Overcoming Your Identity Crisis: Answering the Question “Who Am I?”

Playing games is one of my favorite pastimes. Aggravation, Sorry, Uno, Clue, Trouble, Rummy. I love them all (except Monopoly…ultra meh to me.) To kill some time on a recent long drive my husband and I played 20 Questions. On a side note, I was thrilled to be playing because most of our long trips involve listening to Mad Dog Sports Radio at a high volume. Can any women out there relate? Ugh!

Now back to the topic of 20 Questions. The premise of the game is that one person chooses something and gives the category it belongs to (ie. person, place or thing). Then, the other player is allowed to ask up to 20 yes/no questions to try to determine who or what it is. Easy peasy. I almost always choose “person” since that’s my favorite category. 

My husband spouted off questions like are you famous?”, “are you popular?”, “are you in the headlines?”, “would people recognize you on the streets?”, and “are you good at sports?”. I stumped him several times by choosing Marie Curie, John Wayne, and Bob (“happy little accidents”) Ross. Insert “Fist Pump” emoji here!

As he was “interrogating” me I couldn’t help thinking that many of us ask similar questions about ourselves. Questions like:  “Am I loved?”, ”Do I matter?”, “Am I heard and seen?”, “What am I good at?”, and “Am I valuable?”. 

It’s late August in Missouri and around here you can’t help but see all the photos on social media of children going back to school. The ones that especially tug at my heart are the pics of college drop-offs.  I feel for the parents experiencing an empty nest right now. Boy, do I remember those days!

When our sons went off to college I didn’t know who I was anymore. I identified as their Mom. Nothing more and nothing less. I was “Play Date Mom”, “Time Out Mom”, “Chauffeur Mom”, “Nurse Mom”, “Teacher Conference Mom”, and “Sports Fan Mom” for 17 years. I was Mom. Plain and simple and.I.loved.every.minute.of.it! It didn’t take me long to feel bogged down with the need to know who I was now that they were gone. 

Did I even matter anymore? What was I good at besides being a mom? Was I needed for anything anymore? It seemed as if the confident woman I once was had packed her bags and disappeared.  I was down, depressed, and definitely feeling lost.  Have you felt this way?

First Things First. Go to the Source!

Oh sure, we can look to others for input, we can take personality tests and find out what makes us tick, and we can even take aptitude tests to find out our strengths and weaknesses, but there is One we can go to first for the ultimate and truest account of who we are. Our Creator. 

Here are five things you can take to the bank.  They’re written to each one of us personally. To drive these points home, play along and hold up each of your fingers as I share them. Are you ready?

Thumb.

You are heard. “I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12b

Pointer

You are seen. But you, O Lord, know me; you see me…:” Jeremiah 12:3

Middle Finger

You matter. “He will delight in you with gladness.” Zephaniah 3:17 “For the Lord takes pleasure in His people;” Psalm 149:4

Ring Finger

You are loved. “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is…” Ephesians 3:18

Pinky

You are wonderfully made.Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous…” Psalm 139:14

The Creator is intimately familiar with you and loves you to the fullest extent possible. Replace your confusion with faith. He’s not confused about who you are and you shouldn’t be either! 

Second Things Second. Get Curious!

Now that I’ve got the most important thing out of the way let’s move on to point #2.  Floating through life and not being aware of who you are is a great big no-no. Life is short (I’m pretty sure I write this in every blog!). You’ve been created to bring value to those around you and YOU losing touch with YOU is not an option! 

It’s important to get curious about YOU.  Make notes to help you get your thoughts straight. Here are a few things for you to reflect on:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you see common themes running through them? Do you like written words? Numbers? Creativity? Are you a people person? Do you like to do things alone? Do you like children? Do you like the elderly?
  • What is your thought life like? Are you a “glass half full” kind of person or do you often see catastrophe right around the corner? Do you believe in yourself or do you see yourself as weak? Do you tend to be bitter or filled with joy? Do you trust people or are you often skeptical of them? 
  • What do you love to do?  What would you be doing if you had all the time in the world to do it? *Never mind what people say or think about it. What makes you excited to wake up in the morning and do it? Would you be doing it alone or in a group? 
  • What have been your successes and accomplishments? Don’t think just about tangible things like awards or accolades. Think about your parenting, the importance of your family, your nurturing, and your giving of your time and your talents. 
  • What are your qualities? Don’t just think about the good ones. We learn to change by being aware of our not-so-good ones too. Are you organized or disorganized? Are you an initiator or a follower (being a follower is not always a bad thing)? Are you a team player or do you have very little patience and fly off the handle easily?
  • How would a stranger see you? What are 5-10 words that a stranger might use to describe you? How do you want them to describe you? 
  •  What are your core values? Our core values play a big role in motivating our choices at work, at home, and in everyday life. Do you value: Honesty? Compassion? Authenticity? Faith? Family? Courage? Harmony? Friendship? Kindness? Loyalty? Respect for all? Selflessness? Trust? Health? For more examples of core values click here. Here are two great additional questions to ask yourself: 1) Did my parents model these to me? 2) What am I modeling to my children or the young ones in my life? 
  • What legacy do you want to leave behind? Where do you see yourself in 2, 5, 10 years from now? Warning! This doesn’t need to be something that is sensational or world-changing like curing cancer or eradicating poverty. Wrap your head around what makes you feel authentic, what makes you “tick”, and what makes you excited about waking up each morning.  Here’s the million-dollar question: How would your legacy make others feel? Would your legacy compel people to “pay it forward” and do the same?
  • What does my gut say? What is your gut saying to you about who you are? Have you been following your gut or following what the world says you should be? Trying to be someone else is exhausting. Trust your gut and be your authentic self-it’s easier that way.  While you’re at it, slow down. When we rush too much we miss so much!

You can download a copy of “Who Am I?” here.

Third Things Third. You Will Always Be YOU. 

Once you answer the question “who am I?”, you’ll find confidence in trying new things, learning new skills, visiting new places, and meeting new people. Remember: You are not what you do. You are not just a mom. You are a woman who chose to be a role model to her children. You are not just a husband or wife. You are someone who spoke a covenant and said “I do” for better or for worse. You are not just a teacher. You are someone who chooses to teach and feed knowledge into students. You are not just an office manager. You are someone who chooses to run an office efficiently. You are not just a banker. You are someone who works in a bank and helps people with their finances. You are not just a sales rep. You are someone who chooses to represent a company and their goods and products. There is more to you than meets the eye and when you choose to no longer do what you do (whenever that may be), you will still be YOU. 

There is more to you than meets the eye and when you choose to no longer do what you do (whenever that may be), you will still be YOU. Click To Tweet

Friend, I hope you take the words in this blog to heart. If you’re struggling with the question “who am I?” I’d love to help you find the answer. Reach out to me, I’m here for you! As always I’d love your feedback. Drop me a line and let me know what you thought.

Choose To Be Grateful!

In today’s world “bad news infested” headlines and political divisiveness having a sense of gratitude is needed more than ever. Research shows that being grateful has its perks! Want to feel happier? Lower your stress? Get out of depression? Worry less? Then be grateful! Download my 365 Days of Gratitude here

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