Tuesday 23 October 2012

Who am I?

As part of the theme on self awareness and the ways that it's lack can be the cause of much distress in our lives, at work and at home, I'd like to look at our identity. That is the person that we believe ourselves to be - the answer we give when asked "Who are you?" or even sometimes the answer we give to "What do you do?"

I'd like you to read each of the following in turn and then take a moment to try it on. That is to act as if that identity is meaningful to you and to notice what you notice - what happens to your body posture, to how you're feeling, thinking and noticing and what you're doing?
  • I am a woman/man (delete as appropriate)
  • I am a mother/sister/daughter/wife/father/brother/son/husband (delete as appropriate)
  • I am a friend
  • I am an old woman/man
  • I am a middle aged woman/man
  • I am a young woman/man
  • I am a leader
  • I am a follower
  • I am an entrepreneur
  • I am a businessman/woman
  • I am an employee
  • I am a troublemaker
  • I am a peacemaker
  • I am a purchaser (replace with your own profession)
Perhaps you felt very comfortable, or uncomfortable with some of these, did you fidget or perhaps sit up straighter? The fact is that what ever identity we have about ourselves in a given context will impact how we feel, how we think and how we behave. It can't therefore but impact the reaction others have to us in that situation either.

For example:
  • 'I'm a follower' might lead to passive behaviour in a meeting even if you really have the solution to the problem.
  • 'I'm an old woman' might lead, subject to your belief about age, to a choice of less than energetic pastimes and saying "No" to others' suggestions more.
  • 'I'm a troublemaker' might lead to disruptive behaviours.
  • 'I'm a purchaser' might lead you to behave as if anyone who isn't a purchaser, or what ever profession you're a member of, doesn't know as much as you.
Rather than allow old and possibly out of date identities to hijack your activities why not choose the perfect identities for you, ones that enable the most resourceful you to be present in every situation. This week I'm going to take the following identities with me into my work and notice what I notice:
  • I am a problem solver
  • I am a facilitator
  • I am a writer
  • I am a communicator
  • I am a beautiful woman :-) 
What identities will you choose?

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Sowing the seeds to purchasing understanding their identity and its impact on others

Peanuts picture Source: paulabliss.com via Alison on Pinterest


  1. I am a pain in the... only joking!!!

    I am a fan of laughter

    I am a creative woman

    I am a baker of yummy cakes

    I am a changer of perspectives

    I am a presenter

  2. :-) I love the changer of perspectives Amy and it's interestting what difference an adjective can have too - a creative woman vs an adjectiveless presenter?