When it comes to success, one of the key components is a clear definition of what success looks like to you. Without defining what success is to you, you will never know if you have reached it, or whether you are even on the right track. And, while success is more than understanding who you are, this understanding is the foundation.
You won’t be successful until you know who you are.
If you were to take a look at the profiles of several successful business men and women, you would consistently find people who live on purpose. They have drive and ambition that comes from their core being and they are intentional about who they are and what they do. I like to call this an Intentional Identity.
Intentional identity is the clear, unapologetic view of yourself. It’s living authentically, understanding where you’ve come from, where you are today, and where you want to be in the future.
The critical factor, is that intentional identity is thoughtful and purposeful. Successful people don’t just fly by the seat of their pants and let the winds blow them where they may. They take intentional steps to live out the life they have designed and to be the person they have decided to be.
When you think about success, in the context of your own identity, a lot of people don’t feel successful because what they are spending their time on is incongruent with who they are at their core identity.
We’ve all heard the story of the successful doctor or lawyer that is unhappy in their careers because all they’ve ever dreamed about it being an artist or a musician. Or the stay at home mom that dreams of a career or a business of their own.
In these stories, the individual’s identities have been overridden, or manipulated by the expectations of others…a teacher pushing them to a specific career path, an upbringing that reinforces a certain lifestyle, or societal expectations on gender roles and stereotypes. These stories demonstrate the opposite of an Intentional Identity, and underscore the need for people to spend time thinking about and analyzing their own internal wants, desires, and expectations.
I firmly believe that the foundation for your path to success is defining your Intentional Identity and using it to drive your future vision and actions. But you should know, this process is not for the faint of heart. It involves some reliving of the past, dreaming of the future, and soul searching in between.
In the coming weeks, I will dig deeper into the importance of each step in the process and break down how you can define your own Intentional Identity. The process includes:
I’m looking forward to taking these first steps on the journey to defining and achieving the success you’ve been seeking. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, @JennThoma, or subscribe to my blog to be alerted for new posts. In the meantime, tell me in the comments below which step in the Intentional Identity process you are most excited to hear about.