A bigger picture: Be, do, have, feel
We often automatically focus in on what we “do” and specifically what we do for a living to define who we are. It makes sense that we default to this parameter since our culture gives it so much emphasis. When we meet someone often the first question we ask is ‘what do you do?’
An interesting and often new perspective to reframe who we are is to focus on how we approach anything we do. I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking about finding or uncovering purpose and following our life path, and this way of viewing ourselves allows us dig a little deeper and get more of a sense of our essence as well as helping us define our values and real passion. You can be doing anything – banking, cooking, raising a child, leading a company, answering phones – and you’ll approach what you’re doing with your own style, values and, well, brain.
Or, as I did for such a long time, you’ll use a lot of energy to show up the way you’re expected to, trying to be something you should be. Which won’t work in the end and will inevitably lead to suffering. As an INFP (Introverted, Intuitive, feeling, perceiving type on the MBTI assessment) working in the American business world, which I can almost guarantee as a culture would be assessed as ESTJ (extroverted, sensing, thinking, judging), which are exact opposites: the former being a very right brained style, open and intuitive style and of course the latter very extremely left brained, or linear and factual. There is nothing wrong with either style, and it’s important to find balance with both. At the same time, we need to begin with who we naturally are and work from there. To fit ourselves into a box that’s so far from who we naturally are takes a great deal of energy that we could be using to share our gifts with the world.