When a person has spent a lot of their time admiring or idolizing other people because they genuinely like their personality, their aura, how they carry themselves, and the ways in which they express themselves using their gifts or talents; it becomes difficult for them to either find who they really are or to separate themselves from the people they look up to and greatly admire. You can’t find your true self when you are constantly surrounded by inspirational people or people who are fully grounded and stable in who they are, because they will rub off on you and can influence you profoundly without you realizing it. You find yourself indirectly trying to be like them or imitating what you see them do, and before long you begin to lose your true self and to take on some of the characteristics you see in them. It’s almost impossible to love something deeply or be so attracted to something without it affecting you in some way. You will become like the people you surround yourself with, especially the people you spend a great deal of your time studying, following, or idolizing, and before long their purpose will become your purpose, and your identity will become similar. When that happens, you have lost yourself.
It becomes dangerous when the people who are drawn to you, (i.e your biggest fans & followers) become attracted to the “false you” (i.e the person they think you are) or the person that you have become in their eyes, as opposed to the person you really are. Your consistent devotion to the people you love & admire can be the very thing that cause you to lose yourself, because the focus is on them rather than on your growth. The more you have your attention on them, and what you like about them, the more you neglect yourself. You can’t have your attention divided on several things and still be able to maintain your focus, what you are focused on will shape your beliefs, your values, the way you interpret the world, how you see yourself, and this will ultimately impact how you live out your purpose. I am not saying its wrong to admire people or to have role-models, but it has to be in moderation and not done excessively. The time you are spending trying to keep up with what they are up to, the things they are working on, and the projects that they put out, you can spend some of that time pouring into yourself, and working on your gifts and talents, or even seeking God in helping you identifying who you are and what your purpose is, and in building your relationship with God.
Unless you become strong in your identity, it’s possible for anything to come to distract you, and to move you away from the core of who you are. This happens all the time for people in business, in the early and middle stages of building their career, for women and sometimes men while raising their children, and especially in relationships. In other words, this can happen to anybody, we just have to be mindful when it’s happening and retrace our steps before we get far along. I am going to share some of the key areas people lose themselves.
Relationships: This is one of the biggest area people begin to lose their identity because they become consumed with loving the other person in the relationship. When we are in love or when we deeply love another, we make the other person our number one priority and we are constantly looking for ways to express our love to them, or to make them happy. So we begin to pour ourselves into them, investing our time, resources, heart, and basically everything we got, to the point that we begin to neglect ourselves and our own needs. They become our focus and the center of our world, and we can make them dependent on us, and when we’re absent even for a short time, they wouldn’t be able to survive without us. They constantly crave our presence, desire our attention, and our love, and when we are not around for whatever reason, it feels to them there there is something missing. The people who give and give in relationships often struggle with what their own unique identity and purpose is, because they have made their partner visions, goals, and purpose their own, and they have lost a sense of who they are in the process. Some caring partners will actually encourage their significant other to find their passion, and what they are called to do, but may not give them the space and time they need, to do it because they still want you to take care of them in the same capacity you were doing before, while trying to figure out your purpose and your identity, and this makes it hard on the other person.
Raising Children: I have seen and heard of people who gave up their life for their kids. By that I mean they gave up so much in other to see their kids happy and successful. Some people had a life before the kids came into the picture, (i.e they were pursuing their dreams, traveling, caring for their husband e.t.c) but the moment they had their first child, they stop doing some of those things so they could be more emotionally, mentally, & physically present for their children. To them seeing their kids have the things they didn’t have growing up means the world to them, and especially if they came from broken homes, they want to make sure that their kids know, no matter what happens Mom or Dad or both are always there for them. This sacrifice and investment made by parents eventually pay off, but what they can’t get back however, is the time they spent pouring their energy into one area of their life. At times the longer you spend moving away from the real you, the harder and the longer it takes finding yourself again. Nothing in this life is worth you losing your identity and your purpose, no matter how valuable that thing or person is. Your purpose and identity is the reason you were created and what defines who you are.
Role-Models/Mentors/Idols: People who are great at what they do, have spent a great deal of time working on their craft to become what it is today. Nobody arrived at greatness overnight, or didn’t have to go through some difficult things to become the person they are. So when you get to hear about them or see them, they are already come a long way and it looks like they were born that way. Some people find themselves comparing themselves to this people, and wishing they could become like them. They start to read about them, follow them on social media, buy their products, read their blogs, and become so obsessed with the person they admire to the point that the person becomes their passion. Everything they do, is inspired in a way by those significant people in their life, they see themselves in them, and they start to plan their lives to match theirs. A person who invests a great deal of time studying the people they admire, before long will begin to take on the spirit of that person. When that happens they are no longer living their own identity, and it would be difficult to identify their own purpose apart from the people they love. Like I mentioned earlier, whatever you focus on long enough, you’ll become like. You don’t want to be like anyone else, you want to be an original, the person God made you to be.
No one should become more important to you than your true self, you were created in the image of God, not to be like someone else. And if the people you are connected to are rubbing off on you strongly, then you need to pull back and spend some time away from them so you can regain yourself, and to also find out what you truly want and desire. Take care of you first, so you can have something to pour into others, and you shouldn’t be pouring into others your entire existence. You cannot make a real impact in other people, when you are living a lie, or when you are not sure of who you are. It’s good to have somebody in your life that you consider a positive role-model or a significant person in your life, but be careful that they do not become your idol, or take God’s place in your life. You cannot become your best self why at the same time, moving away from everything that makes you, who you are.