Discovering – and remembering – your true identity

SHAKEN: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms, by Tim Tebow and AJ Gregory

I’ve always liked Tim Tebow. While I could never cheer for the Florida Gators, Tebow’s charm and optimism have always been contagious. Face it — how could you not pull for a talented athlete who is so passionate about faith and helping others?

When I heard about the book SHAKEN, I assumed that it was targeted for the legions of Gator fans or teens athletes who were needing a pep talk from their favorite quarterback.

I was wrong.

But he has not had the easiest road to remaining a household name. Since his college ball days, the media has been brutal highlighting his shortcomings and failures. After winning the Heisman Trophy, did Tebow have the chops to play pro-football? Apparently no. Did he make it as a TV reporter? Not really. As an Outfielder? Football commentator? Those gigs are still up for discussion.

But yet, in every interview, in every picture, Tebow has an amazing attitude and is dressed with his signature blazing white smile.

So, here is the question: How does a public figure stay positive when the public is constantly challenging your identity? When your achievements and failures are under the unending scrutiny of the media?

SHAKEN: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life’s Storms, by Tim Tebow and AJ Gregory breaks down his mindset. SHAKEN is part Tebow memoir and part stories of every day people. Both scenarios share how we can choose to respond to adversity, maintaining our true identity through our faith and belief in Christ.

Throughout his career, Tebow has had arguably more failures than successes in the public eye, and SHAKEN tackles primarily how he responded to the negative messages. How he grew from the voices saying that he’s not good enough. How he reacted when offered opportunities that may not appropriately reflect his faith. How he has focused on encouraging others who struggle with identity and adversity.

To me, where the book really wins is in the stories of every day people who are living extraordinary lives in the face of extreme adversity. These inspiring stories are of teens living with cancer, musicians who lose their voice and kids rising above their circumstances in third world countries. It’s the unsung heroes who quietly live out their faith in the face of adversity where I found my inspiration.

Reading SHAKEN was a great check up. A way to remind myself of what’s important in life, that we matter to God, that we are created for a purpose, and we were made to live our lives in service to others. In a world of social media where often I can’t help compare myself to others, SHAKEN helps give a solid dose of truth and an assurance that the struggles we face are ultimately worth it.

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