When you remove the titles and labels, who are you really?
I was recently coaching one of my clients and asked her to tell me, “Who are you?” She hesitated and admitted she could not think of any way to describe herself except by the standard titles: Woman, Mother, Daughter, Sister or Human Resources Consultant. She defined her entire existence based on those titles and labels she wore based on the relationships she was involved in. I challenged her to dig deeper and think about the person she wants to be in the world. I asked her how does she want to show up and what does she want her legacy to be. Even with that guidance, she was still challenged with how to respond to my inquiry.
I remember being at that same crossroad in my own life when my one and only son left home to attend college 3000 miles away from home. I was devastated. I asked him continually why he wanted to be so far away from me. Imagine, I made it all about me, when this was one of the biggest transitions in his own life. Instead of celebrating, I sulked. I remember the day I had to leave him on campus and telling him I could not believe I was leaving him. He quickly hugged me and said, “No Mom. I’m leaving you!” Wow! What a blow. It was in that moment I knew I had to find out who I was now that I no longer had to be a full-time mother.
After coming out of my temporary state of depression, I came through on the other side more empowered as a woman on a mission to help other women realize their place in the world outside of the labels and titles we all tend to wear and put before our own needs, desires, vision, hopes and dreams.
Here are some suggestions on how you, too, can step into your own power and worth in the world outside of your labels:
#1. Start a hobby
Think back to a time when you had no responsibilities other than “self.” What were you good at? What were some of your favourite things to do in your free time? What were you passionate about?
Spend some time learning a new hobby if you don’t have one already. You will be surprised how you will be able to tap into your genius and the gifts you have put aside to care for others or focus on your career or business.
#2. Spend some alone time
Find a way to step away from your daily responsibilities.
Go on a girls’ trip and let your hair down. Do something that is outside of your norm or comfort zone that challenges you to use new mental, physical and emotional muscles. Take yourself out to dinner, to the movies or on a trip to a foreign country. You will definitely get to know more about yourself and what you are made of when you spend time alone in your own thoughts and pushing your limits.
Writing your thoughts, desires and dreams down gets it out of your head and makes it real. It is easy to hide behind our deepest fears, desires and hopes when they remain in our thoughts, and not conceptualized in a way where we can see the real possibilities. Journaling is important because it will help you think bigger thoughts and dream bigger dreams. The world will feel like a bigger place with no boundaries. This is where you can honestly express who you are and how you want to show up in the world with no limitations.
Try to implement these practices into your daily life and look for ways everyday to define who you are in the world. I am convinced your true and real identity will rise to the top, and titles or labels will no longer solely define your existence. So, who are you really?