Freedom From Performing:Grace In An Applause Driven World – Week 3

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Week 3

Build A Rock-Solid Core

“When we live a life centered around what others like, feel, and say,

we lose touch with our own identity.”

Neva Coyle


Have you ever felt like you were living life as though every appointment was another audition? I certainly have! Being a people pleaser, the continual question I asked myself was, “How did I come across?” Whew, take it from one who knows, that’s exhausting!

When we live to please others we often lose ourselves in the process. We end up creating a false self that we perceive looks better to others. Our false self is an identity built around things like accomplishments, productivity and people pleasing. Bottom line, it’s not the real you! Instead, our false identity is formed around an equation that Robert S McGee talked about in his book The Search for Significance. That equation looks like this:

Self-worth = Performance + Others’ Opinions

When we live based on that equation, we don’t experience God’s grace because it is our “real” selves, no matter how messed up, that God loves. So how do we fix the problem? We’ve got to re-shape our core, not our physical core, but our emotional and spiritual core. My core identity needs to be that I am a beloved child of God. Jesus told a story that illustrates how important it is to have a strong core.

The Parable of the Two Builders

In case you haven’t already, read Luke 6:46-49. What’s the point of Jesus’ story? The point is if your identity is built on anything other than God’s grace and His love for you, you’re going to crash! 

The grace glimpse taught in this parable is:

God’s grace is the only sure foundation

For my identity.

Think about it. What are some things that women like to base their identity on: Career, marriage, children, looks, or financial security? All of these things form the basis of a shaky identity that will not withhold the storms of life. On the other hand, if you build your core identity on God’s grace you are set free in every area of your life.

So how do we re-build if we’ve built our identity on the wrong things? On pages 59-61 I give a plan for re-building:

  • Dig up the old foundation
  • Develop a new schema
  • Drop your “shoulds”
  • Define your Priorities


For Next Week

  1. Read Chapter 3 in Freedom From Performing and complete the Daily Dose of Grace.
  2. Write this week’s Grace Glimpse on an index card and tape it to your mirror. Every time you look at it remind yourself that God’s grace is the only firm foundation for your identity.


Group Discussion – Answer one or more of the following questions and leave a comment.

  1. In what way have you or had you formerly developed a false self?
  2. Look through the eight aspects of a woman’s life listed on pages 51-59. Choose one aspect and share how you have struggled in that aspect of your life to base your identity on God’s Grace alone.
  3. Look back over the plan for re-building your core. Which suggestion can you relate to the most?
  4. What was your favorite part of this chapter and how did God use that in your life?

2 Responses

  1. Hey Becky! So grateful that the study is online. I had to take some time to focus on other things. But now that I’m back to it, the study is here for me!

    I’ve talked with a couple of other gals about what they are learning too- they haven’t logged on here, but your study is making a difference. Keep writing.

    This chapter really challenged me this week. I have really been enjoying a new ‘chapter’ in my life called life coaching. It seems to fill a huge place in my life. But I really did have to ask myself if it fills that gap because it feeds my need to ‘perform’ again- or if it truly is an extension of God’s grace through me. I know what my heart’s desire is— But I don’t want to go back to ‘performing’ for the applause of others again. I desire to accept the love & grace of my loving Heavenly Father.

    I needed this chapter this week. I’m glad your study was there for me.
    Thanks Becky!

  2. Suzie
    | Reply

    Hello Becky,
    I’ve just discovered your book at the Christian bookstore. The cover and title really spoke to my heart, and I knew I had to read it. I’ve just finished the first chapter and wanted to express how my spirit feels renewed already. It is a though you knew just what I needed. Thank you for listening to God when you were writing this book, and thanks to the Lord. I am so grateful and I look forward to God’s healing through your book. Blessing, Suzie

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