Do You have an “Identity” Crisis?

It was once said… “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Do you know what it is that you stand for? Are you on a path to best achieve your dreams or are you like many others who live life always wondering “what if?”

Stedman Graham, during an interview in December 2009 stated, “True leadership is about developing an identity for yourself, knowing who you are, where you are going, and how you are going to get there, then developing a process for continuous improvement.” “However, 95% of people never learn this, casually falling in line as followers with a deeply hidden desire to create relevance and take ownership of their lives.”

As I look around and see all the employees, workers, or subordinates who are struggling to hold onto their jobs, I cannot help but to agree with Mr. Graham that far too many of us spend our lives working to sustain a standard of living, not achieving to create relevance and take ownership of our own lives. I remember the feeling when I was working for a Fortune 500 company and received word that I was part of a “corporate downsizing”. The feeling of loss, the lack of control over my financial life, and the sense of rejection was a feeling that I have never forgotten. Have you ever experienced that stark sense of fear associated with losing a job? Were you like me and vowed to never be placed in a position like that again?

I cannot begin to number the amount of ideas I have had over the years but failed to get past the idea stage. Possibly I lacked the vision to formulate a proper plan of action, maybe my ideas didn’t have merit, but in the end I find that I feel better when I dream. Especially with the uncertainty of being an employee, I have found it important to always keep the entrepreneur dream alive and look for an opportunity that would afford me financial flexibility, security, and a sense of relevant purpose.

I have been counseling a friend through career choices and self assessment, reviewing where they are and what goals they wish to set for themselves. Although they have a career that provides a standard of living, they feel as though they have no quality of life. We have spent the last few weeks outlining the list of things that they would like to do that would help to provide that relevance they seek. The next step will be to identify that one dream, that one desire that stands out above all others, and help to create a plan to help them turn that dream into actual reality.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask… act! Action will delineate and define you.” I truly hope that each of us will not only dare to dream, but also to act and help create a life of relevance and joy.