Mistaken Identity – Part 1

“Who are you?” That is not a question that we often hear asked of ourselves or that we ask others. Usually, the question that’s asked when we meet other people is, “What do you do?” Some people would look at those questions and provide the same answer to each. Others, while readily willing to give an answer to the second question, would just stare at you blankly when asked the first one. The blank stare or confused look is the most common response that I receive when I ask people that question.

There is a very good reason why we’re called human “beings” and not human “doings”. It’s because “being” precedes “doing”. Unfortunately, many of us don’t approach life from this perspective. That’s why the question, “who are you?” is so difficult to answer.

Too many people don’t think about who they really are outside of their vocation. They have aligned their personal identity so closely with their professional image that their profession becomes the totality of their existence. I have determined that many people suffer from a bad case of “mistaken identity.”

When an entrepreneur has this syndrome, they spend most of their time focusing outside-in versus inside-out. This means that they are more concerned by what they do than who they truly are as a person. Many entrepreneurs often don’t take the time to do a self-inventory. They spend more time inventorying their businesses then they do inventorying their personal lives. It’s sad to say, but they don’t have a strong sense of who they are outside of their daily business activities.

One of the dangers for those who have placed their entire identity solely in their business or profession is that if something causes a sudden or dramatic change in their professional status or job situation, a severe emotional upheaval often follows. We have all heard of those individuals who have done radical and even violent things to themselves or others as a result of a job loss.

Change can be traumatic for anyone. However, it’s even worse for those whose identity is so closely tied to things that are changing. The reality is that you don’t stop “being” just because your situation changes. Who you are stays constant. The key is knowing who you are prior to change coming. And since you can’t predict when the change is coming, you must commit to a continual process of discovering and reaffirming who you are.

The truth is your value to your family, community, and society is worth so much more than what you do in your 9 to 5. Your real value is in who you were created to be. What you do as an entrepreneur should flow out of your understanding and appreciation of your life purpose and mission.

So, even when your business or profession experiences challenges that force change on you, your clear understanding of why you are alive will help to guide you confidently to your next opportunity. You may not like changing and changing may be inconvenient for you; however, you will be able to quickly adjust and prepare for the next opportunity that’s coming to you. Your business or job may change, but your identity stays the same.

How do you begin the process of shifting more of your focus from “doing” to “being”? I will discuss this in my next posting (Part 2).

Empowering Champions,
Paul Wilson, Jr.

Tags: business, entrepreneur, identity theft, ,

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About Paul Wilson Jr.
Paul Wilson, Jr. is a "Dream Catalyst" and Marketplace Pastor for leaders and entrepreneurs. He is driven to lead people to unleash God’s potential in their lives through their purpose, passions, and professional skills. He equips leaders with creative, faith-based strategies to flourish spiritually and professionally, while operating from several multi-media platforms, including TV show host, inspirational speaker, and stimulating writer. Paul is the President of Kingdom Business University, which utilizes workshops, consulting, and coaching services to ignite Christian catalysts maximize their God-given mission in the marketplace. He is the author of the life purpose igniter “Dream B.I.G. in 3D: How to Pursue a Bold, Innovative God-Inspired Life!” He is also the host of Passion in Action, a motivational and educational faith-based Internet TV show for social entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community change agents. Contact us today to learn more about how he can help your business, church, or community to thrive on purpose!

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