Are you an introvert? An extrovert?
I am a business and personal coach. I put other people first. I make room for others, put them into the center of attention, I listen, I am present, I help others to unearth their own individual solutions (I truly believe that we have already within us everything we need to successfully overcome any challenges we face.)
I was asked to hold a presentation. I can hold speeches. I have been a key note speaker several times.
I was asked to present myself. You have 60 seconds. Convince us about who you are and what you do.
Later I told my husband: “I’m a coach, I’m good at putting others first, not myself. I am an introvert after all!”
There are quite a few tools out there that ‘help’ us get to know ourselves – Myers Briggs, Facet5, Insights Discovery – to name just a few of the many. Even horoscopes claim to know more about us than we think we do. And we take life’s feedback. If we fail to meet expectations, ours or those of others, we might conclude: well, that’s not who I am then.
Eventually we’ll come to think we know who we are.
“I am an introvert. I am an extrovert.” The most basic identity descriptions.
I’m sure you can think of many more labels to describe who you think you are.
And since we all strive so much to be authentic, we cling to these labels, these descriptions tightly: “I am an introvert. So leave me alone.” And what we mean is: I’m that. All the time. In any situation. Because that’s who I am.
At first those identity labels give us a sense of psychological security. But later, when we embrace them too closely though they suffocate our growth. They limit our potentials.
By the way, I got invited back. I will now practice my 60 seconds self presentation once a week.
We all are more than those labels and descriptions!
Who are you?
1. Make a list of all the labels, descriptions you
have learned to identify with
(E.g. I am an introvert, a planner, a lover of facts, a researcher;
I am an extrovert, don’t love detail, I need the big picture, people energize me; I am …)
2. Choose and mark three (or more) items on your list.
3. Note down the contrary label/description.
4. Find situations, moments in your life where you have been this opposite also.