Tell us a little about yourself? The worst question to be asked and why you don’t know who you are!
I don’t think I have ever met anyone who enjoys answering this question. It’s usually asked at the start of an awkward situation, in an environment where you want to be either instantly seen as interesting or relatable to.
I remember doing this as part of my self-discovery counselling training and feeling like I was writing a list of accepted responsibilities that I had in my life and anything but the actual answer.
Who are you?
I felt like I was being asked, “please identify the appropriate roles for which you should be known” oh and side note from the inner voice don’t forget to make them socially acceptable!
So instantly my head went to that place... list... list... list, in certain situations I still rely upon my trusty list!
Wife Mother Therapist Woman
Yes, this is who I am. Or is it really?
Because if it is much as I love those aspects of my life they aren’t who I am.
Who I am is so much more than that - aren’t you?
In case you are wondering the answer here is YES you are.
Even if it doesn’t always feel that way or you don’t always feel like it, you are more than the titles to the roles you take on or have in your life.
Tell us about yourself? = Instant pressure in a sentence
I guess this question is kind of different depending on the context that it is asked in and for the purpose of these thoughts that I’m sharing with you today I’d like you to think of it in the situation of a toddler group room where you are being asked it by another mum!
How do you answer, probably with a deep breath and something about how many kids you have as that’s the safe place for your head to go in this soul-destroying place you wish you didn’t have to be but you can’t stay inside much longer and your child needs social interaction!
(Side note: I am not saying toddler groups are the worst place on earth to be many people love them, and many lasting friendships and support networks are formed there but for me, they were not where I wanted to be, I adore being a mum and love my family but being defined by being a mum in those days made me feel so very lost in the world - like I didn’t have a purpose and I certainly didn’t know who I was or who I wanted to be)
I just want to throw in a question here, when you do state your answer with you’re a wife, a mum, and state that you love reading books - your list - why is nothing about your personality on that list?
Because you can’t define it by something that someone else HAS to accept about you without question.
If you have kids you’re a mum, if you’re married you’re a wife but if you say your funny who says your funny? I think I can be funny but I guarantee you if you ask my husband he would say, ”no she’s definitely not funny, funny in a nut job way maybe ”. But I add funny to my list because I am Vicki and I am funny!!
Why the hell not its who I think I am that counts - isn’t it?
You’ve lost who you are in reality thanks to giving yourself over to others
Here is the crux of the situation, you don’t really know who you are because you love your family and your roles but you have subconsciously given yourself over to the socially acceptable roles of who you are and who you should be rather than nurturing the things that you are passionate about.
The things that you love to spend your time doing, the reason you used to make friends when you were young or the thing your hubby fell in love with you for. What are those things you can’t even remember?
They are the things like wholeheartedly believing you’re funny, loving writing poems even tho they may never be anything but a limerick on a scrap of paper to anyone else, dreams you had of being the driver of your own destination and life before you were drowning in responsibility or lack of time.
What if I told you that you could learn to love that question and even more love the answer?
Well well well. If you have made it this far you will be on two sides of the fence the - hell yes I’m in, side or the I don’t believe you, side.
I‘m going to level with you and be straight if you are on the - you don’t believe me, side of the fence unless you are willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone and sit with feeling a little uncomfortable stay there!
If however, you are the hell yes I’m in, read on!
Here is a starting point of 3 things that you can do to help start to define who you are again when feeling lost and unclear.
1. Identify something that you enjoy doing with your time that is separate from the roles you have in your life. That you enjoy for you and the act of doing it!
Example: I enjoy making up rhymes with my little boy, I don’t enjoy it just because my little one enjoys it, I enjoy it, it gives me a connection to something that I hold dear being creative with words.
2. Identify a personality trait that you feel you have and are proud of?
Example: I’m funny - not funny but who cares what anyone else thinks this is what YOU think.
3. Think of one thing that you can do to get the answer to number 1 in your life again or more. Please don’t make time-related excuses, or any excuses just try it for a week and allow the feelings of connectedness to an energy that feeds your soul feels and soak it up.
Example: If art is your thing sit on the loo and take a sketch pad with you no extra time needed!
Of course, there is more to this subject and of course, it is an ongoing process to find clarity in who you are, what you want and what is your purpose but the truth is it is a process that takes support, commitment, understanding and more importantly a desire to truly find those things.
Once you have that you then have to take steps and actions to explore and learn about yourself.
I can assure you a high percentage of the clients I work with are often shocked when we do step 1 to identify something that they enjoy doing for themselves at how long it has been since they last did that thing. An even higher percentage usually have a hard time identifying why they stopped doing it.
So give it a go you have nothing to lose and next time you are asked to tell someone about yourself I dare you to put something interesting in there that isn’t just a label.