Who are you? I mean – really.
Have you ever found yourself claiming an identity that – upon further reflection – only applied to your past self and no longer reflected your present-day identity?
I can remember being 10. When I turned 11, I continued to say I was 10, simply out of habit.
This also applied to my work. 3-4 years ago, I loved going on long distance hikes of 15-20 miles at a time. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that distance in a day but I still feel tempted out of habit to respond “long distance hiking” when others at work ask me what my favorite outdoor activities are. Nowadays, the truthful answer is probably “dog park” or “casual bike ride.”
Our yesterday is often not our today.
It is a challenge to live in reality and the present-day consistently. Our pride in yesterday’s accomplishments can cloud our present-day understanding of our self, our performance, and our impact.
Your past has helped define who are you but that is only a part of your self. For instance – if you saw yourself as a developer in your management role because you promoted 5 people 3 years ago… but you haven’t promoted anyone since… are you still a “developer?” Or have you shifted into a different season of management, life, style?
Your daily actions in the present inform who you are, just as your present-day identity informs your actions.
Who do you want to be? What impact do you want to have on the people, the world around you in the future? What do you want your legacy to be when you’re long gone?
These are questions that sobering but imperative to answer. Here’s the cool thing: You can have a lot of say around what your future looks like. You can lead, influence, and impact the world and the people you come in contact with.
Leadership and identity start with a choice. Who will you choose to be? Will you choose to have an impact? What will your tomorrow be and will you matter?