“My Life is for Me” Syndrome

I’m at the point in my college career in which I have to more seriously consider what I want to do with my life. The pressure to find something both fulfilling and profitable is enormous. Growing up, I was told that I was smart and could be anything I wanted. This is an empowering thing to hear. But with this, came an unspoken weight of responsibility: I had to “live up to my potential.” I felt teachers and adult mentors watching where I was going in life with high expectations.  

As an ambitious and driven woman, I placed expectations on myself as well: I wanted to be successful for me. I wanted to have a fulfilling and lucrative career, and be able to balance it with a family. Most importantly, I wanted to have an map of where I will be in 5 years in my head at all times. The expectations of others and myself, along with subscribing to popular worldviews, culminated into what I have called “my life is for me” syndrome.

“My life is for me” syndrome is when I unconsciously believe exactly that: my life is exclusively for me. It is when I begin to place my own fame and prestige and what the world calls “success” above glorifying God. It is when I fail to consult the One to whom I gave my life 12 years ago when I make my decisions. It is when I relentlessly chase what I think will fulfill me, and I’ll be darned if I let anyone stand in my way. 

I could live this way, and many people do. But why? Why live with the anxiety of my future on my shoulders when God has offered to take it for free? Why chase empty pleasures of the world, when God promises far greater joy in glorifying His name? Why lift up my own name when I am not the one who can save souls? Why use the gifts God has given me for any other purpose?

People will say you’ve wasted your life, your potential, and your talent. But the foolish will shame the wise. You have been given gifts and abilities to further the kingdom of God. I can say from experience that there is infinite peace in submitting to live your life for the one who saved you, and to promote the greatest cause in the world.

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