Lead Your Identity (Part 1)

Posted by on Nov 18, 2013 in ALL Posts, Blog, Your Identity | 10 comments

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Inspirational Leading:
Lead Your Identity!
(Part 1)

In our last post we mentioned that we would begin our Inspirational Leading journey by increasing our ability to lead ourselves. Easy right?  Well…. it may just be that learning to lead ourselves is in fact the most difficult leadership challenge we will ever face.

When we lead ourselves more completely, leading others is pretty straight forward: our junk steps aside and we no longer trip over our triggers and insecurities.
That very real and sometimes challenging journey of leading and inspiring ourselves begins with answering an intimate question: “Who am I?”

What is your response when asked the question, “Who are you?”

You may list your job or your nationality;
Perhaps you would list your family relationships;
Perhaps you might list a disease with which you struggle or that you have conquered.

That’s all fine to a point but what if:

+Your identity is based on your professional achievement and then
you lose that job or promotion

+ Your identity is based on your spouse and you either
lose him or her to death or you are surprised
by unexpected betrayal or divorce

+ Your identity is based on your financial success and you
lose your ability to work or lose your savings

+ Your identity is based on your circles of friendships
but those friends turn away from you

If our identity is based on the outer layers of our lives or on the things we do or the people we know, then our identity stands on very unstable ground.  We could easily lose anything that is in our earthly life. What then happens to our identity when those things are lost?

What if your identity was based on something deeper, something more stable. What if your identity was actually rooted in your very existence rather than the add-ons of our earthly life? How would that change your life and your interactions with others?

 We’ll talk about that more in our next post. It’s crazy amazing how this shift changes our perception of ourselves, of others, and indeed of life itself.

For today, however, I invite you to set aside just a few moments
to think about your self-perceived identity.

Is your identity in your mind and heart based on earthly add-ons? 
Write down those add-ons and examine that list.
What would happen to your sense of self if these items, this career, these people were no longer part of your life?
Would it change your desire to live?
Would you loose your energy and excitement for life?

In the next post, we’ll explore the life-changing benefits to our lives and our leadership if we narrow in our understanding of our identity and root it in our very existence without all the earthly add-ons.  How would that change your life? How would it change your interactions with others? We shall see and share with each other next week about those ideas.

Until next time remember:

Be Inspired!  Be Inspirational!  Be a Leader!


Leave comment below!!
You can even list those earthly add-ons in your comment.
We may be surprised at how many of those perceptions are shared amongst us.
See you in the comments section.

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10 Comments

  1. Ok – Let’s raise the stakes….

    What if a natural disaster came through and took every family member’s life (immediate and distant), it took your friends, it wiped out your home and all your savings were gone, and you were left sitting in a shelter with no one, no resources, no job to go to, and no possessions. Just you sitting there alone. (Sort of like the show Revolution – if you’ve seen that.)

    How would that experience affect your identity if at all? Who would you be then?

  2. My self perceived identity is not dependent on others that I can tell. Yes, I enjoy my job, love my husband and 3 children but when I think of my identity, I think of who I am and how I treat others because of who I am. I don’t know if this is what you are looking for. I was raised in a Catholic household and was taught to be kind and loving to all. I truly enjoy people and life, I love to stop and smell the roses so to speak.

    I have lost both of my parents and a very close uncle but it didn’t change my inner self. Yes it hurt of course. I’m human but I beleive God has a plan for all of us and I’m happy just being me. I often pray to God and thank him for being so kind to me.

    • That’s beautiful, Kathy!! Thank you so much for sharing those wonderful thoughts! You’ve inspired more thinking on my end… I’ll post another comment to share.

  3. Jim and I have always been frugal people. We live modestly and save our money. About 20 years ago, we lost all of our life savings (over $100,000) in a business Jim had with his brother. We thought the money was protected, but because of corruption, the lawyers were not able to retrieve it. This was right before my son Ben was ready to go to college. The lawyers failed us, but God never fails. God has blessed us beyond measure. At that time I was working per diem, and was able to get a full time job on the floor where I was working. Ben stayed home an extra year to work fulltime. Ben and my daughter Sarah were able to get financial aid/loans and were able to go to Mount Vernon Nazarene College. Sarah met her husband there, who we love, and Ben made some good long lasting friendships. Sometimes bad things happen in life, but it is our choice to be bitter or better. I choose better. God didn’t drop money out of the sky like manna, but he expects me to work hard, trust and love Him, and do my best, and He will take care of the rest. This experience was hard, but it gave me many opportunites to tell others that God cares for us.

    • That would be a VERY hard blow!!! Your response and trust are inspiring!

  4. What insightful thought provoking questions. This calls for reflection before I would be able to answer. I’ll get back With you. But it does cause strong ties in how we identify to certain groups in our introduction to this these groups. I know I identify myself as an extended family member in some instances or past job experiences to justify my knowledge base. I know that there is one area that I seldom use as my identity maker is my education. I down play probably one of my greatest accomplishments. Let’s see where your next blog takes us…

    • Nancy, Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Interesting…. as I was reading your post what came to my (LouAnn’s) mind was that there is a distinction between what we think of as our identity vs how we use our skills, experience, and networking to exemplify our position in the marketplace. The latter is a great thing and we need not forgo those benefits. It’s just that sometimes we can tend to get these categories mixed up and then we risk the threat of crumbling into pieces if something goes ary in these areas.

      Yes! Yes! Yes! You earned that education. Be proud of it. 🙂

      Thanks again for posting. We all look forward to your further contributions.

  5. I’ll share a little of my (LouAnn’s) personal story here. I’ve learned this lesson in very real circumstances. The first wasn’t so bad… I started my career path as a professional musician. Did the masters at Eastman School of Music and then moved to Boston to freelance. I remember during grad school saying, “I can’t imagine not being a musician. It’s just who I am.” Well… one thing led to another and professional music became something of the past. It was an adjustment for sure cause I has always been known as a musician… really from grade school onwards.

    Later on I went through terrible times… lost the only real family I ever had – which led to the loss of any of my inheritance, coupled with serious financial crisis, and then there was the falling off of friends who couldn’t take the length and depth of grief…. understandable of course. It took a long while, but I learned and continue to learn to not rely on earthly add-ons as my identity or as a clutch. On what is my identity based then? How did I survive losing everything? We will talk about that in future posts. 🙂

    Leave your comments below too. Share your story too and your understanding of your self-perceived identity.

  6. I’ve been a nurse for 40 years and just retired a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been married 40 years, and I am a mother of 2 kids and a grandmother of 2. Who I am if all that went away, I am still a Christian whose purpose is to love God with all my heart, strength soul and mind and to love other people and to show that in my actions. I am a person who is far from perfect and needs help and encouragement, but retirement is not a time to give up, but look forward to what God has planned for me.

    • That’s very inspiring!! Have you been through time in your life when everything (or something very deeply important) really did get stripped from you and you had to live out this reality?

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