Self-differentiation: One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Receive

I wish someone had told me sooner, when I was much younger that the more you depend on others for how you feel the worse you are going to feel. It has taken me the vast majority of my life to figure this out and I am glad I did. The moment I stopped worrying about what other people thought about me and started being only focused on what God thought about me was the moment I finally found security.

I find so many people who are so worried about what everyone else thinks. That way of living has too much anxiety for me. If I am only okay if you are okay I will never be secure because I cannot guarantee you are going to be constantly okay. I cannot control you and you cannot control me and so we are going to have to get along well enough with not always being okay.

In order to do this I have to know what makes me, me and you, you. This is differentiation. I have to know the difference between myself and everyone else and be okay with the two not being enmeshed. Once I decouple from making others’ emotions my emotions and what I think others think about me my view of self, then my mind and my soul are in a healthier place, a secure place. Poorly differentiated people are anxious people and insecure people because they cannot guarantee how anyone else is going to feel and cannot dictate that they are going to like you. But if you are truly living out of your identity in Christ then people can either accept you or reject you for who you are. If you are living out of your false self and people accept you, what does that even mean? If you are living out of your true self and people accept you, then you have something meaningful.

This is why when you talk with an insecure person they have to bring every topic back to themselves. They have to keep testing and keep reaffirming self in the center or else they don’t know where they stand much less who they are.

I believe most of us struggle with this at some point in time. I want to encourage you to think less about what others think about you. Know one is good enough to guess that with consistent accuracy any way. You cannot read minds and you cannot base your life and feelings on what you think others think. Instead get to know who you are in Christ and be comfortable enough with what God thinks about you to anchor your identity in Him and live out of that. You will find life far less stressful, far less anxious and far more peaceful.

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