In this episode of The Samantha Leith Podcast we take a look at our Identity, understanding and loving ourselves exactly as we are. Taken from episodes 18-22 of The Samantha Leith Show.
Hi. Welcome to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith Show with me, 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.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IDENTITY?
What exactly is identity? Is it a mask we wear? A cloak we put on? Values our parents gave us? The stars we’re born under? Labels we’re given? Experiences that haunt us? A collection of the known and the unknown? I’m going with that fabulous combination that is nature and nurture, an incredible gift that we have as humans to develop as we walk through the streets of life. It’s who we are. Our names and every little piece that makes us, us. It’s fact and fantasy. From the moment of conception, the seeds of our identity are planted, growing as we do, changing with the weather, yet remaining strong in their roots, steadfast on the parts of us which we know to be 100% true to us.
Even the once thought of unchangeable parts of our identity, like gender, are now more fluid. Our knowing of who we are, at a deeper level, can override the physicality of what we were born as. People embracing what were once traits that left them as fodder in a circus line up, and showing the world with great pride who they really are, beards and all. It’s wonderful. The world is truly a melting pot of people. And I truly believe that this will get easier and easier, in spite of the few that walk the earth rejecting that which isn’t how they see perfect.
Okay, I’m going to get off my soapbox now. Where was I?
THE THEORIES OF ERIK ERIKSON AND SIGMUND FREUD
What is identity? Some very wise minds have looked into identity over the years. Two I’ll touch on here are Erik Erikson and Sigmund Freud. Erik broke it down into eight stages or cycles of psychosocial theory. Trust versus mistrust, which is our infancy. Autonomy versus shame and doubt, early childhood. Initiative versus guilt, preschool. Industry versus inferiority, when we’re school age. Identity versus confusion, adolescence. Intimacy versus isolation, that young adulthood bit. Generativity versus stagnation, middle adulthood. And integrity versus despair, when we reach maturity.
Each stage building onto the next, brick by brick, with conflict, important events, and outcomes, giving us the skills we need to move on to the next, giving us an ego identity, which allows us to merge all those different versions of us into one fabulous whole us.
Freud’s theory was that we were three parts, the id, ego, and super ego. And it’s, perhaps, one of the most enduring theories of all time. We develop, at different stages of our lives, these systems within each of us. People have looked at it as the ego being the sensible part of us, and acts a guide between our super ego, our angel side, and our id, the devilish twist.
The id commands our primitive and often irrational thinking desires and urges. There’s no reality here, and it’s usually selfish by nature.
The super ego, on the other hand, is where our values and morals live, where those lessons from the world around us, from our parents to greater society, are kept. They give us our moral compass, and that unconscious voice of conscious.
These parts of our identity are held together by our ego, or as Freud said, that part of the id, which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world. It’s our conscious personality, where we know what we are thinking. Sometimes, this wise, rational general of ours is weak, and allows the pleasure seeking id to rule the roost. And it can be part of our greatest self discovery to master our ego.
The truth is, I can’t tell you who you are, what your identity is. Nobody can. All anyone can do is to guide you, help you to discover and love who you are, so you can be extraordinary. So, let’s go.
They call me Sammy. Okay, not many people actually call me Sammy, but there’s a trend at the moment going around where we do videos about all the different things we’re called. And I love it to form part of this month’s stuff on identity, because we put on all these different characters. So it’s fricking hilarious and fun that the internet is just full, at the moment, with people stepping into these crazy guises and identities that we actually all have. Actually, I encourage you, go do one. Go make a reel or a TikTok on this and tag me in it.
THE PIECES OF OUR IDENTITY
Mirriam-Webster defines identity as the distinguishing character or personality of an individual, the relation established by the psychological identification, the condition of being the same with something described or asserted, the sameness of essential generic character in different instances. But that doesn’t answer what’s in this identity menu for us, at all.
Is it the same for all of us? It’s one of the most important questions we’ll ever face. Who am I?
A great number of scholars, philosophers, psychologists, religions, and more, held firm in the belief that we are immaterial souls or pure egos. John Locke stated that personal identity is a matter of psychological continuity, regardless of whose theory you want to go with. It’s still a matter of self discovery and creation. The formation of who we are, brick by brick, from birth till death, and we’ll leave what happens after death till another discussion.
Some of the following pieces of our identity are given, like ethnicity. Others, we choose, like our career. And then there’s those that are at our core, our values, gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, language, physical attributes, social class, education, location, relationships, passions, values, beliefs, career, family tree, principles, emotions, talents, skills, character, interests, tendencies. The list goes on, your goals, your dreams. All of these pieces, and so many more that I haven’t named, help us to become who we are, who we identify as. Add into the mix, the ancient wisdoms, like Western astrology or the Chinese Zodiac, and you have some other dimensions to look at and to understand.
There’s no one, “this is identity,” grid or matrix to go by. Anyone that’s studied this area tweaks it in their way because of, you guessed it, their identity.
Identity is primarily nature and nurture, as we grow. However, to be fulfilled in life, we develop our self development by asking the big questions and by choosing our own path. Did we really agree with those values that were handed down by great-great-great-great-great grandmother Ethel? Probably not. Finding one’s self may take you down dark paths and you may struggle and end up cloaking yourself with the identity of others as you go. This identity we seek, it’s never done. It’s flexible and develops as we do. It’s a component of a growth mindset that helps us in our personal development journey.
Sure, we seek self-actualization, but it’s the being okay with who you identify as, in any moment, that makes us confident and empowered in our lives.
Sometimes when you’re struggling to know who you are, you may want to, and I actually encourage you to do it, clasp onto the identity of a historical figure. Sometimes it can even be a made up figure. Is there something that’s in Wonder Woman’s character that you really wish was a part of who you are? Maybe you can put that cloak on, to walk through your life in this next phase, own that little part and then be it. You’re disciplined. You’re committed. You are a queen.
STRUGGLES ABOUT WHO WE ARE
This quest for enlightenment about who we are often leads to internal and external struggle. We’re all someone’s child, so I’m sure you’ve got memories of some heated arguments with a parent or guardian that was based on a difference of opinion about who you are. I remember a very heated argument with my mother when she discovered I was a lesbian. Okay, I chickened out and got my sister to tell her, and that’s a whole other story. The problem was she truly believed this meant I’d never be a mother. I was letting myself down. Yet, I knew in my bones that one day, someone would call me mom.
So after much screaming, I pulled over to the side of the road, and I asked her, I may have been yelling, to get out because I was sure as shit not a disappointment because of my sexuality. This sexual identity changed me over the years. And yes, one of the best parts of my existence is that I am mum to the gorgeous Elodie. For your info, mum did get over it, got on with most of my partners, male and female, and lived long enough to have a great relationship with my daughter.
We get conflicted as we go, especially if we ask the big questions, and that’s what’s important. We don’t simply take what were those parts of us that we were developed by the world around us as gospel. Sure, you’re really smart, and all the people that influenced you led you to become a high-flying corporate attorney. Only you’re not fulfilled. Why? Because that identity that you wear was probably not based on your desire at all. Maybe you spent your adult life as a heavy bearded biker, and your struggle has been with that deep knowing that you really identify as a woman. Thankfully, thank God, the universe that we now live in it’s a world where those struggles don’t have to continue for most people, and you can proclaim who you really are to the world.
Sometimes people can even latch onto this struggle, and that becomes part of their identity. We all know someone that slips into victim mode at every available opportunity. Why? Because it’s part of their identity. It’s who they have become because of the path they’ve walked. We’re sponges, us mere mortals, absorbing that which is around us. So occasionally, we soak up the crap, assume it’s part of us, and can’t get it out of us until we have a really good scrub at our core. Not sure how I came up with that visual. But I’m sure if you’ve ever tried to clean one of those sponges with all the gunk from the barbecue, you know exactly what I mean.
It’s natural, and it’s normal to struggle at times with who we are. It’s a challenge, and this not having a strong sense of self can lead to anxiety, insecurity, and depression. When we don’t have this stable sense of who we are, we can feel a disconnect, often seeking validation and security from the world around us for the answer to who we actually are.
Does anyone really, really want to have a midlife crisis? Probably not, but we have them. We can have them as late teen crisis. We can have a middle twenties crisis. We can have a seventies crisis. It’s those moments where we’re like, “Ahh.” We just want to scream from the rooftops, if we don’t know who we are. Something may have triggered it. There may be a divorce. You may have lost a job, moved countries. There may have been a death in the family. And you question everything, and it’s okay. And you know what? If you want to go and ride a motorbike and get dolled up in leather, that’s okay too, because it’s probably part of this journey that you need to go on in order to find out who you really are.
But when you have these moments, go back to the questions, go back to that knowing of who you are, those 100% ones you know to be sure, and stick to them while you’re experimenting with everything else around you. Oh, and don’t burn any bridges while you’re at it.
WHO AM I?
Who am I anyway?
Am I my resume?
That is a picture of a person I don’t know.
What does he want from me?
What should I try to be?
Those words are from A Chorus Line, and I love it.
When I think of this song, and I often do, it makes me ask the question because it’s both true and not. Our resume, all those bits that we’ve done, are part of who we are, but it doesn’t define us. We do try to mold ourselves to be what’s needed or desired of us at certain times. But again, that doesn’t define us.
I think one of the most important questions there is, what should I try to be? And only you can answer that, my friends. When we’re holding true to ourselves or parts of who we are, we walk the planet differently. There’s a bop in our step, an ease with which we fit into our lives.
Some may say this is even when we’re in flow. Maybe it’s a brief moment. Maybe it’s you 99% of the time. If so, I bow down to you, you legend. I’m 47, and I think I’ve only really known this ease for the last few years after what I call the numb years. Don’t get me wrong. There’s always been moments of absolute integrity with who I am, but probably not enough. Sometimes in these, I know who I really am moments, we can have our ego take over and can almost become aggressive in our shouting our truth from the rooftops.
In some cases, like the fight for marriage equality, equal rights for women, and many, many more, this fight was needed and still needs to be loud and proud. But sometimes, we can get a little carried away with ourselves and become bloody obstinate when having a discussion about a part of our identity that we hold firm onto, and it doesn’t match the viewpoint of someone we’re engaged with.
When someone asks you, “Who are you?” How does it make you feel? I know I stumble sometimes, and I think I need to make it sound like an elevator pitch. “Hi, I’m Samantha Leith. I do blah blah, to help blah blah, with insert issue here.” Other times I say something dull like, “Oh, single mom.” I may be a single mom, but it is not who I am.
The question makes me question myself sometimes with an unease that rises in my belly. In order to be who you say you are, you have to understand it. So if you head to the freebie section on the website, you’ll see the worksheet that will take you through some of the big questions.
BEING A CHAMELEON
When I was about 18, I sat in a car, and I had a list of people I was friends with, people in my life. There was a list of my nerdy friends, my singing friends, my gay and lesbian friends, my really smart friends, my family. And I sat in this car, crying with my manager because I thought I was, I don’t know, maybe had multiple personality disorder, or I was a little bit schizophrenic because who was I that I knew all these different people? Was I pretending to be a different person for all of them?
He encouraged me to look at the parts of me that were the same for all those groups and to think of it as, “No, I was just showing different parts of myself with those people.” And that’s what I want you to do. We’re not pretending. But what we like to do is, in different situations, pull out those parts of us that suit the situation we’re in. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Now, 30 years later, I think my ability to tweak the parts I’m showing to any room anywhere and any people is my superpower. I should have one of those masks up the back.
PERSONALITY PROFILING PART 1
Welcome to the world of personality profiling. Should probably have done a whole month on this topic, maybe I will. In the download for this month you’ll find links to all the tests I mention and more. And whilst you could fall down the rabbit hole and spend hours and hours completing these tests, they won’t tell us who we are either, but they do give us some amazing and beneficial insights.
So a little bit more about me. I’m an A type personality, Enneagram too, creator and wealth dynamics, the talent and how to fascinate. My top three strengths are woo, communication and strategic. ENFP, high I on the disc. My love language is acts of service. I’m a Kolbe Quick Start and a celebrity in Sacred Money Archetypes. There’s so many more but I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Let’s go back to the beginning.
In 1879, Wilhelm Wundt, oops, should have checked that, made the clear distinction between what is our human body and the human personality theory. And thus, it started. Since then there’ve been I’m guessing a lot of personality profiling tools developed. From the incredibly in depth workplace models to the more fun quick quizzes that many coaches now even offer for you to take. Thousands of hours of research go into completing the matrix of the powers to summon others well. They can feel a bit like someone’s throwing darts at a wall and seeing what’s stuck. Each test will draw conclusions about part of us based on the answers given for their model. No test is complex enough to look at all parts of us. So, yup, that’s why we take lots of them, well, some of us do. Each test has its strengths and weaknesses, like we do. And they aren’t concrete in their assessment of us because we’re human. And the answers we give one day may be a little different than the next because the coffee we had that morning was a bit bloody blah.
For workplaces, these tests can hold huge importance in the cohesion of teens and the duties given to each member. They can be a guiding light for leaders for understanding who’s with them and how to make it all work like an America’s Cup yacht under perfect sailing conditions. We often take these tests as a distraction because someone sent us a link or some bright, shiny mirabile tweaked our interest and we went down the rabbit hole.
But there really are some true benefits including, how to choose or tweak a career path or role, how to work out which area we need to look at further within ourselves, to decide what to study, greater insight into your strengths and your weaknesses. It’s a little bit of a closer understanding of who we are, our identity.
Labels, we get them all our life. From the moment we are born, baby, she’s cute. Then the negative ones might happen, you’re dumb, you talk too much in class. You’re single, you’re stupid, fatty, fatty bomb sticks. 9 times out of 10, they’re negative. And they’re said with the harshness that shouldn’t happen because we take them on. We start wearing them as if they are our identity and they’re not. So anytime you think there’s a label that you’ve got, peel that baby off and try and come up with a more positive way to think of yourself in that aspect of your life.
Let’s keep going on these tests, shall we? Firstly, you can’t fail them so don’t panic. It’s not like that mass exam when you were 15 and your mind went blank and all you could think was Pythagoras, wasn’t he an extinct dinosaur?
I’m going to look at five of them here but in the download for the month there’ll be links to loads more.
PERSONALITY PROFILING PART 2
Enneagram is a pretty 9 point structure that helps to pinpoint our desires, motivations, fears, virtues and temptations. Each of these 9 form part of a triad, gut, heart and head. When you are, insert number here, you also have traits of the other wings but one will be more dominant. Here’s a breakdown of what the Enneagram says.
One’s personality does not change from one type to another. And the description of each type is universal and can be applied to all genders. The description of each type cannot be applied to a person forever as human nature fluctuates between healthy and unhealthy levels. Numbers are used to represent each type and they’re considered to be totally neutral. The order 1 to 9 does not represent the goodness or the badness of those types.
And no single type is better or worse than the other, each has its advantages and disadvantages. I first heard about the Enneagram four or five years ago and it was like, whoa baby when I took it, where have you been all my life? Because I’m a helper and it was clear as day.
Now, Myers–Briggs measures how introverted or extroverted you are based on the functions of sensation, intuition, feeling and thinking. And it impacts work, strengths, weaknesses and so much more. It’s a very common workplace test and the questions will determine how you process information, how you make decisions and if you have a judging or perceiving preference about how you do things. Your answers will place you within one of 16, don’t have that many fingers, personalities. You may find this hard to believe, but yup, I’m E for extroverted, an impassioned catalyst.
HOW TO FASCINATE
Now, How to Fascinate is a personal favorite of mine after meeting Sally Hogshead in New York many moons ago. When I heard her speak, lights went off. This test is about how others see you, not how you see yourself. As they state on their website, you’re 28 questions away from discovering how you most likely are to impress and influence. This test enables you to see how the world sees you, which makes your work and personal life a whole lot simpler. Take a bit of the guesswork I’ve had up, show up when you want to implement massive change in a boardroom. Or if you want to inspire your family just that little bit more. This test is more branding than psychology but the reality is, we are all our own brand. Regardless of if you’re standing in front of a camera like me or you work for a teabag manufacturer or you spend your life in the service of others needing rehab. We all need to influence and communicate better and this gives us the tools.
SACRED MONEY ARCHETYPES
Now, then there’s Sacred Money Archetypes. It was developed by Kendall SummerHawk and as she says, it’s the key to unlocking you making greater income and ultimately enjoying the lifestyle and freedom you want in life. And you do it by discovering these archetypes. You see, money’s a tool in life and yes, that’s a whole month or more of episodes so we’re not going to get into money here. But understanding why you do what you do with money can impact every area of your life. It’s your money DNA. You’ll learn why you struggle with money, maybe you have a love, a hate relationship with it. Why you spend where you do, oops. And aspects of why money means what it does to you. Did you even know you had a money personality? Being a ruler for example will mean you run financial aspects of your life a whole lot differently to a celebrity or a maverick.
The last one I’ll touch on is StrengthsFinder. Invented by Don Clifton, it works out your order of 34 strength themes. Again, not enough hands. Some of which will be so obvious to you you think, why on earth am I doing this test? Others may be uncovered for you by doing it. Again, great for you as an individual and really powerful for use within organizations. These themes represent what you do best. It flips the world around where we no longer want to work on fixing our weaknesses. We instead are encouraged to sharpen our strengths. It’s not about being a Jack or Jill of all trades, but about honing in on what you are at your core better at.
You’ll come away with your top strength 10 themes, instructions for using all the info you get and how to turn that into helping your future. And how your themes contribute to your success or get in the way of your success. You’ll also, if you do the test, get some things you can implement immediately and a really practical outline for helping you achieve your goals based on those strengths.
There you have it. Some details and some of the more popular personalities or my favorites. When choosing any of them to do, remember, take your time and answer how you first want to answer. And remember, it’s not set in stone. They do not define you, they are not your identity. They are a tool to help you with your own self understanding.
GENDER AND SEXUAL IDENTITIES
One of the biggest identities that is talked about these days, or two of them actually, are gender identity and sexual identity. They’re no longer binary. It’s not male or female, there’s intersex, trans, nonconforming. It’s a kaleidoscope. It is a spectrum. And I’m guessing over the next years, these genders will get larger and larger. The scope will grow as more and more people allow themselves to say and be who they think they should really have been born to be.
Likewise, sexual identity is a spectrum, there’s a fluidity to it. It’s no longer just gay, straight or bisexual. There’s pansexual, demisexual, asexual, there’s a whole plethora of things. We want to welcome them because we’re allowing people to again, stand up and say who they believe at their core to be. And that is the greatest freaking example of being true to your identity, to knowing it, to knowing who you are when you are asked that question.
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.
- How do I manage negative thoughts and feelings?
- What’s my definition of success?
- What am I good at?
- What do I get angry about?
- What do I feel deeply inspired by?
- What am short term and long term goals?
- What are my top 10 values?
- What are my strengths and my weaknesses?
- What am I most proud of?
- What do I do just because I think I should?
- What are my relationships like?
- What do people say about me?
- What does my inner voice most often say about me?
- What are my top five passions?
- What am I really ashamed of?
- What are my favorite things to do?
- If I wasn’t afraid I would….
- How do I feel I show up in relationships?
- What do I actually respect about myself?
- 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.
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.
PICK YOUR IDENTITY BELIEF
Do you want to know the great news? You get to choose what you believe about your identity. You can, as Taylor Swift says (singing). You can move. You can change. You can grow. Pick an identity belief that fuels you and pushes you towards your biggest goals and dreams, an identity that helps you to be the person you know and want to be. That’s power. That’s magic.
When you have this cemented identity, some of which may be a hundred percent true in the now, and other aspects you might be like trying on for size or growing into, it’s really important that they help shape what you do every single day.
You heard me talk about the daily success formula. And if you haven’t, go back and watch episodes, one to five. These pieces of your identity will help you with this. It’s no longer, “I should make my bed in the morning.” It’s, “I’m a bed maker.” It’s not, “Oops, I’m not very good at finishing things.” It’s undetermined. It’s not, “Better getting more skilled at talking to people.” It’s, “I’m a great communicator.”
Try some of these on for size and, well, see how they feel. Wear them like a badge of honor and see what happens. How do these new thoughts about yourself change you? What do they make you do? The next step is owning the pieces of you with others. So when you’re asked any questions about you or something that makes you think of parts of your identity, answer with this new gusto of what you’re choosing to shine a light on about yourself.
THE IDENTITY RECIPE
Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble.
See, I told you I was bad with accents. There’s a recipe for our identity. There’s ingredients. There’s bits that go into this pot and create who we are. Now, there’s no evil Bette Midler witch character stirring away and making us decide who we’re going to be. We get to do that. We’re stirring our own pot, and everything we put into that pot helps us be who we are. The joy we experience, the love we experience, the pain that we’ve gone through, the sorrow, the tenderness, the things we’ve experimented with, the courses we’ve taken. All of these ingredients help us to be who we are and come out, I don’t know, as a soup or a great cake. Whatever you want to be, you can be.
KEEP GOING THROUGH THE HARD TIMES
So you hit the bump in the road. A curve ball got thrown your way. You got kneecapped. That’s it, you ought to throw in the towel, your hands in the air, defeated because you no longer know who you are. (singing). I mean, stop. Breathe. You’ll be okay.
Remember, this is a journey, not a one and done scenario. I encourage you though, to take comfort in the parts of you that you know to be 100% true. And you can always find some of them, I promise. In all honesty, you could just do a Dory and just keep swimming, just keep swimming. And for many of you in a lot of situations, you may need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, boobstraps, whatever, and actually do this while you work out what the problem is. This act in itself can sometimes be enough to help you overcome any hard time.
I remember struggling through a particular phase of unknowing, and I held on tight to some simple things like mom, friend, Gemini, good cook, singer, bad teller of jokes, even worse with accents, curious 30-something woman. And that was it for a while, was all I could hold onto while I took the time, and I encouraged you do the same, this exercise. And guess what? It’s in the download.
Now I’ve asked you to look at specific questions many times. So the first point of call would be to reflect on your answers with the identity handout, and also any work you’ve done on vision, mission, passions, and even that 100 year old letter. There’s gold in that work. And quickly check in with yourself to see if maybe, just maybe, you’re starting to assume struggle is part of your identity. It’s so common and, yep, been there, done that.
Now back to the exercise. Take a sheet of paper, your journal, or if you want, type away. Then write to yourself. I know it feels a bit daggy, and I’ve already told you to do it a million times, your journal, what’s the point? Keep going. There is a point. I want you to write about this bump. This is freeform writing, not yes or no. It’s emotive. It’s you.
How did it make you feel?
What part of you feels disjointed, and can you pinpoint why?
How would you have preferred to handle this situation?
Then I want you to be a little bit more objective. I want you to look at this situation in a truly black and white manner.
Who or what was involved?
In a perfect world, what would’ve happened?
Remember, in that part, not about the emotion. It’s facts. There are some more questions in the download, but in a nutshell, once you’re done with these questions, I want you to compare your emotive and more factual writing.
Are there any similarities?
Because that’s where you are going to see the bullseye of what made your you, your identity, get a wee bit disjointed. And maybe after looking at this, you’ll realize it’s not disjointed, it’s growth. You’re moving on to a greater you.
SAMANTHA LEITH MADE UP
Many moons ago. I had a cabaret show that toured called Samantha Leith Made Up. And it was the story of our lives. In fact, it was probably the first personal development seminar I ever did. But I was on a stage with no makeup. And as I placed the makeup on my face and sang the songs that went in it, I told the stories. So foundation was our childhood, was all those things that made us who we started to become in those first tender years.
When it gets to eye makeup, it’s about the power that we have in life, the window to our soul. Our eyes are those things that help people actually see our identity. Our lips. I had some fun with lips. That was about our sexuality. Our lips form the words that can make people angry with us or make people love us.
And it is just our identity. These things that we put on, whether it’s makeup or frocks, all actually form a part of who we are. You may wear an item of clothing because it is what you wore when you were a little kid. It’s foundational to you, just like that foundation was to me in that show.
Please head on over to samanthaleith.com/freebies, to get the worksheet for this month, and don’t forget to spread the love and remember, however you define your identity, you are worthy, you are enough, and you are extraordinary.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Samantha Leith podcast. If you enjoyed this episode and wanna dive deeper into the world of personal development and what’s possible for you, then I’d love to invite you to join the club. It’s my monthly membership designed to guide and support you with the tools and the coaching you need to be extraordinary. Head on over to samanthaleith.com/club for more information. I’d love to see you on the inside.
Songwriters: Anthony Newley / Leslie Bricusse
© Tratore, Universal Music Publishing Group
Produced by Samantha Leith / Michael Allen
Vocals by Samantha Leith