Every day you answer two basic questions. You either answer them consciously or unconsciously. The two questions are:
1. Who am I?
2. Who am I in relationship to X?
In answering these questions (either consciously or unconsciously) you represent yourself.
For example, you decide to go to a business meeting and you consciously choose to style your hair, put on make-up, take enough business cards and prepare your “elevator speech.” You consciously represent yourself as one who is a business person, and that is your intention. You have answered the question: who am I? The answer is, I am a business woman. You have answered the question who am I in relationship to this business mixer. Your answer is, I am a woman who dresses the part, is prepared and competent.
All is well. All is going as planned. You represented yourself consciously.
Later, a group of people gather to talk, and you feel frustrated. The conversation is slow. People are ignorant. You just can’t contain yourself so you interrupt, share your point of view and exclude others standing in the perimeters. You now are answering the question who am I, differently and from a place of reaction instead of conscious choice.
I am one who is irritated. I am one who is annoyed. I am one who must put in my two cents. You have answered the question, “who am I?” You are also answering the question, “who am I in relationship to being bored and annoyed?
Your answer is I am self-engaged, rude and obnoxious.
Oops. You didn’t mean to do that. You feel misunderstood.
The more aware you are of who you are and who you want to be, the more congruent your attitudes, language and behavior will be.