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How to Find Your Real Self

April 5, 2021

By Michelle Barringer

Will the real you please stand up? you may get so lost in the noise of who others say you are, or who you think you are supposed to be, you end up not knowing your real self. It’s time for the real you to stand up.

To Tell The Truth

From 1956-1968, a classic TV game show called To Tell the Truth was popular. The game show had three people all who claimed to be someone. One of them was the real person while the other two were imposters.

The plot was to fool a panel of celebrities. After a series of questions, the host would ask the catchphrase question: “Will the real (name of contestant) please stand up?” Then all three acted like they were going to stand, but only the real person stood up.

Do you ever feel like one of those imposters? Trying to fool others who you are? Maybe you’re even trying to fool yourself. Others don’t know the real you because you don’t know the real you.

Maybe you’re trying to be someone God never intended you to be. Or maybe you are afraid to be the real you. I’ve experienced all of this.

Losing the Real Me

Back in my early thirties I began to lose the real me. Married with three children, I began feeling like an imposter. After having children, I noticed something shifting inside.

During this time, my marriage also took a dive, which pushed me even further away from the real me. I tried being the person I thought everyone wanted me to be, but I was losing my real self in the process.

One night I just flat out told Jesus I didn’t know who I was any more. I wasn’t doing a good job being me, and I asked him to please be me for a while. This began the process of finding the real me.

Finding Your Real Self

Finding your real self takes truth-seeking and courage. Discovering your real self requires determination, focus, and perseverance. Accepting who we are not is just as important as accepting who we are.

As a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, one development tool I use to help people understand who they are is Name It. Claim It. Aim It. After taking the CliftonStrengths assessment, they learn their Top 5 Talents. Learning these Top 5 Talents is not the end, but rather the beginning of discovery.

The Name It. Claim It. Aim It. tool has three steps:

  • Step one is to name your talents. Naming your talents helps you understand more of who you are and who you are not.
  • Step two is to claim your talents. You have to accept your talents. Claiming talents helps you see why you think, feel, and behave certain ways.
  • Step three is to aim your talents. Now that you have identified your talents and claimed them, you have to aim them. Meaning, you have to put your talents to work.

So it is with discovering your real self. You need to name, claim, and aim who you are.

The Process of Discovering Your Real Self

In order to find your real self, you need to lose wrong ideas about yourself, lose the lies the enemy tells you, and stop fooling yourself. 

Lose who you’re not, not who you are.

The answer to finding your real self is to draw near to God. When you do this, he draws near to you (James 4:8). When God draws near to you, you will find your real self.

Facing the truth that I didn’t even know the person God created me to be was life-changing. First, I began reading the Bible to find out who God says I am. I sought out counseling, discipling, and mentoring from wise Christians because I needed understanding, knowledge and discernment.

Prayer became a central and daily part of my life too. I prayed every prayer in The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie O’Martian. (In fact, I own most of her books and have prayed all the prayers.)

In the process of discovering the real me, my behavior started matching who God created me to be. For example, I am oriented toward positive thinking and I like to celebrate. I started naming, claiming and aiming that part of me.

I stopped withholding the positive and started living it. I let go of worrying that some people thought I was too generous with celebrations. Jesus doesn’t think so. He created me to be this way. This is the real me.

My prayer for you is that you continue the journey of discovering your real self with Jesus. May the real you please stand up.

Wife Step: Choose one thing God created you to be. Then name it, claim it, and aim it.

How to find your real self

Michelle Barringer is a writer, speaker, blogger, Gallup-certified Strengths Coach, and a full-time learning and development consultant. She has a master’s degree in communication and is currently writing her first book in the wee hours of the morning. She is NOT a morning person. She’s journeyed with Jesus for a long time getting to know Him better, and has gotten to know herself better in the process. She only has one goal and mission in life: to live the purpose of God and encourage you to do the same. Her biggest passion is to encourage hearts in faith, purpose, and perseverance.


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