One question we often ask is “how are you?” Some of us even keep ourselves in check by regularly saying “how am I doing?” But there is one crucial question we rarely ask ourselves: Who am I? I had asked that question a long time ago but I discovered lately that it is very beneficial to make that inquiry on a regular basis.
Who are you? What is your identity? How would you define yourself? These are fundamental questions that can be tough to answer especially when looking for a simple statement of your identity that you can use daily. I can almost hear your thoughts, “but JF if it’s so tough why do I need spend time and energy coming up with an answer?” Because doing so will simplify your daily life! As you can see in The Simplicity Guide to Your Body and The Simplicity Guide to Your Thoughts, our identity and its values guide our decisions. Clearer your identity, simpler, healthier and more satisfying your choices will be . Here are 5 ways to find yourself.
1. Set some time aside to think
Life is busy and we seem to go about doing our business in an automatic mode without necessarily thinking. One goal of simplifying our life is to leave more room for what matters the most. One important concept is to take some time by yourself and think, pray or/and meditate. This can be done in numerous ways – sitting or laying down, doing an activity where you can focus on your thoughts such as walking and running (my personal favourites). Once you start thinking of your identity, it might not come to you right away, don’t force it but don’t quit.
2. Ask yourself an important question
Do you like who you are now? Sometimes in life we lose ourselves. Our priorities, words and actions don’t reflect our values and who we are, or should I say who we want to be. It’s important to be honest. If after asking that question you feel disappointed because the response is no or not completely, cheer up! Just going through this process shows you’re willing to become who you want to be or who you once were. Reevaluate your priorities, think of how you want to act, what kind of activities you want to be doing and with what kind of thoughts you want to fill your mind. And then try to define your identity in such a way that pushes you towards these priorities, actions, activities and thoughts.
3. Be yourself … but
Be the best version of yourself! This can get tricky because you don’t want to force somebody else’s identity on yourself. In the past I described myself as a software engineer, handicapped and perseverant person, although these are not the best choices to define my identity, they are true and realistic. I could not have chosen aspiring surgeon, professional athlete and thick-skinned professional. These don’t describe me and probably never will. When looking to find yourself, you must strike a balance between your honest self and who you want to be.
4. Don’t limit your identity
The previous examples I used to describe my identity were too limiting and didn’t reflect my core identity, my true self. Your identity statement should be concise and yet all encompassing. Giving it a bit more thought and going through this process myself, I came up with this statement:
Child of God, family man, entrepreneur, athlete, passionate about helping people!
First, let me say that my identity statement is written with priority in mind, it is also short so I can easily remember and bring it to my attention. And notice that half of it is using nouns which I think are better when it comes to defining an identity.
Child of God, God always played a important role in my life, from giving me hope for eternity to helping me in every challenge.
Family man, my wife and children are very important to me and I want to have them in mind when I face important decisions.
Entrepreneur, whether I’m at home, writing this blog or at work being a software engineer, I strive to be a leader, a good decision maker who has control over his emotions and comes up with great solutions.
Athlete, I’m not a professional athlete but I describe myself as an athlete because I run, exercise and eat well to stay fit and compete for my health.
Passionate about helping, this last one is something I’ve been realizing more and more; it’s totally me. I feel at my best when I help people out.
As you can see, that small statement speaks a great deal about me. As you clarify yours, you’ll begin to see how helpful it can be in simplifying your life.
5. Use your identity
Last but not least, you need to use your identity statement. When facing a difficult decision or thought, before engaging in a questionable activity or bad habit, use your identity statement to help you reach a more satisfying outcome. More you use it, clearer your identity will be to you and others.
I hope this helps you find yourself. If so, share this with your friends using the buttons below!
Please leave us a comment. What is your identity statement?