of identity crisis is rooted in the faulty lens through which we see ourselves.
Have you ever struggled with failure? How did you deal with it? Were you constantly reminded that ‘you are a failure?’ How can a person identified with failure be happy with her/himself? I experienced a demotion at the workplace more than thirteen years ago. I carried unhappiness and shame from that event for a very long time. I want to share with you some keys that I have learned to walk out of ‘unhappiness’ within you and embrace freedom.
People are not happy with themselves. One of the reasons is identity crisis – they see themselves through a faulty lens, which distorts the way that they were originally created to be. They no longer see themselves as God sees them. Their self-images are tainted by lies that deviated from the truth of who they are, as stated in God’s word, other people’s opinions of us, or celebrity images that society promotes us to follow.
Lupita Nyong’o, a Kenyan-Mexican actress, won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 12 Years a Slave (2013) at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014. Prior to her acclaimed win, Lupita addressed the ESSENCE 7th Annual Black Women in Hollywood event, saying, “I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come, and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before.”
Lupita did not see herself as God sees her. She wanted her skin color to be lighter and bleached. Like every one of us, Lupita wore tainted lenses that prevented her from seeing herself as whom God created her to be. Her success and influence in the world didn’t come until she removed the self-rejection taint from her lenses. It was when she saw herself through God’s lens of love that she accepted the way God created her to be.
Here are some practical steps to fight identity crisis and see yourself as God sees you:
- When you hear God saying that: I love you, I am proud of you, and you are my treasure. Believe Him and agree and accept what He says about you.
- When family and friends affirm you or compliment you: accept with gratitude, believe what they’ve said about you.
- You need to set boundaries for people whose love language is critical.
- You ask God if these are true when your loved ones point out the areas of improvement. If it is true, ask God to guide you to make changes.
- Hang around people who have a positive outlook on life and encourage others. Let their encouragement and positivity rub off on you.
- When you hear negative condemning voices/thoughts, take a deep breath, ask God if this is from Him. We know that God does not condemn. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins. There is a difference between condemnation and conviction. God will let you know if the negative voice is from Him. If it is not from Him, reject that thought, and you can even say: I don’t accept it, and I send you back to where it comes from. Wait and peace will settle in. You will not hear that condemning voice again.
You might say that I can’t even hear what God says about me. There is hope because I have been there. There are many recourses available for hearing God. My book The Lens of Love can also help you identify and remove tainted lenses through which you see God and yourself. You will receive clarity in seeing yourself as God sees you. Your true identity can be restored.
I want to hear from you if this blog helps you.