The Real You is the Best You (How to Be Most Effective) - Lisa E Betz
We want our lives to matter. We want to accomplish worthwhile things and leave a legacy. But how do we find the best way forward, so we can be the most effective at accomplishing our life goals?
I’ll give you a clue …
The best version of you is the most authentic version of you. Therefore, you will be most effective at achieving worthwhile goals, creating a fulfilling life, and leaving a positive legacy when you act in alignment with your inner self and original, God-created purpose.
Let me illustrate what I mean.
A story of true self lost and found
I had a friend in high school named Eric who was a delightfully creative person. He was a gifted artist, musician, and actor. When he announced that he planned to become a dentist, his friends winced in dismay.
“Are you sure you want to be a dentist?” we asked.
He claimed he was. It was a practical choice. Dentists make good money, and everybody needs one.
True, but still … We knew he was capable of becoming a dentist, but it wasn’t a profession that fit well with his personality and strengths.
After a few semesters, Eric realized his mistake—he’d chosen dentistry because it conformed to certain expectations of how to be successful. (Make plenty of money and pick a career that makes it easy to get a “real” job.) But his heart wasn’t in it.
He switched his major to interior design, and his friends breathed a big sigh of relief. That was a career more suited to the Eric we knew and loved. (And he became quite successful at it.)
Why the best you is the truest, most authentic you
Others might tell us we’ll be happier, cooler, more successful, or better at relationships if we become who they think we ought to be. They are wrong. When we ignore the truth of our personality, interests, and strengths to fit other people’s expectations of personal worth or success, we are out of integrity with your soul.
God equips each of us perfectly to accomplish the good works he plans for us to do. We can’t improve on God’s original masterpiece, therefore the more we work with the potentials and limits he placed in us, the more effective, confident, and productive we will be.
This sometimes means being wise enough to resist choosing a career based on how much money you’ll make or volunteering in a ministry role because your sister-in-law will be impressed. Earning lots of money and impressing others isn’t what you and I were created to do. As T. D. Jakes says, “As long as you strive to be someone you’re not, you will never fulfill your purpose.”
The choices we make create a domino effect.
When we make authentic choices, we work with our strength sand temperament, find the activity more meaningful because it’s in alignment with our inner truth, and waste less energy keeping up a façade. All of this enables us to enjoy better, more satisfying results, which in turn increased confidence and self-esteem. And that enables you to make even more authentic choices…
Likewise, when we make inauthentic choices, we work outside our strengths and temperament, we live at cross purposes with our inner truth, and spend energy maintaining the “correct” image (while denying our real feelings) and keeping everyone we need to please happy. This leads to added stress and exhaustion because we are working outside our strengths, and insecurity because we know in our souls that we aren’t really who we’re pretending to be, which in turn erodes self-worth and self-esteem. To compensate for our low self-worth, we seek approval, which leads to more inauthentic choices…
I choose the upward spiral. I hope you do as well.
Some truths to help you become your authentic best self
- We can be most effective in changing the world for good when we act from our genuine personality, giftings, and calling—utilizing our strengths and unapologetically putting our unique spin on all we do.
- We serve others best when we work in alignment with our most authentic self, not trying to be someone we’re not.
- We serve others best when we focus on the specific work God calls us to accomplish rather than doing other people’s jobs out of guilt, duty, or a need to control.
- Always deferring to others means we are not offering all we could to those around us. Our words, actions, and ideas benefit others, just as theirs benefit us.
- We don’t want to waste our lives pleasing others or chasing after the world’s definition of success. When we honor our unique callings and giftings we are successful in God’s kingdom.
Thank you, Lord God, that you are familiar with all my ways, and you know exactly how I am custom made to perform the good and perfect plans you have for my life. Help me let go of the misguided ideals, duties, and expectations that hinder me from doing your will. Give me the courage to not conform to the image of this world—the morals, facades, expectations, and priorities. Instead, lead me into your perfect will, which is good and pleasing to my soul because it guides me to accomplish the precise things you designed me to accomplish.
Name your inner critic. Give that voice an ugly name to help you remember you don’t want to listen to it. (A few examples: Nurse Ratched. Lady Macbeth. Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the Mind, or the name of a bully who picked on you in the playground.)
Every time you recognize your inner critic speaking, name the voice. Now tell yourself something like, “Oh, that’s the Wicked Witch speaking. Her advice and criticism won’t fix me, improve me, or lead me to the best version of who I am. She is NOT God, and I don’t have to agree with her or listen to her.”
Finally, let these words from a famously unique and influential man—Steve Jobs—inspire you to remain your best self instead of trying to “fix” yourself to be more effective and successful.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. … Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”