Intentional Identity - How do you see yourself?

intentional identity Sep 01, 2023

Personality traits not only vary over time, they are also subject to the filter of the person considering them.

Who we see ourselves as, through the filter of our internal dialogue, upbringing, experiences, etc, may be different from how other see us through their filter.  Neither version is wrong, but may be a misinterpretation or a subtle modification.

There is benefit in understanding how we see ourselves vs. how others see us and being intentional about how we behave so as to influence the intended personality.  Does this mean we are trying to change the core of who we are?  Not necessarily.  Instead, I see it as reconciling who we think we are vs. who other perceive us to be and intentionally encouraging the appropriate perception.

Personally, I used to get very annoyed that people often said I was "Intimidating".  This was not at all how I saw myself.  My intention was to be friendly, open, and welcoming.  However, there was a segment of people who thought I was intimidating at first introduction.

While I was very confused by this perception, and fought it for a time, it wasn't until I accepted that I was seen this way that I was able to recognize what was causing the in-congruency and begin to address it.

Here are a few exercises that can help you do the same.

  • Make a list of how your friends and family would describe your personality.  Even if the words have a negative connotation, write them down to compare to other assessments.
  • Are there any consistent messages that you disagree with?  Spend some time thinking about these and determine if you have a blindspot that you can address.
  • Review any personality assessments you have done in the past.  Reflect on whether or not those assessments ring true today.  Consider how they overlap, or don't, with how others would describe you, or how you would describe yourself.
  • Answer the questions, 'tell me about yourself'.  Use any personality assessments you have completed to help you.  Document who you are today.
  • If you are interested in intentionally pursuing a new identity, and possibly changing certain perceptions of you, write an aspirational 'tell me about yourself'.  Think about how you can begin to live in the new identity.

If you would like to delve further into your current or aspirational identity, I would love to help.  Schedule a free coaching session to get the ball rolling,, I look forward to working with you!