We live in a world that is captivated by perception and imagery. Facebook has 2.89 billion active users and Instagram has over 1 billion active users. These among other social media platforms have become the way that many people chronicle their lives and perceive the lives of others. There are more editing and formatting software options available to novice content creators than ever before. People are presenting the image of who they want you to think they are instead of who they actually are.
Authenticity and transparency are lacking in part because we have been conditioned to present a self that makes us accepted by others. If we are not careful, we will become an imposter in our own bodies presenting parts of who we are but never sharing all of who we are with our friends, acquaintances, or colleagues. Worst yet, we so present a false self, that we never fully share all of who we are with our family including our spouse or children.
As we begin, 2022, I want to encourage you to throw off the mask (false mask not N95mask), and be ye! My friend Sean Watkins coined this phrase among our friends. It is an encouragement to be all of who we are so that the world gets to experience us fully. In my new book, Prioritize for Your Purpose: Ordering Your Life to Be Extraordinary, I discuss the importance of engaging in personal identity development so you know yourself.
Acknowledging your passions, personality, skills, and experiences, allows you to be able to move to the next step of accepting who you are. You can’t accept what you do not know. Accepting who are you are, allows you to move to the next step of appreciating who you are. When you acknowledge, accept, and appreciate who you are, you are more likely to do the same for others.
There is a confidence I can have in a room of more gifted people because I know who I am and know who I am not. I have accepted who I am and who I am not. I appreciate who I am and who I am not. There will never be another me. I am an original work of art created by God to live in this landscape called life. No one can beat me being me.
Early on in my career, I was serving as a black campus minister in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship’s Red River Region which included Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma at the time. I was the first black staff to serve in the region and the only black staff serving at the time. I had to make a number of adjustments to thrive in this context from learning how to engage in an inductive bible study to singing songs with more lyrics than I could fathom. Coming from the black Pentecostal church experience, the liturgy and questioning threw me for a loop at first. I could not imagine reading a prayer out loud instead of praying extemporaneously. I couldn’t imagine asking questions of scripture instead of regurgitating what I’d heard my pastor, who was a trained theologian say the scriptures meant.
During my first year on staff, a friend and mentor, Rev. Dr. Alex Gee came to speak at our leadership retreat. He’d been in the racial reconciliation world for a while now and offered me some sage advice that I still live by to this day. He said, “Corey if you don’t show up as the black man that you were created to be in these multiethnic circles, you will deny these the full gift that can be to them. Be yourself!”
Here I am over 20 years later, reenlisting my true self. I realized that I have downplayed gifts and talents at times to keep from offending people or to keep from being seen as overly eager or confident. I have allowed pain from the past to keep me from pressing fully into my potential.
Today I say, no more! I am committing to God, myself, and my family to be all that he created to be. I am going to use all my gifts and connect with all the people that God places in my life to fulfill his purpose for me. In the past three months, I’ve seen people my age pass away from Covid-19, heart attacks, cancer, and suicide. I realize that life is precious and short no matter how long you’re given so I am going to ride this life until the wheels fall off.
My purpose is to inform, instruct, and inspire people to fulfill their purpose and I do this through speaking, writing, and producing. I get joy from fulfilling my purpose and even more joy from fully being who I am. If you’re struggling to get to this place of acknowledgment to appreciation, reach out to our team at www.coreytabor.com/contact and book a coaching session to start getting on track from 2022. Also, register for our free webinar, 3 Keys to Unlocking Your Purpose. I promise you won’t be disappointed.