I recently attended a virtual class about creating habits that stick. The instructor (and incidentally one of my favorite humans on the planet), Monica Packer, asked a question that really stood out to me.
Sometimes we walk around with this list of things that we do, or that we’re good at – look! see! this is who I am! – But, if all of that were stripped away, who would you be? Who am I without the proof?“
I’ve been thinking about her question ever since.
“Do”s and “Have”s
Before, my personal description of my identity might have looked like this:
- I am a runner.
- I am a podcaster!
- I am a #toddlermom and the luckiest wife.
- I am a follower of Christ.
- I am a writer.
I can’t run at the moment, which has been somewhat of a mini-crisis – does that mean I’m not a runner?
We’ve talked about my fear of losing the people that I love. If they were gone, who would I be? What would my meaning look like?
I am a follower of Christ. But, there’s so much division right now. I’ve had to stop taking the term “Christian” for granted, and really go back to the basics, and ask myself what does that mean?
Yes, I’m a podcaster and a writer – with exactly zero professional qualifications. Sometimes, I have no idea what I’m doing, if I’m doing it “right”, or if it’s worth it.
But, if what I “do” or “have” doesn’t make up my identity, then what does?
Is it possible to re-frame my “I Am” statements into something that stands up to failed plans, injuries, loneliness, imposter syndrome? What would that look like?
Qualities & Attributes
It’s still a work in progress, but, here goes:
- I am not afraid to do hard things.
- I am vulnerable. I am willing to try.
- I am loving. I am resilient. I am hopeful.
- I am prayerful. I am discerning. I am not critical. I am fallen. I am redeemed. I am of infinite, inherent worth.
- I am authentic.
So, identity crisis – take that!
When who we are isn’t attached to what we do or have, we can apply those attributes to our actions no matter our circumstances.
We can drop the “all-or-nothing” idea that perfection is required before we can claim a strength or talent as part of what brings us to life.
We can get more specific and live in more alignment.
What do you think? Does that make sense? Or feel completely radical?
What would your list look like?
Here’s to finding our roots!