Identity is the key to transformation. It’s also a dangerous pitfall for high achievers. We are vulnerable to having others push an identity upon us. That identity, though well meant, could be limiting. Never allow yourself to be defined by the opinion of others. This is the fourth attribute of people who possess mental toughness.
The story is told of a farmer who found a baby eagle that had fallen from its nest. Its wings were not yet developed enough to fly and its mother had abandoned it. The farmer in compassion took the eagle home and since it was so young, he put it in the pen where he kept his chickens. The chickens paid their new guest little attention and the eaglet soon adapted to life in the coop. Having no idea of its identity it took the chickens as role models. The tiny eagle scratched in the dirt for worms and hopped around the coop without spreading his wings. Even after the eagle had grown considerably, it still acted in every way like a chicken, and rested at night in the chicken house with the other birds. One day, while he scratched in the dirt he heard a new sound. It was the cry of an eagle that was soaring over the cage. He looked up, and saw a magnificent bird floating high on the rising air currents. In a moment, he was transformed. He spread his wings and flapped them tentatively. Quickly, realizing the power contained in his body, he rose into the air and easily flew out the coop to join his fellow eagle in sky. He had eaten his last worm and he was through scratching in the dirt. He was an eagle, and he would never allow any other identity to limit him again.
Do you know who you are?
Have you seen what you are capable of becoming?
Have you seized on the heights you are designed to achieve?
Mental toughness demands that we hold to these visions of ourselves and not allow anyone else to define us. It may surprise you that some people will actually try to slap a limiting identity on you.
Who would try to limit your life by defining you?
- Those who are intimidated by your success
- Those who are fearful of your leaving
- Those who are supported by your weakness
- Those who are simply ignorant of who God has called you to be
Make up your mind right now that you will never allow yourself to be defined by the opinion of others. You are done “scratching in the dirt, and eating worms.” It’s time to live out the unique identity God created you to become.
In my next blog, I discuss the fifth and final attribute of those who possess mental toughness; “Regular Review of Past Successes.”