Hi. Welcome to this week’s episode of The Samantha Leith Show, with moi, Samantha Leith. This month, we’re frolicking around that wonderful part of us known as our identity. One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to understand exactly who you are and to love it. There’s no right or wrong answer, no right or wrong identity, only you. So let’s have a look at what makes us us.
Questions to ask yourself
If you head over to the freebies page, you can download the worksheet with 52 questions to ask yourself to help you on this question of identity discovery. For now, I’m going to take you through 20 of them. Maybe this will tickle your fancy enough to take the time and the space for yourself to complete the rest.
1. How do I manage negative thoughts and feelings?
2. What’s my definition of success?
3. What am I good at?
4. What do I get angry about?
5. What do I feel deeply inspired by?
6. What am short term and long term goals?
7. What are my top 10 values?
8. What are my strengths and my weaknesses?
9. What am I most proud of?
10. What do I do just because I think I should?
11. What are my relationships like?
12. What do people say about me?
13. What does my inner voice most often say about me?
14. What are my top five passions?
15. What am I really ashamed of?
16. What are my favorite things to do?
17. If I wasn’t afraid I would….
18. How do I feel I show up in relationships?
19. What do I actually respect about myself?
20. What are the first three words I would use about myself?
Remember, there’s no right or wrong, and nobody’s going to be looking at these answers and judging you. In fact, I beg of you, please don’t judge yourself either. This is a journey. How many times am I going to say that word? You’re going to be on it, fingers crossed, for a very long lifetime. Now go, take the sheet and have a look at who you are.
Diagnosis and Identity
These days, most people you bump into have a diagnosis of some kind, from anxiety and to depression, to neurodiverse. They might be autistic. They might have ADHD. They might be bipolar. There may be something going on for them medically or chemically that has been officially diagnosed. Now, whilst I really encourage you to get to the bottom of anything that’s going on for you in any of those terms, it’s not your identity. It’s not who you are. Yes, shout it loud and proud like I do. I have ADHD and finding that out has changed so many things for me for the better. But it’s not who I am. So don’t let the label of a diagnosis cloud you finding out who you actually are.
One of my identities, traits or personas is Penelope positive. I try with all my might to find the positive in every situation. The reality is however that life is 50/50. So let’s take a look at the more negative side of my identity. We’re not going to look at the often crippling issues like narcissism. There are many experts in that area to help you or a loved one if you’re dealing with anything like that. Being egocentric, pessimistic, victim mentality, aggressive, blame mentality, needing to be right, unforgiving, uncompromising, overly sarcastic, dishonest, greedy, shallow judgmental. One of my biggest pet hates, whoops, being hateful. She was manipulative vindictive. Some say that a negative identity is one that you form by swimming against the tide of societal expectations and constructs, like being an atheist, when all of your upbringing meant you should be a good Catholic.
Negative identities are often centered around a feeling of shame in a certain area. Your default is as a people pleaser, so when you let someone down, you play the blame game in order to make yourself feel better. It wasn’t your fault that you couldn’t uphold the probably unrealistic expectation you had for yourself because someone else was at fault. The scenarios are played out in our heads most of the time, but we take actions that impact others in a negative way, because of those thoughts. You may be being judgmental because your confidence has waned because you hate what you do so much. Again, all of these things are signs, goalposts, ways to help you work out your true identity. Nobody is all positive or all negative, I hope, all of the time. So recognize when these things come up for you and get to work.
Sometimes these negative identity traits are formed from the labels we’re given by others. I touched on these labels a couple of episodes ago. So go back and take a look if you missed it. For example, someone calls you a bitch, so you go to work proving them right or wrong. “Hey, fatty” was yelled out to you as you jogged along the road, so you ate your way into further negativity trying to drown those words. Maybe you never won anything in childhood, so you labeled yourself a loser, making you aggressive and uncompromising in your quest for success. Again, head on over to the freebie section, download this month’s worksheet and take some time to look. Well, firstly, admit to yourself those more negative aspects of your identity and what they mean to you.
The layers we put on
You know when you take a plain chocolate cake and you dress it up by putting around that first layer of frosting and then a fancy layer of frosting, and then there’s some decoration, and then there might be a sparkler or a candle or a little shining light? We’re just like that. We put on these layers, starting from the base of who we are, and they’re the guises that we wear. It might be you feel more powerful or more in tune with who you are when you put on that power suit with the really big shoulder blades. Shoulder blades, ha, shoulder pads. No, we don’t do that anymore, do we? Me, I put on stilettos and I feel like, ooh, I got my thing going on. It’s okay. Those layers are okay if you’re wearing them to highlight or empower you or to really shine that bright sparkling spotlight on a part of your identity that you want the world to see, but don’t cover up yourself with layers to hide who you are, because you’re perfect.
Thank you so very much for watching this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith show. I hope you’ve loved it. Please head on over to Samanthaleith.com/freebies to get the worksheet for this month. And don’t forget to spread the love, by subscribing, pointing, liking, sharing, and everything else you do with the video. And remember, however you define your identity, you are worthy, you are enough, and you are extraordinary.
🎶 I Am What I Am Songwriters: Mark Owen
© BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group
🎙️ Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen Vocals by Samantha Leith
🙏 Special thanks to Stonewall Hotel Sydney for the stage!