Once upon a time I worked for an organization that helped provide mentors for children. My responsibility was to interview potential mentors and their potential mentee. Of course, they both had to go through an interview process. My favorite question of the interview was when I asked the mentor and mentee to describe themselves. I thought this was very telling for the adult mentors. Their answers allowed me to hear what they based their identity
Most of the people didn’t describe themselves at all. The truth is they described themselves by the following:
A lot of people described themselves based on their current occupation. For example, “I am an engineer for…,” or “I am a bank teller.” The question I always want to ask them is who would you be if you couldn’t be an engineer, bank teller, football player etc.….
Another thing that people tended to describe themselves by was their social status. For example, fraternities, sororities, or student government president. I always want to ask them who would you be if you weren’t a part of this social organization.
Some people define themselves based on what their family members thought about them. I think this is dangerous, especially if your family has a negative view. Family is important to most people- giving them the most influence over a person. However, a person may never realize their full potential if they depend on their families to come up with their identity.
A small amount of people describe themselves based on their age. For example, I am the average 30-year-old. I had to stop describing myself as “an old man.” Time is so tricky, because we have learned from our past, we look forward to our future, but we have to live for today.
If you are having trouble living in the present, gaining independence, living social or defining yourself out of work, feel free to call Amy Wine Counseling Center at 832-421-8714.