Ok hopefully that got your attention 😉
We’ve probably all said it and more than likely all been asked ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
It seems harmless and we’re simply showing our interest and curiosity, right?
The thing is, and sorry if this sounds pedantic but bear with me…’who you want to BE’ and ‘what you want to DO’ are 2 have some overlap yet have some crucial differences.
Doing is our behaviour
Being is our character
And it’s all too common that we mix them both together to the extent that what we DO becomes a reference point for WHO we are….and that is dodgy territory.
Yes, hopefully the work you are paid to do will be aligned with who you are…but not always and the fact remains that you are who you are whether or not you are getting paid. It seems obvious to say it but you are more than any job title. Yes often we lose our sense of this.
The logic behind separating ‘being’ and ‘doing’ is similar to that of walking before running….the first lays a strong for the second. Get the basics right and everything else becomes so much easier.
Figuring out who in essence you are in terms of your personality, strengths and values and who you want to be and is so freeing. Knowing this and letting ourselves be guided by this makes our lives flow allowing successes to come far more frequently and with greater ease.
Think about it.
You absolutely CAN choose any job you want and you may or may not get lucky with that choice. You can research it, finding out the qualifications you need, the likely salary you’ll get, the training and experience required. It may all seem very appealing and possible BUT if you’ve not yet appreciated who you are and the life you want to create it’s impossible to really assess whether this opportunity will suit you.
I often come across adults with substance misuse issues who tell the same story where they used drink and drugs to calm their nerves when they were younger as they learned to socialise with different groups. The problem here was never learning to overcome their nerves and interact with people WITHOUT this crutch. They were trying to run before learning how to walk.
Yet if they had embraced the discomfort of their awkwardness in new situations and the value of falling over (metaphorically!!) and learning from their ‘failures’ as they learned who they really were and how to show up as that person…they would never have needed a crutch. They may well still have went on to use of drugs and drink but then it would then have been a choice rather than as they perceived it, a necessity.
The same goes for the rest of us. All to often we use our job title and the work we do (whether paid or unpaid) as a crutch. Having never got to really understand ourselves and what makes us tick we are vulnerable to change any change in role challenges our identity.
I know I felt this at several points in my life so far. When I became a mum I got so lost in being a mum that I lost my sense of who Colette was. And more recently, while caring for my mum, I kept business ticking over with a few clients even though my heart wasn’t in it but for the life of me I didn’t want to not be working. I had never not worked. Just as I had tied who I am with being a mum, I tied who I am with my profession.
And it’s not that helpful! Yes of course I’m a mum, partner, daughter, friend, coach and more. But those are roles…and the only person who can take these roles in the context of my own life…is me.
So who I am and who I want to be is THE most important thing from which everything else falls into place.
And my invitation to you is to identify with WHO you REALLY are…get naked and honest for a moment because when you are ok with who you are, you get your power back. WHAT you do becomes a choice of one of the many ways you show up in the world.
You’ll be running without a crutch….leaving you a whole lot more energy to make far better choices
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