This article was originally published in The Huffington Post on February 2, 2016.
When I ask you who you are, how would you answer?
- “A Husband/Wife.”
- “An English Teacher.”
While all of these titles are noble, they are also one-dimensional, ego-based identifications that can paint us into a box and limit our ability to grow into our highest vision for our life.
For instance, men who identify as a husband and parent often claim they are unable to walk away from the job that is overworking them, keeping them away from home, and making them unhappy because they “have a family to support.”
A teacher who is struggling to save money will often say, “It is what it is. Teachers are underpaid”
The manager who makes six figures, but feels morally bankrupt working for a company they don’t believe in, will hesitate to leave for a more emotionally fulfilling opportunity because they “must find a job with an equivalent title.”
Our ego mind identifies with labels so strongly that we are convinced our current circumstances dictate our future.
Yet, there is a far simpler answer to the question, “Who Am I?”
“You are what your deepest desire is” — Upanishads
Think about the power in that statement. What is the goal that you really want to achieve? What is it that you strive to do with your life? What kind of person do you want to be?
The answer is... You are already that thing.
Whether you want to change the world with your new business idea, your art, or your act of service, think of your dreams as files being stored for you on a gigantic, universal iCloud, just waiting to be downloaded.
In his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra speaks aboutThe Law of Pure Potentiality. He explains it like this:
The source of all creation is pure consciousness ... pure potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest. And when we realize that our true self is one
of pure potentiality, we align with the power that manifests everything in the universe.
If that passage seems too “woo woo,” here is the concept in more simple terms. Figure out who you truly are. Then have faith that in simply having that knowledge, you possess the key to unlocking any dream.
The first step in learning who you are? Realizing that you are so much more than a label.
In my previous career, I spent 18 years telling myself that I was simply a “radio broadcaster,” a title which led me to play small even though my soul was crying out to do something more. Through practicing stillness, detaching from my ego, and connecting to my inner guidance, I was able to see that aside from “broadcaster,” my professional skill set included content creator, speaker, writer, communicator, leader, big picture thinker, and creative force.
Digging deeper, I began to connect to the personal characteristics about myself I admired. They included things such as spiritual seeker, empathetic, great listener, a sense of curiosity, connectedness to others and the world around me, passion, and compassion.
After truly understanding the gifts that I have to offer the world, the next question became, “What IS my deepest desire, anyway?”
That answer was simple. I wanted to serve others. Radio had been an appealing career to me for many years because it presented an opportunity to be the one, friendly voice in someone’s day. Whether you were making listeners laugh, think, or cry, there was an intimacy and connection that TV couldn’t duplicate.
As the radio industry became increasingly corporate and homogenized over the last 10 years, I became more unhappy. I knew it was time to make a career change. This was a panic inducing thought at first. However, by simply understanding and appreciating my innate gifts, as well as creating an awe-inspiring vision for my next chapter, I was able to launch a coaching business, find paying clients, and get my writing published on national websites in less than 90 days.
And in studying The Law of Pure Potentiality, the same opportunity is at your fingertips right now. When you think beyond labels, you can begin to live a life that you truly love.