It’s time! My brand new book, Who Am I Without You, is being officially released this week! In honor of the book release, I’d love to share with you a preview of another one of my favorite chapters in this post. Hope it gives you a good feel for all you can learn about self-esteem, self-worth, and overcoming life’s toughest trials with a strong sense of who you truly are. (If you missed it, here’s a preview of Chapter 1.)
Chapter 22: Ask, “Who Am I?”
Hint—You’re More Than You Think.
“What a liberation to realize that the ‘voice in my head’ is not who I am. ‘
Who am I then?’ The one who sees that.”
“Who Am I?” How would you answer this huge question?
I’ve asked clients and friends (and myself) many times, and I’ve heard all kinds of answers—“I’m a single mom,” “I’m an optimist,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m an eternal soul,” “I’m trying to figure that out.” It’s how we introduce ourselves to people—“My name is so and so and I work as a such and such and I like doing this and that.” For many, it’s easy to answer: “I’m a short, blond, artist;” “I’m a mom, a nurse, and I have a passion for scrapbooking.” For others, it’s not so easy: “It’s something I ask myself all the time;” “I’m not sure who I am yet, but I am learning.”
The way I see it, there are two ways to answer the question, “Who am I?”: 1) with our head and heart, or 2) with our soul. The head and heart tell us some facts about who we are, but it’s the soul that answers the question, “Yes, but who are you, really?”
You are not how you look, how you feel, or what you think.
Short or tall, fair or dark, thin or not-so-thin—these describe your body. But are you your body? No. It’s part of you, but it’s definitely only part of the story.
How about your feelings? They can certainly be powerful; at times, it can seem like they are you. Yet, emotions arise from all kinds of things—the weather, hormones, sleep or lack thereof, challenges, blessings. We’ve already discussed how emotions may come or go like the weather (chapter seven). You are so much more than your emotions.
Then, what about your thoughts? Our thoughts heavily influence how we feel, what we do, and even what we believe, it’s true. Many people get so caught up in their thoughts they actually believe they are those thoughts. Nope. We are not our thoughts. The fact that we can talk about our thoughts proves there’s more to us than what we think.
You are not your roles.
“I am darn-tough/” target=”_blank”>a mother.” “I am a teacher.” “I am a partner.” We tend to focus heavily on our roles. This can be especially tough after a breakup when suddenly, “I’m a wife,” or “I’m a girlfriend” no longer applies. Roles are helpful in categorizing our lives. They help us understand our responsibilities and fulfill them. Roles give us a certain simplicity to life, but roles change, don’t they? As you are going through life transition, you’re surely feeling that. You are not your roles.
You are not what you do.
Many of us get caught up in what we do—or don’t do. We take on the identity of a “successful business woman” or “a runner” or “an animal lover.” For instance, I am a psychologist. It is heavily ingrained in the way I think and act in the world. I have a strong curiosity to comprehend how we humans work, and I have a natural ability to understand and have compassion for others. These things make me good at what I do, but do they define who I am? No. They’re just part of how I express myself in this world.
Who are you—in your soul?
So, if none of these things we think with our head or feel with our heart gives us the full picture, then I ask again, “Who are you, really?”
This is a question that can only be answered with the soul—with that deeper part of you, that timeless, ingrained knowing that you are more than meets the eye. As we work to discover your sense of self-worth, you will feel that bigger, eternal part of yourself, and you will know that your potential is endless and your ability to love is immense. You will come to know the real you—not the you everyone sees or hears or thinks they know, but the you that was created for a great purpose. You will begin to see yourself as God sees you, and that is true self-worth.
Integrating the mind, heart, and soul of who you are.
As we move into how to build unwavering self-esteem, it can help to see who you think and feel you are, because the more you see of yourself and how you are in the world, the more you can integrate it with who you really are, deep in your soul.
That’s what we’re working toward here—to hear what you’re saying in your head and feeling in your heart, and then bring them in line with what you experience in your soul. Are these three areas saying the same thing about who you are? Do you like what you are hearing?
- “Who am I?” is a huge question, and we tend to answer it with our head or our heart.
- We are not our roles, our feelings, our thoughts, or behaviors. However, these things can help us understand ourselves better when integrated with the truth from our soul.
Tool: Ask, “Who am I?”
- Head: Grab your journal or a paper and pen and sit in a quiet space. Create your “who am I” list. Write out all the titles and roles and qualities your head tells you that you are. Don’t judge, just list.
- Heart: The “I Am” Exercise—Sit in front of a mirror. Breathe. Using this worksheet “I Am” Worksheet, Season 2, Lesson 2 slowly say “I am…” followed by each trait on the list. Circle those that hold any kind of emotion for you. If one bothers you, circle it. If you know one to be true, circle it. This is a great way for your heart to feel some of who and how you are without the head getting in the way.
- Soul:The “Spirit Meditation”–Sit a quiet, comfortable place. Start with ten slow, deep breaths. Next, focus on the insides of your feet. What does it feel like inside your feet and toes? Move up into your legs. What does it feel like inside your legs? What does it feel like inside your belly, chest and back? Continue to breathe deeply and focus on the inside of your shoulders and arms. What does it feel like? Focus on your neck, then chin, cheeks, and face. What do these feel like? What does it feel like behind your eyes and inside your brain and ears? Take three slow, deep breaths. Now, notice the sensation in your body. It might feel like a tingling or an energy running through you. If you struggle, focus on your hands, where it’s easiest to feel. This is your spirit. Feel the vastness of your spirit and how it has no beginning and no end. Continue breathing and feeling your spirit until you’re ready to open your eyes. Write down what you experienced. Could you feel how you are so much more than meets the eye? (Watch this YouTube video demonstration of “The Spirit Meditation.”)
~Excerpt from Who Am I Without You? 52 Ways to Rebuild Self-Esteem After a Breakup, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, from New Harbinger Publications. Available now at Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, New Harbinger,
Available now at Target, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, New Harbinger, or your local bookseller!
Who are YOU? How do you answer this question? What blocks you from the truth? Leave a comment below!
You may manage your subscription options from your profile.
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow–
available now at Amazon or Barnes & Noble!
Don’t miss a thing!
Related Posts/Articles:Self-Esteem After a Breakup, Divorce, or Relationship Loss: “You’re Not Alone” Preview my New Book, “Who Am I Without You!”The Pyramid of Self-Worth: How to FEEL Self-EsteemDealing with Grief & Loss