Hi meaningful leader,
Happy Tuesday! I always look forward to our time together and prepare the weekly article with you in mind.
So, for this week I want us to discuss identity. As in who we TRULY are. I’ll start because I’m the one with the idea…
My father has never been an acting participant in my life, but regardless of his absence during my childhood and subsequently, I had created in my mind a bunch of high expectations he might have of me. During my elementary years, my mom used to take me to his practice at the end of every grading period to show him my report card and discuss things like, what I wanted to be when I grew up…yet, I don’t have a single recollection of his encouragement, example, or guidance throughout my journey.
Based on this distorted notion of what I needed to accomplish to be the daughter my father wanted, I became a high achiever (I don’t like, nor I’ll ever use the term overachiever, you can’t over achieve).
As a professional I focused all my energy in building my career, sometimes sacrificing my family time and my own well-being. I’ve always been very competitive, so climbing and achieving gave me momentarily satisfaction, yet left me empty on the long run. I was running in circles and had attached my identity to my career, my industry, the company I worked for, and the job I did.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for wearing the team’s shirt and feeling proud to belong as part of a great organization, but in the process I lost track of who I was and what was my purpose. And this is something millions of professionals encounter every day.
You see, the problem with attaching our identity to the work we do or to the company we do it for is that the day that for any reason that job is no longer there, professionals lose alongside with their income, their own sense of purpose and identity.
And this is not only relevant to jobs or careers, it happens with spouses, children, religious organizations, and so on. Belonging is great, we were created to crave community, but losing our individuality and our identity in the process is unhealthy and it will leave us depleted and lost.
Part of reclaiming our identity is identifying our purpose; you know, one of the many existential questions we are bound to ask ourselves at some point or another. Why am I here? For which purpose was I created? What’s my worth?
The game changer for me in this equation was stumbling with my faith…I say stumbling, because that’s exactly how it happened. The moment I understood that if God created me, first He had a purpose for me. Second, that if I continue to wake up each day is because there’s still something I need to do for Him here. And third, that He loves me no matter what. This combo allowed me to dump the load of carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and allow me to pursue my own life.
And before you close the tab, I’m not here to preach, I’m only sharing my journey in an effort to bring clarity to you if and when you feel overwhelmed by the burden you’ve been carrying along.
First, I broke up with perfection, its crippling effects no longer worked on me, and I chose greatness instead. I work each day to deliver great, imperfect work and keep working at making it greater, but I made my peace with the fact that failure is part of the success cycle, not its archenemy.
Second, I got really clear on what my purpose is. What am I willing to do for the rest of my life, that I will continue to do even if I didn’t get paid to do it. In other words, what gives me joy, despite the challenges and difficulties. And here you have it, each week I write this for you, because part of my purpose is not to keep anything I’ve learned and experienced to myself, my plan is to go tho the grave complete empty after mentoring as many people as I can.
Third, I dumped off of my shoulders the weight of other people’s opinions of me. I start and end each day with gratitude. I celebrate my progress and that of my team and let the world handle its own expectations. I’ve learned to free myself from the fear of being judged and criticized and allowed myself to create; which is the one thing that fills my cup, that and authentically caring for others.
Forth, I dropped all my limiting beliefs and developed a growth mindset. I work each day at building up my knowledge base and equipping myself to become the person I was created to be. Paraphrasing Ed Mylett, I don’t want to go to heaven one day and when God gives me the opportunity to meet the version of the person He created me to be, that the gap is so great that I feel the irrepressible disappointment of not reaching my full potential and having ran out of time…no thank you!
And fifth, I learn to live fully, offloading my fears, and chasing what ignites my soul on fire with every ounce of myself. I stop settling for what I mistakenly thought I deserved, and instead continue to pursue what I know I can reach and that made me unstoppable.
As you see, determining our true identity is vital for achieving the life we would like to pursue, but think is too far out of reach. I’m here to tell you that it’s not and you are already equipped with all the necessary ingredients, so just work on perfecting your recipe and voilÃ , you’ll become unstoppable too.
Life is a challenging ride, but it has so much beauty and satisfaction in it that it’s worth experiencing to the fullest while, also experiencing and practicing gratitude. Life will allow us plenty of opportunities for growth and millions of lessons to become better human beings, find the joy in the journey and keep your eyes wide open
As always, I hope you found value here today. If so, please share with one person, like, subscribe and comment, I love reading your messages. Ohhh I almost forgot…quick update: I finished editing the book and I’m waiting on the ISBN number to finally load the book into Amazon’s print on demand services, Kindle Publishing, the book is coming to life and I can’t wait to share it with you.
Have an amazing rest of your week, don’t forget to practice gratitude and God bless,