Oftentimes our own reflection in the mirror scares us more than any other monster can, especially if you don’t know who that reflection is.
Who am I? Have you ever honestly asked yourself this question? Most of us have a vague idea of who we are but vague is not enough if you want to be great at anything. If you don’t know who you really are then other people will tell you who they want to be and when this happens you end up in a downward spiral of doing things that you really don’t want to do.
You see, knowing yourself is the key to identifying your strengths and to do this you have to ask yourself two questions:
1. Who am I now?
Be honest with yourself – what defines your existence right now? To answer that, here are two guide questions:
- How do you spend most of your day? Let’s say for one minute that you’re a chef and you’re really good at it. You prepare meals most of the day and people call you chef and people like you’re cooking. So you’re the “chef”.
- Are you happy with it? Now, are you happy with being the chef? Or do you feel like you’re soul is not in your own body? If you’re happy with it then you can call yourself the “Happy Chef”, “Passionate Chef” and so on. But if you don’t feel positive about it then call yourself something else… perhaps the “Tired Chef”, “Halfhearted Chef”, etc.
While this is a short exercise it does help you honestly identify who you are right now. You can be the “Super Dad”, the “Big Mama”, “Unheard Wise Man”, etc.
The whole point is to connect your “identity” with how you “feel” about it. Once you’ve done that, we can move on to the next big question which is…
2. Who do I really want to be?
If you feel negative about your current “identity” then you definitely need to change that but sometimes you may want to be somebody else even if you’re happy with who you are. For example, a “Super Dad” might want to be the “Awesome Husband” too.
Either way, you want to ask yourself if you’re current situation is where you want to be in the foreseeable future or if you want to change and/or improve it.
Going back to our chef example, let’s say you’re the “Halfhearted Chef”.
Do you want to be a chef in the first place? If not then get out of it and ask yourself what you really want to be. There’s no point in being someone you don’t like.
If on the other hand you do want to be a chef, then ask yourself why you feel halfhearted about it. Perhaps you’re bored with what you’re doing or perhaps you don’t believe in the objectives of the restaurant you’re working for. Is there something you can do to improve your current situation or do you have to move on to a different environment?
I’ll be blunt, if you feel conflicted about yourself then you’re not who you want to be. You’re not who you want to be because you probably don’t know who you are in the first place. Simple as that.
Identify yourself. You may be called Mike but people may know you as the “Grumpy Driver”. Some may see you as the “Jolly Salesman”. You however don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations all the time. Yes, we have the moral obligation to do good in this world but how you’d go about doing that is really up to you.
Know yourself, after that then you can really Be yourself.