Is Your Identity Sabotaging Your Life? Live Your Abundant Life Blog

Is Your Identity Sabotaging Your Life?


Aya Fubara Eneli, M.A., J.D.

Christian Life Coach, Author, Speaker and Attorney



I typically ask participants in my seminars to answer the question, “Who are
you?” The question usually elicits blank or confused stares from many. Some
brave souls will blurt out answers like mother, Puerto Rican, husband,
secretary, teacher, wife, sister, nurse, child of God.

I would prod further. “What is your self image? Who do you believe yourself to be and
who do others say you are?” The general consensus in over 15 years of
conducting seminars has been that while our identity greatly impacts our
decisions and choices, few of us have taken the time to consciously ponder the
question and determine an accurate answer for ourselves, besides the obvious
like race, ethnicity and gender.

Many have been shocked to realize that their unconscious thoughts about their
identity and self image have been sabotaging their dreams. For instance, those
who could not picture themselves wealthy, almost always reported that they were
living paycheck to paycheck, and that was consistent regardless of their level
of education or how much money they made.

Whoever we think we are ultimately shapes how we see the world and our role in it. Paul
J. Meyer often stated that whatever space we occupy in the world is determined
by our thoughts of ourselves and what we believe to be possible for ourselves.
Our self identity guides our thoughts, which determine our actions and our
actions produce the results in our lives.

Michael Jordan has long been celebrated as a “clutch player.” It was an identity MJ
cultivated and embraced wholeheartedly, consequently, whenever the game was on
the line, there was a very high probability that MJ would attempt the game
winning shot. Other players were only too happy to pass the ball (and the
responsibility) to Michael and he gladly accepted the challenge and naturally
reaped the glory and success that comes from taking calculated risks.

MJ missed more shots than he made, but he is defined by the shots that he did
make. I recall him stating that he practiced those game-winning shots over and
over again and visualized his success. He always expected the ball to go in
regardless of how improbable a shot it was. He was the “clutch player.” That
was his identity and it determined the results in his life.

So, what is your identity? Did you determine your identity or did others impose an
identity on you? Is it a positive or a negative identity? Does your identity
motivate you to dream big or cause you to shrink back?

I am reminded of the story of an eagle. While walking through the forest one day, a
man found a young eagle that had fallen out of his nest. He took it home and
put it in his barnyard where it soon learned to eat and behave just like a

Many months later, a Naturalist came to the barnyard and was surprised to see an
eagle amongst the chicken. Why isn’t that eagle flying? He inquired.  Well, it has been living with the chicken so long it believes itself to be a chicken. “Still it has the heart of an eagle and can surely be taught to fly.” replied the Naturalist.

He lifted the eagle to the sky and said, “You belong to the sky and not the earth.
Stretch forth your wings and fly.” The eagle was confused. He looked at the sky
and then jumped down to join the other chicken pecking the ground. Undeterred,
the Naturalist took the eagle to the rooftop and repeated his words. The eagle
stirred, but was afraid of its unknown self and this unknown expanse of space.
Once again it jumped down and made its way back to continue pecking with the

Finally, the Naturalist took the eagle to the top of a mountain. Again he said, “You are
an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” With the
wind ruffling its feathers and the sun beckoning warmly, the eagle stretched
out his wings and soared into the heavens.  (Theology News and Notes, 1976)

Many of us are like that eagle. Life and well-meaning people have conditioned us to
live like something we are not. We have lost sight of our talents, the innate
gifts with which we are all endowed. Someone has convinced us we are too short,
too fat, too black, too white, too dumb, too nerdy, too old, and too poor. Can
you imagine that Oprah’s grandmother’s dream for her was that she find a good
white family to serve as a maid? What a loss that would have been to the world!

We each  have the power to determine our own identity. Who are you and what identity do
you want to embrace for yourself? Are you a highly motivated, disciplined,
on-fire Christian with a desire to be Christ’s heart, feet and hands in the
world? Are you honest, hardworking and committed to fulfilling your life’s
purpose? Write down your answers. What must a person who wants to be those
things do? What will they read? With whom will they associate? How will they
spend their time? What actions will they consistently take?

The quality of our lives is determined by our self image and identity. Take back
the power and right to establish a God-centered, empowered self image that
propels you to greatness. I wish you an abundant life.

Aya Fubara Eneli is a Christian Life Coach, author, attorney, and motivational speaker. Her life’s purpose is to empower and equip people to live up to their highest potential. For more information or to book her for your next event visit, or e-mail her at