A Positive Identity Crisis

October 16th 2017

A Positive Identity Crisis


Someone asked me recently whether I had any hobbies. That simple question sparked a whole conversation in my head that started with:


Hmm. What do I do for fun?


Which was immediately followed by 


What do I do, really, as a communication coach and strategist? 


Which, of course (as only the truly anxiety ridden will understand), quickly led to 


Who am I?


I realized that I define myself more by what I don't do and by what I’m not than by what I do and who I am. Examples: I don’t smoke or drink. I don’t eat junk. I don’t like groups (unless, of course, I’m in front of them). I don’t like phoniness, whether in humans or gemstones. I don’t respect authority for authority’s sake.


Kind of negative, really. So I started thinking: what if I took these statements and rephrased them? 





I don’t smoke or drink.

I enjoy having a clear mind and healthy body.

I don’t eat a lot of junk.

I like to eat good food, and lots of it.

I don’t like groups.

I love the company of close friends.

I don’t like phoniness, whether in humans or gemstone.

The genuine, authentic personalities I’m lucky enough to encounter make me glad to be alive. Genuine gems make my eyes happy. 

I don’t respect authority for authority’s sake.

I love working with people when we’re standing on a level playing field.


You get the gist here. In case I’m not the only person defining herself narrowly and in the negative, I suggest y’all go through a similar exercise. Choose more positive words to describe your life, your work, and your relationships. See how you feel when you’ve done it. Does it change the conversations in your head? Are they better, more positive, more productivel? 


I wonder if changing the words we use to describe ourselves, both to ourselves and to others, could lead to more happiness. A Harvard Medical School study has proven that happiness is contagious. Seems to me we need that now more than ever.


Imagine how much more pleasant and productive it would be to live and work among happier people. Start with you.


professional development, leadership, management, communication


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