I have been thinking about identity a lot lately. It is certainly a topic that I like to coach around. It is interesting to consider this question… Who am I?
If I were to walk down the street and put a microphone in front a person and ask the question who are you, I am sure I would get a variety of responses. Most of the responses would no doubt be around one’s roles in life, accomplishments, achievements, careers or even what a person owns or possesses. It is easy to get caught up this kind of definition of identity. I am someone’s son or daughter, boss or employee, caretaker, etc. But is that it? Are you and I just a sum total of our achievements and accomplishments, successes and failures, or roles in life? If that is the case, then what happens to us if we lose any of these? Do we lose our identity also?
While there is nothing wrong considering who we are, maybe the better question to ask is who am I becoming and how do I want to engage in this life? As long as you and I define our identity solely by our accomplishments, the messages around us, our history, or even my own mirror; I believe our view of ourselves will be too narrow, too introspective, too critical, and often distorted.
I tend to believe that people are at their best when their perspective about who they are goes a little deeper than their own introspective mirror or what others tell them. When we shift our thoughts from what is missing, lacking, and broken to who we desire to become and how we want to engage others in this life; we become pro-active people. We begin to imagine new possibilities. With new possibilities always comes renewed sense of hope and vision for our life.