Clarifying Your Identity Disparities
May 15, 2020
The other night, my daughter had gotten in trouble and had to spend some alone time in her room. When she came out, she came to me very thoughtfully and asked if we could talk about something. Of course, I could feel that there was something coming in the impending conversation.
She said to me, “Sometimes I think I’m dumb”.
She’s eight, and this is what is weighing on her mind. How often do we have similar thoughts? How often do we wonder how others see us and how we see ourselves? But the real question is, how often do we decide how we want to see ourselves and make it happen?
As we’ve walked through the process of discovering your intentional identity in my previous posts (Starting here
). I’d venture to guess that the answers you put down don’t always align with the thoughts in our head. And, now days, weeks, or quarantines later, maybe you’re in a different mood or place in life, and you’re questioning whether they are even possible or realistic.
There are always going to be gaps or disparities between our vision of our truest and best self, and the person that shows up each day. Our challenge is to continue to strive for the vision we’ve created and to minimize those disparities by fully becoming who we are and who we were meant to be.
Looking back at the personal mission statement you created in a previous exercise
, where do you see your disparities today?
I’d like you to actually take the step of writing down what you just told yourself…word for word. It’s a hard task. You will be tempted to brush them aside or discount them. Because as soon as you start to write down those thoughts, you can see that they are not true, they are not kind, and they are not real. It’s funny how when we think those things, they seem reasonable, but as soon as they are on paper, they are exposed for the lies that they are. But it’s absolutely necessary to get the exact thought on paper before you can begin to spend time with them and understand them.
Now, in place of each thought that you wrote down, write a true statement. Notice here I said a TRUE statement, not an aspiration, not something you don’t believe, something TRUE. This is not intended to be a fake it until you make it exercise. Instead, we want to replace negative, untrue thoughts, that are not serving you, with true statements that will help you to move forward.
For example, if I wrote, “I’ll never be able to figure out how to have an online business.” I can replace that with, “I’m learning to create an online business through trial and error.”, or “Each day I’m learning how to create and online business.”
Notice that the new statements lead me towards the goal and mission I have established for myself, but they do so while allowing me to grow and develop, and giving me grace for where I am today on that journey.
This exercise should help you take the next step toward moving into the Intentional Identity you have uncovered. Once you get the hang of catching your thought, writing it down, asking if it’s true, and replacing it will a new statement that will support your journey, you will build the confidence and courage to do the next thing that you originally thought you could not do.
I have created a worksheet to help you work through this process, you can find it, and all the Intentional Identity worksheets at www.jennthoma.com/resource. I look forward to hearing about your journey and seeing your success.