When it comes to figuring out what we’re supposed to do with our lives, we can easily put so much pressure on ourselves to do, try, and strive that we work ourselves up and become overwhelmed.
But something that has helped me in this area is advice I received from a book I’ve been reading called Atomic Habits. In the book, the author advises us to decide who we want to become and then to be that person every single day!
He shared that we can all have goals. That’s easy, right?
Check out my 3 tips on dominating your goals. But goals can be black and white. You either hit them or you don’t, and you can become easily disappointed in yourself if you don’t achieve what you want. Maybe the goal was unrealistic, maybe it was vague.
Whatever the issue is, we sometimes find identity in our actions, our performance, and our results when really we should be more focused on our journey and the person we’re becoming in the process.
As you journey to become a better you (a compassionate teacher, a generous giver, a patient wife), you will find more effective and lasting change and growth when you find ways to become who you want to BE rather than try to change what you want to DO.
For example, when it came to Transparency Ministries, I got really distracted by the what and at one point, I was really frustrated because I couldn’t figure it out. What did Transparency Ministries do at its core? Was it a community? Was it a teaching platform? Was it an events ministry? What was it and what exactly was it supposed to offer?
I had the vision and mission statement, but I didn’t have the what. And something that I was believing God for was for Him to reveal the answer. I wanted to be super clear on what exactly Transparency Ministries was and what it did for people.
Cue Atomic Habits by James Clear. Somewhere in chapter 2, the author asked me a question that I hadn’t asked myself in a very long time. Who do you want to become?
Who do you want to become?
That question provided me with an exercise (which I will task you with by the end of this blog post lol) that turned out to be surprisingly helpful. Just to name a few, some of my answers were:
- A woman of faith who pursued God with her whole heart
- A compassionate and caring friend
- A helpful and encouraging mentor/leader
- A generous giver
What you don’t see on that list are titles like an inspiring coach or helpful and encouraging teacher. Could I be those things? Possibly. Do I have the gifts that could make it happen? Maybe. But the truth is, I didn’t want to be a coach or teacher and both of them were roles I thought I HAD to be in order for Transparency Ministries to be successful.God’s job is to plan and orchestrate our lives, and our job is to obey what He says. That’s why our focus should be on who He is and whether who we are is a reflection of Him. Click To Tweet
Living Under False Pressure
Living under the pressure of what you THINK you’re supposed to do or who you think you’re “supposed” to be is a trap from the enemy. We see other people’s successes and believe we have to DO what they did in order to BE successful.
Yes, they have wisdom and experience that we can live from, but when it comes to following God and living His purpose for us, it’s not so much about the what, but about the who. Sometimes we’re so focused on what we need to do that we forget who we want to become or more importantly, who God wants us to become.
For me, I was asking the wrong question and I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy if I would have answered that first. If I focused on who I wanted to be, everything I did including my goals would naturally align with that. The truth is, everything that you’re called to do in this world has already been placed on the inside of you.
You Have Everything You Need
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
Before the foundation of the world, God put every gift that you would need to accomplish the assignment He specifically has for you and then He gave you His Spirit to help you, guide you, teach you, and even comfort you along the way. When we get saved, our lives are not our own. God’s job is to plan and orchestrate our lives, and our job is to obey what He says. That’s why our focus should be on who He is and whether who we are is a reflection of Him.
But if we’re not careful, it’s easy to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to “do” when God wants our focus to be on “be.” You are not what you do. You do who you are.
It’s a fine distinction but stick with me. You are not your actions. Your actions are just a reflection of how you think and see yourself. We’ve all heard the phrase, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits and your habits determine your character. The Bible says, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
How do you see yourself?
So your life is simply a reflection of how you see yourself – your words, your thoughts, your actions, your responses. All of these things are a manifestation of your inner man (the man that thinketh in his heart as Proverbs 23:7 would say).
So if you’re struggling with caring about what people think, then more times than not, your thoughts are probably a reflection of that. You may find yourself constantly asking questions like, “Am I talking too much? That’s probably why people think I’m too much.” “Does this outfit make me look dumb?” What are my friends going to think if they find out I’m struggling with xyz?”
I think you get my point. But the idea of this entire blog post is that we should take the time to think about the people we want to be in this world. And once you figure that out, my encouragement is to find ways to be that person every single day!
Practical Next Steps
And just some helpful advice. Only focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once. That gets overwhelming really quickly lol. Trust me, been there done that lol. But whatever you’re working on, try to make it bite-sized by being the person you want to become the next time the opportunity presents itself, one day at a time.
It’s cool to think about the person you want to be in the next 5 years. Let that be a good starting place, but if you want to be a generous giver, how can you be a generous giver today? It doesn’t have to look like giving a $1000 check to a church. It can be giving an extra 5 minutes of your time to someone who needs it.
But at the end of the day, let God guide you. As I’ve said before, you don’t have to have it all figured out. If I could guess, I bet there’s something He’s put on your heart for a while now, and my best recommendation would be to start with that.
God loves you so much and He has so many amazing plans for your life. The Bible says that His plans for you are to prosper you, to give you a hope, and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Just let Him be God, and you be the daughter that He’s calling you to be.
Rest in His plan. Rest in His promises, and watch your life unfold before your very eyes.
Not sure where to start? Download this worksheet and take a moment to self-reflect. These guided questions will get you going and may even spark your own revelation with God just like God did with me in this blog post. Happy reflecting!
I’d love to hear your thoughts after reading this blog post! Please answer the following questions in the comments below.
- Why do you think there is such a huge focus on what we do rather than who we are?
- How can you focus more on becoming who God has called you to be?
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!