I don’t know if you have ever found yourself labeling someone within the context of what they do, and yet case in point, as I reference the television show Seinfeld. If you’ve ever watched it, you may have noticed that the characters refer to people with titles. Hey, there’s the photocopier guy. That’s the waitress, teller, car rental person. I’ve actually found myself referring to people in that same manner when best describing and/or remembering someone. At the gym, for example, I had a bad habit of referring to people by Muscle Dave, Dentist Dave (so as not to confuse the two), Bond girl (because she has a cool name and looks like a Bond girl). You get where I’m going with this? It occurred to me, however, just how narrow- minded that really was.
One thing that I love to do is teach spin classes. It’s not my occupation. It’s part of the many things that I do. I’ve noticed that when people introduce me (if they know me as an instructor) will say, This is Amy. She teaches spin classes. And, presto, I’m now defined within the limits of this activity. And that does not serve me well. In fact, if we don’t learn to discover the many dimensions of a person, then we’re missing out on learning more about one another. It’s incredibly frustrating to be on the receiving end of this, and, therefore, I have since stopped referring to people in this manner.
We now find it necessary to ‘brand’ ourselves, to create a nice neat package of ourselves. When we do, it seems to be saying, Ohhh THAT’S who I am. Hey, listen, I’ve found myself doing the exact same thing. It wasn’t that long ago that I, too, needed help to discover who I am within the context of the work that I was doing. I reached out for help. There is incredible comfort in clearly defining what it is that we DO. However, let’s be clear, this is Not to be confused with needing to brand who you are as a person.
I don’t think we should have to rhyme off who we are to others. We’re different every day. Our essence is the same, and yet we are constantly gaining new perspective as we grow. That’s what’s so cool about us! We can be whoever we want to be. The definition of you as defined by others will always be limiting just as I’m labelled as a spin instructor within one aspect of the context of someone’s knowing me. Apart from this coming from a place of ego because, let’s face it, it is. The other side of the coin is to try to make others evolve to a place where they should be more open and interested to learn more about another person.
You see, as much as this is ego, it’s also about curiosity. If you tap into your curiosity, then you will find that you won’t label people. You’ll want to learn and know more. That’s what curiosity does. This is why we tend to lead limiting lives. We’re not tapping into our curiosity enough to want to be and do more. This is part of developing and evolving into yourself. This is where you have to push fear aside and take a leap of faith within yourself. To know that if you try, you will evolve. This is profound.
The next time someone wants to define you, step in from a place of curiosity rather than ego. For example, my reply to someone who introduces me as a spin instructor would be, Yes! Teaching spin classes first thing in the morning really opens up my energy & creativity to be a better writer– or international inspirational speaker, producer, well-being entrepreneur, business strategist, and coach …. You get my drift? Of course, words help shape what we do and who we are, and, yet, they should not define us.
Bottom line: Evolve into yourself. Discover more.