Find out who you are and do it on purpose.Dolly Parton
We figure out who we are in our teens, right? At least, that’s what the developmental stages suggest. Maybe that is true in part but I think I have figured out more about who I am in my late- twenties to thirties than I ever did in my teens. My thirtieth birthday party was a riot of purple. This simple act of declaring purple to be my favourite colour was an outward sign of the inward work happening. It was an act of embracing me with all my failings, quirks, strengths and preferences.
Finding out who we are starts with paying attention- to our thoughts, reactions and impact on the world around us. I have found tools such as the Enneagram and StrengthsFinder to be invaluable in the process of discovering how I am naturally wired. For so long I tried to be a chameleon, blending in with those around me and being who they wanted me to be. I wasn’t conscious of this choice but it happened none the less. Have you watched ‘The Greatest Showman’? Whenever I think of this journey, the song ‘This is me’ plays loudly in my mind.
It takes great intention to figure out who you are and be able to stand secure in that. We have to ‘do it on purpose’. It doesn’t stop at gaining knowledge. We can gather all of this insight into our personality, natural tendencies and strengths then use this as an excuse for our poor behaviour. I make no apologies for who I am and what I bring to this world. I do make apologies for the times when my behaviour hurts someone else.
This journey of self-discovery is a continuous process of insight, change and growth- if we seek this intentionally. For me, figuring out who I am and the impact I can have is the foundation for wanting to grow. I value the contribution I can have in the world. I am worth developing. You are worth developing.
Have you heard of the concept of self-leadership? James Bryant from Lead Different defines this as “identifying and creating a deliberate future.” So often we think of leadership as something a select few do to other people. However, each of us is responsible for leading ourselves. In doing this well, we create this deliberate future instead of drifting into a default pathway. We lose ourselves on that default path.
This world needs you and all of who you are. Your broken places could be the areas in which you lead others into healing. The way you view the world could bring a wholeness to a conversation that is missing. Keep discovering who you are and then be you on purpose.