I was listening to The Fray this morning and one of my favorite songs of theirs (though I really do like them all) is You Found Me.
In that song is a verse that really speaks to me:
“Who I am, Who I’m Not and Who I Want to Be”
And it got me thinking about those things and how easy it is to not really know; especially in a business that wants you to be many things. It’s easy to lose yourself. Sounds ominous, right? It really isn’t—it’s about self discovery and your true professional passion.
Who I am: When was the last time you asked yourself who you were? Have you defined yourself? In order to grow, you need self awareness and understanding. This means being honest with yourself. Take a look in the mirror and see yourself.
Why is this important? Because in order to be the person you want to be, you have to first understand who you are today. Are you bubbly and outgoing naturally or because of your job? Are you analytical in life or because you’ve been doing your variance report all day? Are you the kind of person who enjoys leading a team, or did you just work your way up to the position of regional director? Do you genuinely have an interest in developing others, or were you just so great at your job it was assumed you should train?
Ask yourself the tough questions, and you just might surprise yourself.
Who I’m Not: I remember asking myself this question back in 2003, when I was faced with a tough decision on which career path to take. Who I’m not is someone who wants to manage multiple million dollar assets. I have no interest in writing several budgets, supervising cap-x products, and so on. Being a regional manager is not the fire in my belly. But, it took me a long time to learn that, and I abandoned who I was and what I was passionate about to give it a try. I wanted to run the training and development for a multifamily company, which I do know, but running a whole company is not in my area of interest. So I know pretty clearly who I’m not. Do you?
Who I Want to Be: I’ve met other professionals whom I admired and I’d like to think that I’ve taken a little nugget or two from them along my journey to help mold who I want to be. But, as is most things, this is an evolution. Who I wanted to be a year age is different than who I want to be today. My personal life has changed, so it makes sense that my professional life would as well. Who I want to be will continue to evolve, but the beauty is that I’ve recognized this. I won’t be chasing dream or working toward a goal that isn’t important anymore. I’ve renegotiated my goals and I’m chasing different dreams. Have you defined who you want to be recently?
Ask yourself, “Who I Am, Who I’m Not and Who I Want to Be,” and remember the only thing holding you back, is you.