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Exploring identity

Who are we? How do we define ourselves? Where do we belong? Important questions in these days where we open up our lives to the world but paradoxically seem to get lost in all this openness.

In my work as a coach and trainer, this subject arises every time again. The client’s starting question of ‘how to be more effective in my work’ is linked to their perception of who they are and has a deeper layer in asking themselves ‘who am I to have this question’. It is not always concrete but it is always tangible. It is the search for a deeper meaning.

Below you can see two short extracts from the essay ‘exploring identity’.

…..Do you know who you are? Because I don’t. It makes me feel disconnected to life, sometimes. That I only do things from a sense of duty and responsibility. It gives me this need and drive to find out more about identity, about who I am and who we are. This curiosity about what moves and connects us. You might say it is looking for the source, the core of our life and being. At the point where our stories, our joy and our pain meet…..


….We are at a crossroads in the forest. Which way do we go now, she asks. I point to the path on the left, that will take us back to the car. There is also a ‘smuggler’s path’, much more exciting, but leading further away from the parking lot.

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You know what, she says, if I had to choose a path, I would choose nothing. Then I don’t make a choice. I hate making choices, not choosing means the result stays in the unknown. It doesn’t work that way for me. For me, not making any choice is knowingly choosing not to do so.

How does that work for the beaten track, the path that has been laid out for you, is that a choice? Is the easiest way a choice?

I choose to leave the beaten track, the easy way. It raises feelings of resistance and fear. I have the urge to run away, to run back to the safe haven of the beaten track. Making myself small and accepting my fate. Not to know if can be more than this. One of my beaten tracks is making myself invisible. I renounce that now. Here I am, my fear tells me.

I fear, therefore I am…..

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