Written by Lisa Sarpong
So, Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. Galatians 5:1
Christ has set us free; hold on to your freedom and don’t allow yourself to be imprisoned by being something other than yourself. It’s freedom to be yourself because that is how God made you.
You cannot be the best version of yourself or have inner peace, trying to be something other than what you have been created you to be. It’s hard work not being yourself, you always have to keep up with the act, and that can be energy draining and relationships damaging. It is a prison. Sometimes people see through you and know when you have your act on. Such people lack intimacy or depth because you are never dealing with the real person.
Why are people not free to be themselves and lock up in such prisons?
Here are a few reasons people behave that way;
Fear of rejection
Fear of rejection is one of the main reasons people behave that way. Rejection can be very painful, so most people will go to any length to avoid it. Some fear people might not like who they really are, so they put on an act so they can be accepted. Others conform to values or join groups or friends that do not necessarily agree with their values just to avoid being rejected. Fear of being talked about can cause people to succumb to such behaviours.
Not knowing who you are and your purpose
People who don’t know who they are, find themselves in this kind of prison. If you don’t know who you are, you are likely to go with the crowd or be a people pleaser. People like this have no instinct of who they are so would go with what is popular or what everyone is doing at the expense of what they really want. If IT is the in-thing, they would study or work in IT; they will soon move to business if they find out a particular business is becoming lucrative. Sometimes they do this to make them feel important so they can come across as doing well, but in reality, they are not having any success.
Insecurity can make people act that way. Someone who does not feel good about themselves will do anything to make them feel better about themselves; they may not like their personality, their features, their voice or even their family. I went to University with a guy who had this problem, he had an attitude of impressing anytime he meets someone, he would brag about his well-paid job, expensive house, car or anything big going on in his life. Clearly, he does that to make himself feel important. As the saying goes, it’s the empty barriers who makes the most noise.
It’s important to be yourself; in order to be the person God created and fulfil the task He created you for. God cannot anoint something he did not create. You completely tie His hands. Be yourself and learn to be the best version of yourself.
Taking steps to help YOU be yourself;
Most people do not know themselves, so they do not know what they want. They would study Project management because that is what most people are doing not because they like it or are good at it. It’s important to know yourself, so you can know what ticks you off, what things suit your personality type, know your interest and avoid things that does not bring the best out of you.; and stop chasing after things that are not necessarily for you. You are likely to succeed doing things that allow you to be yourself than doing things you think is great but does not allow you to be you.
Once you know yourself, then you can learn to accept yourself. Some people discover after knowing themselves that they do not like themselves, they don’t like their personality, looks, voice, talent, etc. So, they act in ways that make them feel accepted. Half of the time they cannot be themselves because they do not like who they truly are. But it’s important you learn to accept that this is who you are and it will not change. 1 Timothy 4:4 says “for everything that God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving”. Everything that God made is good, and that includes you and I, do not reject yourself, accept yourself with thanksgiving. If you were created with a quiet personality like myself, there is nothing you can do to change it so you must as well accept it and make the best of yourself. While other people prefer being in relationships with obnoxious people others prefer the quiet ones. There is a purpose for everything God made. Quit acting like something you are not and accept yourself and be yourself. Ask God to help you learn to accept yourself, like everything else it’s a process when you are ready to work with Him with time you will grow to like and accept yourself. There is peace in being free to be yourself. I encourage you to learn to accept yourself so you can enjoy the peace of being yourself and freedom that comes from being you.
Find out your true identity in Christ and why you are here
This is something that I will keep coming back to on this platform. I cannot emphasis this enough. You cannot accept yourself if you don’t know who you are. Thank God that if you are a born again, then we are not what we are in ourselves, but we are everything in Christ. Find out all the wonderful things you are in Christ that can help you see yourself the right way so you can learn to like and accept yourself and be yourself. People with little or no knowledge of who they are don’t know why they are here. So, they move from one thing to another searching for that one thing that will make them happy but truly what they are looking for is fulfilment, and that can be found in knowing who they are and their purpose. People like this can do a degree course after a degree course so they can feel valued or accepted. Knowing who you are in Christ is linked to your purpose. You can never be your best acting like something that you are not. A knife has been designed for cutting, using it to open a tin is possible but with great difficulty and does not do a perfect job like the tin opener. So are you, you have been designed for an exact purpose that is why you have a deep voice, long leg, loud personality don’t work your whole life trying to change what God created. Know who you are and find out the purpose you were created that way and pursue it. Know who you are in Christ and know who you are as a person then you can know yourself, be at peace with yourself and be yourself.
Don’t allow the fear of people put you in prison
Especially fear of what people think about you can put you in prison. This is something that has taken me a while to learn. People will put you in a box if you allow them, they will not accept you if you don’t behave in a certain way, they will judge you when you are different, and that can drive you to be something other than yourself. I have learnt that people are not all they seem to be. The people you think are perfect and have it all, who you allow to judge you are not all they seem to be. When you get close to them, you will know that you are better off. Don’t allow the fear of what people think about you stop you from being yourself. What they think about you is irrelevant, what matters is what God thinks about you and what you think about yourself. Do not agree with them. We are all work-in-progress, no one is perfect. If you have issues with yourself or in your behaviour work with the Holy Spirit to help you deal with it but don’t allow people’s condemnation and rejection allow you to reject yourself, God never condemns you or have ill thought about you.
I suffered this problem most of my life, I am an introvert and can be very quiet in the midst of people especially people I am not familiar with. Because of this I always worried about what people thought about me. I sometimes try to change to fit in, but it just wasn’t me. I had to learn to accept that this is who I was and stop worrying about what people thought about me. I have learnt that people will judge you, whether you please them or not, my priority now is what God thinks about and what I think about myself. This is the place you experience freedom. Add to your confession list I am free from people.
Be authentic, be original; you are unique
Be authentic, be original, be the real you. People do not like fake people, they see through them and cannot connect with them. You can miss out on what God has for you and will definitely not have great relationships. Accept yourself; Psalm 139 say you are fearfully and wonderfully made; I say it this way l am complexly and uniquely made. In God’s infinite creativity there is NO DUPLICATE, you are the only you there has ever been or ever will be. You were created differently from everyone, embrace your uniqueness and enjoy your life. Your uniqueness and quirkiness are for a reason, find out what it is and live it. You can’t be the best version of yourself trying to be something you are not. People who make a difference in life embrace their uniqueness and live it. If Bill Gates was trying to be like everyone else, he would not have such great achievements. In fact, most people who achieve greatness are weirdos; they don’t act like everyone else. Celebrate your uniqueness. All the negative things that you have believed about yourself is a lie from the enemy. Find out the truth about yourself and change your life to make a difference. Don’t allow some self-righteous person make you lose yourself. The God who created you, loves you. His character is love, not judgment, anything He does is based on love, not judgment or condemnation, don’t do it to yourself or allow anyone to do it to you. No one is perfect except God, work with God to deal with your imperfections and learn to have peace with the things you can’t change about you. People who make a difference are not part of the status quo.
Learn to accept yourself and be yourself without being apologetic. God created you the way you are for a purpose; you can’t be that person if you are not being you. Find out who that person is and be that person. You can’t fulfil that special destiny trying to like something or someone else. If you do not like yourself or are insecure then address the problem, you are not alone everyone has something they are dealing with, seek help and change your life, don’t remain that way do something about it. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength, it is only brave people who seek help because it takes a lot of courage to do that. But go with what you are comfortable with, not everyone is comfortable talking to people about their problem. One thing I am learning recently is that you have everything within you to change, the power to change is within you, you are strong and powerful than you think. You have the power to change those wrong beliefs about yourself more than anybody else can. It’s not easy; it takes time and effort, but with a lot of determination you can change those self-limiting beliefs and be that person you have been created to be. Work on being the best version of yourself to make a difference in life. Read good books on the topic, listen to good positive teaching but above all if there is a problem with the creation, sort the creator. The answer to every problem you will ever encounter is in the word of a God.
There is a problem you have been created to solve; you are an answer to a solution.
In TD Jakes words “Healing comes from what you say to yourself, not what other people tell you”.
A good book to read on this topic is How to succeed at being yourself by Joyce Meyer