Identity is so powerful. Who do you tell yourself you are? Who do you tell your children they are?
Years ago I was counseled to guide my children away from bad decisions by saying, “That’s not like you. You’re usually such a responsible kid.” or “That’s not like you. You’re usually a kid who tells the truth.” And so on.
I had no idea the brilliance I was buying into when I started doing that. BRILLIANCE.
And how about our often conflicting identities of mom and worker? Which one is your higher calling? When the two identities are in conflict, which one wins? Usually it depends on the stakes, and the situation, but nine times out of ten, I’m a mom first.
Do you feel like an imposter? Or are you certain that you have gifts and talents to bring to that company and help them get the job done?
Do you feel like a good mom? (Not a perfect mom, please, not a perfect mom, don’t perfect yourself, please.)
Do you feel strong? Smart? Resilient?
This isn’t some woo-woo existential exercise. Who you think you are influences your every decision. Who you think your children are, and more importantly, who you tell them they are, will change their lives.
That woman you want to be, what does she look like? And what exactly is keeping you from becoming her?
I drink tea. I am intelligent. I am brave. I have no patience. I am so fat. I really have the strategy thing down. I am a good mom. I am a loving wife. I am honest. I am so disorganized. I suck. I really understand marketing. I am a scientist. I am an athlete.
Just reading that list, you feel in your gut the power of those words. Power to lift your heart and straighten your shoulders, or power to weigh you down and make you feel nauseous with shame.
Write down who you want to be today. Read that list out loud. I am organized. I am driven. I am a good mom. I love my children. I love my husband. I am strong. I take care of my body. Power there, sister, real power.
And your kids? Write down something you want to tell each of them tonight. “You really think things through.” “You are so kind-hearted.” “You have a smile that lights up a room!”
Feel good; and inspire those munchkins. You have the power; claim it.
Go, Mamma, go!