“Who do you think you are?” is an idiom, an expression, a rhetorical question that is often used to confront someone we believe has shown excessive hubris or overstepped some social boundary.
I ask the question as a challenge as well but as a gentle one, an inquiry as to your sense of identity, an attempt to tease out the full contours of the self-image you have constructed over the years.
Who do you think you are?
What traits define you?
What roles shape you?
What abilities distinguish you?
What thoughts mold you?
What beliefs characterize you?
What habits describe you?
Grab a piece of paper and begin scribbling. Please.
And how happy are you with those scribblings?
Is this the “you” you dreamed of? How much of your life is yours? How much of it belongs to the “musts” and “shoulds” of life?
We all must earn a living, the piper must be paid. But can the piper at least play our tune? Can we find work we enjoy? That at least certain parts (major parts?) challenge, enrich, and enliven us?
Before we can design a life that is individually tailored to our unique and special genius, we must train ourselves to become truly aware of who we are and what we really enjoy.
Learn to sense and remember those moments of quiet contentment, of energetic flow, of engagement, and of the context that created them, guided us toward them.
Often we will find that what truly gives us sustained satisfaction is not the things that the media or Madison Avenue or Hollywood would have us believe we need. (They need us to believe in their myths so we buy and then buy some more when it doesn’t work.)
Who are you? Who do you want to be? Answer those questions deeply, at level after level, and you will begin the process of designing your life, creating your personal masterpiece.
The better you know yourself, your hot buttons, your triggers, your deepest longings and strongest desires and true, deepest beliefs along with knowing your strengths as well as your improvement opportunities, the more self aware you are, the better you can set your goals and motivate yourself toward the life you were meant to live.