Name ten ways you define yourself… You’re a person of integrity, you’re not a feeler, you’re super sensitive, you’re a go getter, you like to be behind the scenes, an extrovert- introvert-ambivert; you always exceed expectations, you’re a worrier, an athlete, risk taker, gardener, sailor, lone wolf, parent, feminist, manly man, spiritual, entrepreneur, great with men, creative, bad with women, Buddhist, Baptist, yogi, vegan, carnivore, retiree, millennial…
Go ahead, fire them off.
The origin of the word, define, has to do with an endpoint, not an open door. What is waiting for you behind the definition that is an even greater expression of you?
We need definitions, of course. Ego, for example, helps define who we are. It’s part of our true nature, unique expression, and individuality for what each of us is here to express in our lifetime.
Definitions also help us diagnose a dis-ease. But here’s what’s important, definitions cannot provide a prognosis of said dis-ease. That is, the possibility of restoring vibrant health, regenerating bone, tissue, and spirit of life, or spontaneous healings. Definitions we hold of ourselves cannot show us how to expand, see new perspectives, and become more of our individual uniqueness and expression. For that, we need the energy of beginnings. They work together.
Years ago my client, Greg, would say, “I hate people.” I didn’t believe him. In fact, it made me laugh because he was way too naturally relational to be believable. I knew he was being semi facetious. He was also being serious.
He was successful in his company and very good at what he did, so he kept receiving promotions that put him in charge of more…people. He experienced having to be around people constantly as a necessary evil. It stressed him and drained him. “Hating” people was a great verbal defense to protect a natural proclivity to feel people’s stuff.
True enough, he enjoys his space and thrives when he has it both in the company he works for and personally. When he dissolved the old definition that he lived by, however, and the reason he created it in the first place, he realized he didn’t hate people at all. In fact, he couldn’t access the old perspective any more.
Instead, he was invited to a new position by his employers, making a lot more money, negotiated elements to craft a position for himself, enjoyed managing the people of his team, and received the solo space he needed to thrive and be efficient and productive in his work.
Where are you holding yourself, your company, your relationships, in an endpoint (or definition) that seeks a beginning? What can you undefine, unlearn, and unravel that will open the space for greater aspects of you to come forward?