Well, perhaps for many of you reading this—not a phrase you hear much anymore. I should just speak for myself—I know I can go to pretty much any restaurant and if I choose to order a glass of wine the waitperson is not going to bat an eye or send me searching for my license. Ah, the good old days. But on to what this post is really about—who are we anyway??
I was thinking the other day about the importance of identity. How attached are we to who we think we are? What do we use to identify ourselves? Job, family, race, religion, athleticism…the list could go on and on. And what happens to us if we lose an identity?
I was pondering this point because three years ago I got laid off from my job as a mortgage processor. Yes, a mortgage processor. Ok, not something I really planned on doing but my friend who owned a mortgage company needed help after I had been laid off from being admissions officer for a massage and polarity school. Talk about opposite polarities! But I was grateful for the opportunity and excited about the prospect of working in Boston and making some dough.
Even though working in mortgage banking was nothing I ever intended on doing, suddenly I had a new identity. People would ask me, “What are the rates?” I learned skills that I could use to help other people. I could guide a first time home buyer through the process of obtaining their first mortgage. I knew mortgage jargon and the three most important words of my life came to be Clear to Close. Even though working in mortgage banking can be very stressful and unpleasant, that became my life and my identity. How could it not??
So what happens when we lose a job, and with that our identity? Initially losing my identity as working in holistic health, something I had always wanted to do, was difficult for me. So as much as the mortgage identity didn’t really fit who I was, I took it on anyway. It was easy to define and it was available. So how often do we take on an identity that does not fit who we feel we really are? And what does that do to our energetic vibration?
Two good questions—now here is a third. What happens when we no longer know how to identify ourselves? I am in that position right now. I have started my own business but it has many facets. Am I a blogger, an internet marketer, a practitioner, or a writer? What should I say when somebody asks the question, “So what do you do?”
When I started writing this post I was feeling the need to better define myself, if solely for the purpose of answering the above question. But now as I write this I feel like it might be fun to give a different answer every time! Because if I identify myself in one way or another, won’t that limit my growth potential? If I identify myself as a blogger, then what about all the other projects I want to do? Can I live without a solid job identity?
I think the answer is yes, and I’m excited to try it out! Since I decided to start my own business I have been searching for an identity and as the business plan morphed and changed from my original intention of having solely a one on one practice I have really struggled with what to tell people I do—how to identity myself. Now I feel like it is time to let go of the need to fit into a box that I think others will find acceptable. Try this experiment yourself! If we let go of our perceived identities, what amazing opportunities might we be opening ourselves up to?