On my way to the office this week, I was listening to a podcast and the guest asked “who do you want to be?” “Who do I want to be?” is an interesting question. I have been very focused on “what do I want?” and I have had a hard time defining what I want – for many reasons, one of which is that “what I want” is outside of me. It is about things. Yes, I will agree that that is not the only reason, but when compared to “who do I want to be?”, I feel this question is more about starting within me. It gets into the core of me. It gets me to be me before I can consider answering that question.
There is a similar thought that I pondered several times in my life and that was “begin with the end in mind” from Stephen R. Covey. His exercise around “begin with the end in mind” was to imagine your funeral and imagine the various areas of your life. In each of those areas, like husband, father, friend, imagine who is speaking about you and what would they say. In all the times I have thought through this exercise, I do not believe I have ever imagined a person talking about what I got in life. Nobody talked about the house I lived in, or the cars that I drove, they all talked about how I made them feel and how I treated them.
Getting back to “who do I want to be?”, the first answer is that I want to be me and that is the right and wrong answer. Right, because I should be me. I am unique. I came into this lifetime to be me. Wrong, because it can be a cop out. If I want to be me, how do I know when I have gotten there. How do I know what I am searching for, or working towards?
Being me is a good goal, but there is nobody that is going to tell you who “me” is for you. I believe we have to go deeper and really feel into “who you want to be”. How about we start with some easier questions to get us into the groove of “who you want to be”?
Let’s start with “how does being me feel to be me?” What do you feel when you imagine you are being you? Do you feel happy? Sad? Weak? Strong? Taller? Shorter? Relaxed? Stressed? Just feel it, there is no wrong answer. For me, I feel stronger, taller, and my breath is more purposeful. I feel as if my breath is filling my whole body and bringing in energy that makes me stronger and yet, the power I am feeling is coming from the chest.
Now, take your time and feel into this feeling. In the moment, it may feel very good and if you push it too much, it can become overwhelming. So, just be with it and let it settle into you. If you are not feeling comfortable with this feeling, try standing up and feeling your feet connected to the Earth and feel into the gentle pull of gravity and let that pull help you be more within your body. Let that pull pull any energy that does not belong to you into the center of the Earth.
After you feel comfortable with feeling you, ask “how does it feel to be you walking down the street?” How do you walk? What expression is on your face? How are you feeling? If this makes you feel uncomfortable, go back to just feeling you. No answer is incorrect, whatever you are feeling is right for you.
If you are feeling comfortable, ask “how are you greeting people around you?” Do you say “hi” to them, or just nod your head at them? Do you want to catch their eyes and connect, or do you want to hide? Again, no answer, or feeling, is incorrect, whatever you are feeling is right for you. If this is too much, step back and just feel you until you can take this step.
When you are ready, “how do you react when a friend of yours comes up?” How do you greet them? How do you feel when somebody you know comes across your path? Just feel what is coming up for you, whatever it is, it is right for you.
In this place, when your friend asks, “how are you doing?” How do you answer? If you are really connect with you, I doubt that it will be as simple as “fine”, “good”, or “ok”. Do you have a better word to describe how you are doing? What is that word for you? Share your word with me below.
I do not know about you, but I know I am just scratching the surface here in exploring “who do I want to be” and it is feeling a much easier question to explore than “what do I want”. I am going to continue exploring “who do I want to be” and I will share my journey with you here.
If you would like some help in discovering your answer to “who do you want to be?” go to the “Connect with Sean” and request a free coaching session with me and I will guide you through this process.