Leo Buscaglia says that, “The hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.” It sounds crazy but may be true.
Recently, as I was running with 4000 others in a half-marathon, I realized that I ran the first 4 of the 13.1 miles much faster than I really wanted to. For starters, my adrenaline kicked in and I ran like a deer. Additionally, I got caught up in the sea of people all around me and felt like I needed to keep up with them. They were running a strong pace so I had to do the same. I realized, however, after those first four miles that if I was going to finish the course, I had to run at my own pace. It also occurred to me that I wasn’t competing with them. I was simply trying to do my best. To do so, I just needed to be me.
Just like fingerprints, we all have differences of many kinds. Part of those differences roll into the world of business and how we conduct ourselves at work each day. It is easy to look around at others and think that “because she is doing that, I should be, too.” We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be like others though our call is to simply be who God called each of us to be. You are unique; not irreplaceable, but unique. God’s call on your work-life is sure and powerful. And He has equipped you to be who you are and to use your gifts in service to Him daily through your career/call. Used properly, bathed with much prayer, and applied with proper pace and timing, the combination of your presence and your personal giftedness at work is powerful.
The little lady who swept out her house (Luke 15:8ff) may have worked at a different speed than Nehemiah and his men when they rebuilt Jerusalem’s walls (Neh. 3:1ff). Moses may have traveled at a different pace coming out of Egypt (Exo. 13) than did Jesus with His 5000 in tow (John 6). You get the picture. Extenuating circumstances and differences in personality or calling often determine the pace by which we should be working in any given moment.
In Colossians 4:5, Paul invites us to live and work “…making the best use of our time.” So slow down if you should! Or speed up, if you are lagging in the scope of God’s plan and will for your work-life. But go at your own pace and be who you are. Jettison any notion that you must be just like someone else. Of course, grow by learning from others and mimic those qualities that you see in them which you want to embody or reflect. But don’t feel as if you much become identical to them. You can’t. You are you. God made you that way. Give Him some credit for knowing what He is doing in and through you. Follow the pace of the Holy Spirit in you and enjoy being you!