Updated: Jun 3
Who you are is not just your name and job title; it is the unique combination that includes your experiences, lessons learned, your heartbreaks and mends, and the mix of talents, dreams and abilities that point to your reason for being. One of the blessings of getting older is the wider perspective and the ability to seeing more, clearly. This perspective will also give insight into the depths of your soul and spirit; the place where your passions and abilities create solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. To live without knowledge of the deep inner workings of your soul and spirit is possible, however I would liken it to living in The Matrix – only appearing to live.
The situations we are currently facing: embracing a new normal in the wake of COVID19, the societal manifestations of 400 years of racial inequities that include murder and the raging response of those who have been marginalized, and the widening divide between those who have and those who have not – represent a watershed moment. It is more important than ever to understand who you are and what you offer. Here are some other reasons why understanding your identity is crucial now:
Because who you are will provoke what you were created to do. Your lessons and experiences taught you abilities, a perspective and a way of looking at things. The experiences may have been painful, but the lessons are priceless. For example, those who have fought and learned the value of peace will be confronted with tumult because peace is what you have been equipped to teach. If you have learned to fight fear, you will be confronted with cowardice because you have the solution to that issue. Those who value knowledge will be confronted with ignorance because that is...well you know. These lessons were divinely ordered and designed to teach you more about who you are. What might destroy someone else will provoke you to create a solution.
If you don’t know who you are you will fear what you were meant to conquer. In the Wizard of Oz, the cowardly lion made a name for himself as a coward even though he was created to be king of the jungle. He didn’t know who he was, and never allowed himself to face what made him afraid. As a child when we were bullied, my Dad would not allow it. He said, “You will either stand up to the bully or you will stand up to me.” He was not attempting to make us bullies, but to teach that you cannot back down when you are being intimidated. The lesson from the bully is to produce courage, not fear.
Understanding what you offer will trigger your problem-solving skills in a crisis. Have you ever noticed the person in the meeting who is calm when everyone else is losing their minds about the latest round of staff cuts or public relations debacle? He or she is not moved by the emotion of the room but is likely looking for the solution others are too anxious to see. Have you stood up to a layoff and re-created yourself based on a new paradigm? Then you are probably not afraid of another layoff because you know that you will not only survive but thrive.
I have more to say but want to respect the rules of not saying too much in a blog. I hope you will come back and see what happens next week.
Michele Aikens is the Lead Coach of Sepia Prime Communications & Coaching. You can contact her via e-mail here: