Being told who you are and knowing who you are are two totally separate entities. I recently watched the newly released film Unknown, staring Liam Neeson, a film that questions identity, memory and existence. Its message to me was poignant as it took me along the twists, turns and uncertainties that come along with a self-identity crisis; it was a message of the need for self-knowledge.
Are you who you are because you know yourself and you follow your heart, or are you who you are because you are striving to be who others expect you to be? I personally struggled for years as being Trisha Blackwell “the swimmer,” because that is who I was told I was. We have to remember that we are so much more than (and sometimes so very different from) what others tell us we are.
The best way to diverge from the pathways that others tell us to follow is to find ourselves first. By relying on the identity that others assign us we are only harming ourselves and diluting the potential of our impact on the world.