Knowing Your Identity Helps Establish Your Influence

Here’s a little known fact about me. I once wanted to be known as the life of the party.

People who know me well might say I’m funny and quick-witted. I’m actually kind of silly at times, but people seldom see the real me. My family knows this about me. Occasionally the people I work with get to see who I really am. Except for occasional bursts of randomness, however, the rest of the world thinks I’m always serious and always thinking about something purposeful.

I have had to come to the realization that I’m an introvert and, in crowded settings where I don’t know people well, I most often shut down the “wilder” side of me.

But there’s an important leadership principle here.

Knowing who you are is the first step to becoming a person of influence.

I can’t be who I am not. I simply can’t. I can try, and I have many times, but it won’t work long-term.

In my years of experience, I have learned that, unless I am on stage or in a controlled setting where I have time to prepare, I cannot wow a room. I shouldn’t even try. That will be someone else in the room. My influence will be used in other ways. (That’s one reason blogging has worked well for me.)

Knowing yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, passions and goals, helps form your life. It helps you accel where you are best suited to accel. It helps you lead as you can best lead. It keeps you from wasting energy on being who you are not designed to be. It helps you be an influencer where you are best suited to influence.

People who try too hard to be someone they are not end up living with disappointment. They waste their energy. They burnout. They flounder. And they are never really as successful as they could be.

Leader, if you want to establish your influence on a larger scale the key may be for you to stop trying to be everyone else and be who God created you to be.

Who are you? Have you become comfortable with how God has wired you?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 14 Comments

  • Okay I may be getting in semantics here but the whole "identity" thing is really my passion. I believe there is a difference between your personality "how you're wired" and your identity. Many people look as their identity as what they do well. So if you are a teacher, that becomes your identity. If you are a business man, your work is your identity. But what happens when you fail at what you do. You have an identity crisis.

    I believe your personality and your giftings are not your identity. Your identity is first a son (Eph 1:5). It doesn't matter how we're wired or what we're good at, if we rest in a place of sonship, we can walk in confidence in who we are.

    I hope that makes sense. Sorry if I went off on a bit of a tangent. Like I said, I'm passionate about this subject.

  • ronedmondson says:

    That's good!

  • Jason Curlee says:

    Great post Ron….

  • Mat says:

    “To thine own self be true”. – Polonius to Hamlet. Shakespeare got it right 400 years ago. Guess not much has changed.

  • Larry_Hehn says:

    We are very much alike, Ron. I've recently found a lot of satisfaction in writing (and acting in) short humorous skits to promote events at our church. For me it is the ideal way to get creative and show off my warped sense of humor without the exhausting effort of trying to be a full-time extrovert.

  • Amy says:

    You may be "serious", but I have to say, your tweets as you wandered through Costco a week or so ago were absolutely hilarious – especially the one about Cheryl asking if you found anything.

    On another note, I find I'm much more extroverted on Twitter than I am in real life, or even on Facebook (where I know almost all of my "friends" personally). The anonymity of Twitter for me is rather freeing.

  • @mholloway49 says:

    Thanks for the post. It took me a while to realize that my being an extrovert what was God wanted, not just what I wanted. I am equally comfortable in big or small crowds. Where I struggle is in intimate relationships and being vulnerable. While the outgoing side of me provides lots of opportunity to meet people, I need to learn to let God help me let those people in and get to know the real me. And realize that while I may be extroverted on the outside, I still might have something to say in the large arena and not just be "fun".

  • Tom Jamieson says:

    Ron, thanks for sharing this post. I, too, am dominantly introverted in large crowds, but not so much while preaching, leading music, or on the platform in some other capacity. I appreciate your ministry through your blog and look forward to future posts. Thanks!

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