July 22nd, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized

Your sense of identity drives your behavior.

So when you're confused about who you are, you'll have a lot of confusion about how you should be investing your time.

Signs that there's a conflict between who you think you need to be and who you actually are, particularly at work, include:

  • Dreading going into the office.
  • Feeling drained by the majority of the work you do.
  • Needing people to notice and acknowledge what you did
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Feeling like an impostor

You may be really good at what you do.

You may even receive a lot of accolades for your work. But you'll never feel energized by your work and satisfied with your life if you're constantly trying to make yourself someone who you are not.

So how do you discover your true identity and then make choices aligned with it from smaller choices like what you do this afternoon to bigger choices like if you should look for a new job?

Here are a few traditional strategies:

  • Look for accurate mirrors: Spend time with people who accept you for being you. You can tell you're around those kind of people when you feel you can relax, you don't feel a need to prove anything, there's no pressure to fit in, and you are allowed to agree or disagree and still feel totally accepted and like you belong.
  • Notice what gives you energy: Your body is often wiser than your mind. Allow it to tell you when you're aligned with your authentic self. Hint: Any activities that give you headaches and make you feel unusually exhausted are not right for you--no matter how many people tell you that you're good at them.

Here are some additional insights I've discovered in exploring this question of identity for myself:

I've been taking a deep look at why I did what I did in the past, why I'm doing what I do now, and what it truly means to reach my full potential in a way that's authentic to my true identity.

In school, I was in the top 1% in terms of standardized tests, grades, etc., so I naturally took that on as my identity, what made me special, and the place I was "supposed" to be. But looking back, I don't believe I was living in congruence with my true self. I was smart enough and disciplined enough to make academic results happen. But my true self is very tenderhearted and would much rather spend time loving people than accomplishing tasks. It would have been a lot more "being me" in high school to have gotten some A's and B's and cultivated a lot more deeper relationships.

I do that much more now and am excited to see that part of me develop even more as I allow the labels of "high achiever," "successful," "top performer," etc., to fall off.

I'm not those labels. I'm Elizabeth.

You're not a set of labels. You're you.

I have come to believe that reaching your full potential is NOT about pushing yourself as hard as possible to reach higher and higher external markers of success. Instead I now see that reaching your "full potential" is about doing the work that's in congruence with your unique talents in a way that allows you to act like your true self instead of turning into a machine or a carbon copy of some ideal.

Finally as a person of faith, I see the importance of looking to God for answers. I believe He created me. Knows me perfectly, and understands my heart better than anyone else. I believe He can show me my pure identity, untainted by the hurts I've inevitably experienced in life and the cultural norms I've accepted.

I believe you and I can end the confusion this spring about who we are and what we should do when we start to embrace our true identity.

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Source: Elder Care Huffington Post

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