Hello World! Let me tell you who I am!
Today’s post is the third post in a series that reflects on our individual life purpose and defining who we are in life. Our goal is to create a life that is on purpose which is where we will be fully empowered. As you and I search for our own definition of purpose, let me share with you some of the passages of the book that particularly helped steer my reflection. Maria Shriver’s book, Just Who Will You Be? is a perfect book for this exploration and you can read it over your lunch break. When Ms. Shriver asked herself the question “Just who did I want to be?” she shared the following passages related to her exploration and ultimate discovery:
“When I reflected on that question, I realized I’d been answering it wrong my whole life. I’d always answered it with my resumé. But the true answer, I saw, is about my heart, my values, and my soul. Who I am, not what I am. It isn’t really about others’ perceptions and expectations of me either, even though we all worry about that. … Well, I now see that who we are has nothing to do with any of the outside stuff. What I’ve learned on this journey is that I have worth as a human being— not just because of the job I have or the resumé or how I look or who I married or the family I was born into. I’ve learned that we’re all worthy of being loved just for being ourselves.
I’ve also learned it’s OK to change. Sometimes it’s not just OK, but mandatory. You can let go of some beliefs that maybe have served you well along the way, but just don’t work for you anymore. We’re supposed to grow and evolve. We have to give ourselves the permission and freedom to stay open to change. … I’m talking about letting life’s experiences affect you and mature you. I’m talking about going down deep and finding out where you’re at and where you need to go next.
Just who will I be? I now realize that everyone I’ve ever met in my life who’s interesting, who has a life of deep meaning and joy, is still open to new answers to that question, new opportunities for change and growth.
Many of you may also feel that you’re scrambling to fulfill your roles in everybody’s life but your own. You may feel you’re not entitled to show up as anyone but the perfect student, the perfect son or daughter, the perfect spouse or partner, the perfect employee or parent. You may believe you’re not allowed to think of yourself as separate from your job, your family, and all the other legacies you inhabit.
But what I’ve come to understand is that we are first and foremost human beings in our own right. We’re entitled to our own lives, our own dreams and goals, our own legacies. I’ve finally learned after all these years that I don’t need to define myself with a certain job or a certain name or a certain role in order to tell myself who I am. I’ve learned that all my roles are simply a part of me—but they’re not all of me.
I’ve learned that by looking at myself apart from my roles—by softening and taking off some of the armor I put on as a child and wore my whole life—I can more clearly see and feel the people around me. Now that I’m not so obsessed about whether I measure up to other people’s expectations, I’ve found a new gentleness and kindness in myself, for myself and for others.
So just who am I?
Well, I’ve been amazed to discover that inside that tough, dutiful, responsible girl who always worried about what everyone else was thinking and always “got with the program”—why, there’s actually a free-spirited, adventurous, and creative person inside. After my hard-charging, competitive life, I’ve been amazed to discover I’m actually a nurturing and spiritual person who seeks joy, peace, and meaning in her life.
That’s who I am.”
It’s time to unwrap the person you are and ask the question – “Just Who Will I Be?” Yesterday, we asked the questions: Are you who you want to be? Is your life everything you dream it can be? Today, it’s time to fully explore those questions, discover who you are and truly start designing the life that brings you purpose and connects with your soul. Take some quality time to yourself and find an inspiring location that allows you to be connect with yourself and create the perfect environment for this exercise – perhaps play your favorite music, open your doors and let mother nature and the beautiful spring day in to help you. Light some candles, make that perfect cup of coffee or tea, have that favorite glass of wine, go to your favorite, inspiring location (Sedona always works for me), start with a prayer or meditation for guidance if this calls to you. And when you are ready, start answering the following questions with as much honesty and detail as you can:
Are you who you want to be? Answer honestly and hold nothing back. This is for your eyes only
Is your life everything you dream it can be?
What do you want? Be Specific, describe it, draw it, what does it feel like?
When will it happen? Establish a time frame so you can start creating an action plan to support it.
Where will you be when you’ve successfully created it? Visualize it, feel it, smell it, describe it in detail.
Who will give you the feedback that you got it?
How will it make your life better or different?
Why is this important to you?