Do you remember who you are?
Do you know who you are?
It may sound like an odd question, yet so many women I know, when asked that question and asked to really take time to answer it, begin to realize they don’t know how to articulate it. They don’t know how to express an answer, and they’ve even lost track of who they are.
My work is all about supporting women to become who we know we’re capable of becoming, to realize our full potential, and to move beyond the sea of overwhelm and self-doubt toward that space of true empowerment and confidence.
The way we begin that is through remembering who we are.
Why Do We Need to Remember Who We Are?
If we’re going to go on this journey of fulfilling that sense of something more, that nagging feeling of something more most of us know is out there, that potential that we’re striving to realize, that space within us that feels a bit empty or has this longing, we’ve got to start by remembering who we are.
That is not as easy as it sounds and involves a number of considerations. Let’s explore how to remember.
First, we must have commitment.
I was sharing with a friend this quote that I’d heard from John Assaraf:
“When we’re interested in something, we do what’s convenient. When we’re committed to something, we do whatever it takes.”
My friend said to me, “It’s like bacon and eggs.” What? He said, “Well, the chicken is interested. They’re involved, they’re interested, they’ve given the egg. But the pig for the bacon, they’re committed.” I suppose that’s a good analogy!
What are you willing to give?
What are you willing to sacrifice?
What are you willing to give up, to let go of, in order to actually take this journey toward remembering who you are?
If we’re really going to remember who we are, and we’ve forgotten because we’ve gotten so involved in our jobs, our family life, the societal ‘shoulds’ where we’ve been living our lives for others, and we’ve lost sight of who we are, we’ve got to start letting go of things.
We’ve got to be committed to letting go, and actually doing what it takes.
Notice Your Dams and Barriers
Noticing our dams and barriers often requires a certain amount of deep dives — self-exploration, moving into spaces that are uncomfortable, recognizing our dams and barriers, our dragons as I like to call them.
First, we have to have commitment, but then we also have to notice the dragons.
We have to go to the shadows. We have to look at the depths of our being and say:
What are the things that keep me stuck?
What do I keep doing, the patterns, the habits, the things that keep getting in my way of realizing and acknowledging the fullness of who I am?
Return To Your Roots
Another step to remember who we are is returning to our roots.
We don’t want to live in the past.
One of the things that makes coaching and mentoring very different from therapy is that therapy is often centered on your story, just talking about the story, and sometimes that can keep you stuck.
There are different types of therapy that are phenomenal. I’m not knocking therapy, but a lot of traditional therapy can keep us stuck in our stories instead of really open to the future.
Coaching and mentoring are more about looking toward the future and what you want to create with that. But, we do let the past inform us, which would include what’s happened to us in this life.
We also might look at our roots and our ancestry.
The remembering of who we are has a lot to do with gathering up the parts of ourselves that we’ve forgotten.
When I started to really think about my own Celtic ancestry and the ways in which Celts had been treated in the past, the survival mode that Irish people had in coming to the US, I started to think about the ways in which some of that might be living in my DNA. I thought about how I might need to overcome some of that or move beyond it in order to really remember who I am, because I’m not the people that immigrated to this country. I’m not all of those things.
We could also argue that we are all of those things. We have a history. However, if we’re going to look at how we can show up and remember who we are in this lifetime based on our experiences and our history, we can look a little bit at the roots and the ancestry of where we’ve come from. That’s going to help us to remember who we are.
Those roots might also include the various gifts, experiences, dreams, longings, and passions we had as a child. That’s part of what I’m talking about, gathering up those roots, those structures, or the bones of who we are.
Listen & Be Quiet
Another step to remembering who you are is to listen.
Often we try to find ourselves outside of ourselves. We try to see ourselves through the eyes of others. Others and life itself are amazing reflections for us of how we’re showing up. They might not be a precise reflection of the truth of who we are, but they’re certainly a reflection of how we’re showing up.
If someone is treating us poorly or if something frustrates or triggers us, we can ask ourselves “What’s going on in me that this is trying to show me that I can then potentially change?”
When we’re truly aligned with our authentic empowered self, although we’re still going to get triggered, we’re going to be able to move through things a lot faster.
Life is going to flow a lot better for us and we’re not going to feel so stuck.
One of the things we have to do is listen, simply by noticing and paying attention to the messages being communicated to us through various things happening in our lives.
Then we also need to get quiet. We might go to a special spot in Nature where we love to go and just sit and listen.
We can listen to Nature itself and then turn listening into ourselves. Turn the listening toward the Inner Wisdom, the inner longings, the inner guidance, and be willing to actually listen to it.
A lot of times we don’t want to listen because listening might mean we need to change our lives.
Remember, the first step to remembering who we are is about being committed.
When we listen and hear something that requires us to make some shifts in our lives, it can be scary. Yet it’s so important to remember who we truly are.
Pay Attention to Polarities
Another element for remembering is to pay attention to polarities.
We have multiple sides of ourselves. There’s the light and the shadow, the Feminine and the Masculine, the inner and the outer of our experience.
When we can pay attention to those aspects of our being and how they interact with one another, we begin to remember more of who we are.
We start to see ourselves, what extremes we might go to, and the ways in which we go to extremes. Those are powerful ways for us to remember who we are.
We often end up, through various traumas in our childhood, or maybe it’s even in the DNA through our ancestry and the programming that we have, fragmenting.
It’s like parts of ourselves fragment off and we haven’t collected them. We haven’t gathered them up. They fragment because of the trauma, because of the fear, because of the overwhelm that can happen when these traumas enter into our lives.
We end up not liking parts of ourselves because we were told that part is unacceptable.
Maybe the part of us that speaks up and has a voice, or the part of us that acts funny or laughs loudly, is deemed unwanted.
I remember when I was young, I had a boisterous laugh. It’s part of who I am, but all the years I was picked on for laughing and my loud laugh had me feeling like it wasn’t okay for me to laugh, which also meant I struggled to have joy. I struggled to have fun.
I had to shift that. I had to remember that I love fun, I love to laugh. I want joy, and I don’t care what anybody thinks of my laugh.
We have to start going back to those roots and see the parts of ourselves that we’ve pushed away because of the opinions of others.
Finally, another tool for remembering who we are is loving ourselves.
We need to love all of the wondrous parts and aspects of our being — warts and all, victories and all — celebrate all of it.
Understand that we’re here to have this amazing journey and accept all of it. Honor all of it. When we can start to gather all of that, that’s really what remembering is.
Remember Who You Are
Remembering who we are is about gathering up these parts of ourselves.
We must remember these things that we haven’t paid attention to, through our commitment, through the roots and the ancestry, through noticing our shadows, our dams and barriers, and through all the things that block us, including our habits and patterns.
It’s the process of understanding how we show up, and gathering those aspects of our being that help us to remember and celebrate who we are.
When we can remember and celebrate who we are, we also begin to reconnect to what we really value, what we really care about, and what really matters to us, which is also often associated with being able to connect with our purpose.
Many of us walk around going, “I feel like I have no purpose,” or “My life doesn’t have meaning the way I want it to,” or “I’m not feeling fulfilled in the way that I want to.”
When we remember who we are, then our sense of purpose, values, care, and meaning starts to show and reveal itself.
You can learn more in my Solace program where we deepen into these stages of remembering, reconnecting, and re-envisioning in order to move toward that sense of fulfillment, and to reinvent and rebirth ourselves into that space we want to be in.
As you think of these aspects of remembering who you are,
Is there something that feels awkward or difficult?
Is there something I said that triggered a memory in you like, “Oh my gosh, I forgot about that aspect of my childhood, my early years, or my ancestry?”
Share it in the comment section. I’d love to hear.
Let’s remember ourselves together so that we can truly become empowered.
For a video version of How to Remember Who You Are: 7 Tips to Awaken Your True Self, watch here: