How many times have you been someplace and someone asked, “What do you do?” Wouldn’t a better conversation starter be, “Tell me about yourself!” I’m curious, if someone asked you that question, would you tell them what you did for a living or would you give them information about you. We are so defined by what we do that for many of us, we’ve lost who we are.
If you disconnected stepped away from the world of your family, friends and job, sat quietly and asked, who am I?, would you find the question easy or hard to answer? We are a society that values roles and responsibilities. We are often guided by other people’s expectations for how we should live our lives. From a very young age we’re taught that a good career – one that makes money and has prestige is the ticket to happiness.
Without a doubt the roles that we play in life help us form our identity, but what happens when that role is no longer your main source of defining who you are? Life is in a constant state of flux. We as parents will someday find ourselves alone when our kids venture out to begin their own lives. Or consider the person whose life is completely wrapped up in their work may find himself or herself suddenly unemployed. These are both common situations that for many, signal the start of an identity crisis.
When my youngest left for college, I went through that time of feeling lost and confused. It was through hiring my own coach that I began to get back in touch with the core of who I am, what I love and how I wanted to live my “new” life.
By identifying your core values, beliefs and passions, you become clear about who you are as a person versus the role you play. By asking yourself questions like:
- What things are most important to me?
- What are my values and am I living my life by them?
- What are my natural talents and strengths and how can I incorporate them to enrichen my life?
When you look inside for the, you will feel more empowered and confident. And often, the answer to “what is missing in my life?” will reveal itself.
So the next time you meet someone new, try asking them a different question and make it a point to be able to answer the same question yourself.
If you find it difficult working alone to find the answers, I’m here to help.