Are You In-tune With Your Identity?
A wonderful mentor once said to me
“Are you in-tune with your identity?”
I took a step back as this question seemed odd – it is me, why wouldn’t I know me?
Although we accept that most mentors are a little more clever than us, because they have travelled this road well before, but my mentor was holding that smirk on his face knowing that this was not going to be my final answer.
He took another stab at this question looking deeper –“What is your interpretation of the word identity?”
After pondering this for a minute, I decided that it has to be how we show up in the world. The thing that represents our uniqueness that can distinguish us a part from another. It is the recipe that makes us be us.
“What do you truly want in life?”
I always ask myself the same question, not quite ready to settle in the ever evolving me but I also get stumped as it brings up other beliefs of whether I deserve to have what I want. I have no problems in asking for things I need as it is my right to survive. But my wants can be a whole kettle of fish! I knew at that instant that the question has raised some true BS. I had some limiting beliefs that has held me staggered from getting all that wanted out of life and here it was hidden in this question.
(story for another time)
“What would you say is your purpose in life?”
This question I knew and confidently opened up about the knowing I had as a child to stand up for the animals that could not speak, to stand up for injustices that happened to them and to teach that every life is special and has a right to experience the basis for living. But how did I know this? I grew up with many animal friends that served life to be a producer for our family’s dining requirements. The problem I had, is that these animals were my friends. They heard me sing and talk to them, accepted the names I had chosen, cuddled them, raised them and loved them. But to then turn and choose which one was to die today was not what I wanted. Certainly, then to eat them was also not what I could endure without guilt. It disgusted me so much that early on I made attempts to become vegetarian. I could see the animals pleading to me through their eyes asking for help as they knew their fate as seen time and time before. But I was only a child then, what could I have done? Maybe by understanding this purpose so clearly was my way I could vent out the horrors that had occurred.
The other part I had not thought of, was that I knew I had a rescue personality. I would always be a magnet to the injured bird, the orphaned chicken, the found baby sparrow nest, and more. Funnily, I see the same traits coming from my children as they grow. Thinking along these lines, I understood that I was drawn to teachings of knowing kindness and thought I also had the qualities that I could teach as well.
My purpose was to encourage people how to be better and show kindness through positivity and inspiring courage to be different. Then, they could pay it forward to correct their own perceived injustices our world just accepts.
“How will you feel and what would be different?”
I understood that to have a greater purpose than yourself, it now doesn’t seem to matter how others feel about me. Because I know that if they judge me now, they have judged me prematurely as I am still in the process of becoming to live my purpose. You know, just by understanding this, I instantly felt my rigid shoulders release, a sense of calm came over me and I felt at peace.
The amazement of how much tension I was holding trying to be what everyone else wanted I suppose was alarming. I always felt like I was not enough in other’s eyes and that my time was not as important as theirs. But this is crazy thinking. You know, typing this now is making me mad just thinking on how my life and the lives of others could have been so much more different at this point.
“So now you are starting to understand your real self, lets go a little deeper…”
“Look at your life now and the identity you have been living by. Has it served you?”
I think it has. It also had to be lived to understand struggle and pain verses joy and pleasure. Without this understanding of value, taking everything for granted would be seen. Could I have been somewhere different, be someone different if I had done this exercise early on in my twenties? I think so, but maybe I would not have the gifts of love and compassion that only pain and struggle can bring.
“Tony Robbins talks about a Threshold of Control – this is the boundaries that allow you to survive in your comfort zone, but to wander outside this area is when your mind will set off alarms and ill-feelings to bring you back. It is your survival mode kicking in. But to get out of your comfort zone to find your greatness is where your growth will appear. So I want you to find way. Identify your journey. This is the gap between where you are now and whom you want to become and what you want to be both professionally and personally.
What do you need to go through?”
I thought again and could see the gaps I had. Missing people skills, connections, storytelling, confidence to speak in public, know-how to change my circumstances. But I also was happy that I now had permission to listen to more inspirational stories, more case studies of success achieved, more courage stories of how they won. This brought back a saying “If you are not winning, then you are dying”.
A fire was being lit inside. My energy was beginning to ramp up.
No longer was I seeing obstacles, but rather pathways up and over or swirling around thinking that every road leads somewhere and if I keep positively seeing ahead, the road may open up more opportunities along the way.
He added, “What obstacle stands in your way now?”
Strangely, when you find clarity, the obstacles that were there were really only your own self belief system putting up barriers. The obstacles seem less or smaller in someway now. Totally manageable if I become resourceful I reckon.
“What space do you need to be in?”
A space that allows my creativity to grow, my voice to be heard and my compassion to be immersed. It is a positive space and a growing space like a t tribe that has similar beliefs.
“What do you need to learn now?”
In all new directions, there needs to be skills and an understanding of the way to survive in this new way of living or the threshold of control will begin to kick in again. I need to learn that this environment is familiar and accepted by seeing others in the same realm. I need to learn how to hold myself accountable to living my best version of me. I need more confidence and more courage.
“What can you learn to overcome the obstacles of not knowing?”
By immersing with other people’s stories of their transformations, I will then become aware. By making a plan to achieve and grow. Having a mentor on my side to help guide me is also limiting all the fear responses.
“What part of you has to die?”
I hope nothing I thought… But then realised that I do have to let parts of me go. I had to let the fear of rejection go, and instead live in belief that I am striving for a greater cause, a greater me also. I had to let the fear of humiliation, the fear of intimacy and the stress of not living by my own values. I had to let go of being quiet on things I did not agree with. I had to let go of settling which was weighted evenly or in my favour.
But understanding this now, I can truly see your reasons of WHY you want to change has to be the motivator to hold you strong in the face of fear. To see a vision of where you are headed, what you’ll become, who you’ll help achieve, and the feel the sense of reward and peace of why you chose this path is all the reasons that you’ll need to grow and be the better version of your true identity.
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