Who You Were Created To Be

November 7, 2012 — 30 Comments
Who You Were Created To Be | Joseph Lalonde

Who’s your hero? The one person you wish you could be?

Is it your father? A role model? An athlete?

I’m sure there’s at least one person you could think of. There’s many people who pop into my mind.

Michael Hyatt, Dan Miller, Dave Ramsey, and a handful of other guys.

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That’s all fine and good. We need to have positive role models to look up to. People who will pour into our lives and help us grow.

Problems arise when we begin to emulate everything they do. And when we desire to become them.

Why?

“But there’s so many great things about our role models,” you may say. True, true, and true.

They’re great people. They’re doing great things. They might even be saving babies.

However, you weren’t created to be Brendan Brouchard or Michael Hyatt. Not even close.

I know this from experience.

I’ve tried to imitate my favorite musicians. My role models. Etc… Every time I went away from my authentic self, I crashed and burned.

I walked away from those experiences feeling like a failure. Because I wasn’t being true to me.

Instead, be who you were meant to be.

You were created to be YOU.

And when you’re not you, you’ll run into problems:

  • Discontent
  • Frustration
  • Roadblocks
  • Failure

All because you’re doing something that’s not authentic to who you are.

You’re settling for a cheap imitation of the masterpiece you truly are.

We’re created to be who we are. Not those we admire.

What You Can Do About It

There’s nothing wrong with following in the footsteps of great men and women. We need to look up to someone. And it might as well be someone who is doing great work.

Yet, we need to draw a line in the sand when we see ourselves completely imitating what our role models are doing. We need to say “Enough is enough! I’m unique and I bring special talents that no one else can offer.”

When you find yourself completely imitating your role model, ask yourself what unique twist you can bring to the task at hand.

Could you:

  • Add a different perspective to the topic
  • Use a different medium to share your knowledge
  • Write in a style that is unique to you

Find something to set yourself apart. Don’t let yourself settle to be a carbon copy.

Discover your own voice. Discover your own message. Discover what you were created to do.

Question: How have you experienced failure by imitating someone else? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    You brought up music.  I tried to learn the mandolin a few years ago.  I learned the notes and how to play some songs.  I could have gone from awful to just merely bad.  Maybe I could have learned to play Bill Monroe note for note.  But I was never going to be good enough to really just be, Larry Carter, mandolin player.  You just have to figure out who you are.  To be the best Larry Carter and use the gifts and talents the Lord has given.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing Larry. You’re right, there’s some areas we are never going to be better than mediocre. We’ve got to discover how to be Larry, Joe, or Tom or whoever we are. Where do you think Larry Carter is headed?

      • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

        Great question. I’ve kind of hit pause on going forward on a few things, only so I can determine that. We have changed churches for the second time in 16 months, so we have had some upheaval in our lives. But I think this will help us in many ways in what I want to do. I speak for half the year at a campground and I want to write fiction and non-fiction.

    • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

      I love the mandolin.  I play, but will never reach the pro-status level of player.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    This certainly rings true for most of us who have followed after sports stars.  They may be able to achieve greatness on the athletic platform, but they are humans who fall down again and again.  I think this is why we need to look to Christ as our ultimate role model.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I love your example Jon. We’ve got to remember role models and examples are never perfect.

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        Thanks, Joe.  Trust me.  I’ve looked up to sports stars like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and others only to be let down by some type of moral failure on their part.  I guess that’s where grace comes in.

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Great message! 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks TC! Have you ever experienced failure from trying to imitate someone else’s success?

  • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

    As a songwriter I spent my life trying to write great songs by emulating others from Tom Petty to Townes Van Zandt.  I studied great songwriters but never reached my full potential.  I have merely been an imitator.  As a writer, I don’t make comparisons.  I am who I am.  I write as I write.  That’s what makes us better at what we do.  We do it without reserve or question.  As for heros, I don’t have as many as I used to.  But here’s a short list: Jesus, dad, Woody Guthrie, Edward R. Murrow, MLK Jr. and Alexender Hamilton.  These people are not my heros because of any talent they posessed that I try to emulate.  They are my heros because of their values, their integrity, their enlightned ideals, and their influences in my life and our world.  I don’t attempt to try to “be” like any of them, or anyone else for that matter.  I want to be one who makes my own difference and influence in the world, but I can look up to a few based on their character rather than their successes. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for sharing your experience Dan. It’s interesting how we can study and imitate great musician/people and never reach our potential until we step out into our own.

      • Rp391

         Very well said Sir…
        My hero’s are only a ‘Catalyst for Inspiration
        & a Driving Force for Motivation’…I don’t Envision, Embrace or
        Embark on the Current Copy Cat Life-style of many young artists that
        seem to be “Flashes in tha Pan”.
        I Hope & Pray for Your Advice to ‘Be YOU’ is Readed & Heeded by ALL.
        Keep On Creating & Njoy u’r Wknd…..>

        • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

          I hope others can learn to be more independent of outside influence, but it’s a very challenging task in a world that’s so filled with media hype.  

      • http://www.danerickson.net/ Dan Erickson

        And it’s amazing how long it can take to reach the point of stepping out on our own.  Of course, we’re never really on our own when we let God be our guide.

  • http://intentionaltoday.com/ Ngina Otiende

    Yep i have! 

    “We’re created to be who we are. Not those we admire.’   Really love that statement. When I try to be someone am not, i end up feeling frustrated and a tad angry with the ‘guru’ or person am trying to be like. and you know that it’s hard to learn from someone you have issues with. and that’s double failure – failure in your efforts and losing a learning opportunity (at least temporarily)  

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I’m with you on the frustration with the guru. It seems like they have it all together and they’re light years ahead. Or their advice isn’t working.

      How are you learning to avoid that frustration?

  • Davejarnold16

    Great post, Joseph! I did a similar post a few weeks back. For years I tried to be someone other than me. And your right…
    it leads to discontent and frustration.
    Thanks for sharing. FYI: I’m a Michigander too :)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks Dave. That’s awesome you did a similar post recently. Care to share a link to it?

      Sweet, it’s always nice to connect with other people from Michigan. Where about in Michigan are you?

  • Jeff

    There has been someone I admired so much that I imitated much of his work.  I did some twists and wrote in my own style.  It was all very nice and beautiful when I created or wrote in that way, but I felt unsatisfactory, jealous, and sub-par until I took some time away from observing his work.  

    I quit competing with his art and even his lifestyle.  I began to observe my own timing of when I might publish a blog post.  I began to react less and produce more out of a peaceful mindset that is at rest.  I am beginning to write less and less often, but with a greater sense of satisfaction, simply because it is from myself and not a reaction to someone admirable.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Sounds like you’re moving in the right direction Jeff. Was it the frustration that move you to your own style and timing?

      • Jeff

        It was the frustration of emptiness — the kind of emptiness that says, “I love what I’m producing. I would love to keep doing it, too, but it’s not allowing me to discover what I myself can produce.”

  • Rp391

     Dan,
    Very well said Sir…
    My hero’s are only a ‘Catalyst for Inspiration & a Driving Force for Motivation’…I don’t Envision, Embrace or Embark on the Current Copy Cat Life-style of many young artists that seem to be “Flashes in tha Pan”.
    I Hope & Pray for Joseph’s Advice to ‘Be YOU’ is Readed & Heeded by ALL.
    [ BTW...Love Me Some Tom Petty & MLK, Jr. ]
    Njoy u’r Wknd…>

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Thanks for joining in the conversation RP. I’m glad to hear you’re trying to find your own road and aren’t doing the copycat thing. It’s a hard road to take. Are you finding success as you take the road less traveled?

      • Rp391

        …many including King Solomon have said,  “there’s Nothing New Under the Sun.” Also, Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery”, gets tossed around alot…
        Currently my Caffeinated Creativity is being published at Deadman’s Reach Coffee/Ravens Brew. So, YES…a bit of Success here and there.

        …was recently inspired by “It Might Get Loud” featuring Jack White, Edge and Jimmy Page…

        Njoy u’r wknd Kind Sir…>

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          Congrats on that! I checked out the website for Deadman’s Reach Coffee and must say it’s an enjoyable website. Full of personality!

          • Rp391

            …check once more, if you will…
            I Finally Received Publication Today – Mon 11/12/12.
            …Very Thankful…>

            P.S. Try the Coffee…You Will Not Be Disappointed…!

            • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

              Is the new product the Santa Caws coffee line? The packaging is terrific.

              I’d order some coffee but I’m not a coffee drinker. But I’ll be sure to share a link to it with some friends who are.

              • Rp391

                 Santa Caws has been available as a seasonal favorite since 2009 or so. It’s a Medium Roast and somewhat of a ‘Dessert Coffee’.

                I tend to be a ‘Dark Roast Jockey’. Deadman’s Reach comes highly recommended for ‘Real Coffee Drinkers’.

                Pssst…Pass tha word…Njoy…>

  • http://www.tessahardiman.com/ Tessa

    Unfortunately, I do this a lot by trying to imitate Michael Hyatt…turns out my “tribe” is not as interested in my tweets as his tribe is. I’m trying to work on this.

    Great thoughts Joe. Appreciate this post. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Tessa, thank for sharing. I understand the desire to imitate Michael. I’ve done it myself. He’s been so successful and has offered up so much advice to his readers it’s easy to want to imitate him. But at some point we all have to find our own voice and where our community likes to hang out and interact. Have you tried Facebook or Instagram or even Pinterest? Give those a try and see if they’re more receptive on those mediums.