By Jennifer Eulberg, MA, LPC
Most, if not all of my clients, have heard me discuss the difference between “being” and “doing”. We are human beings, not human doings, after all. In conversation, the question usually comes in “What do you do?” more often than “Who are you?”. This doing is often what we use to define and present ourselves to the world: writer, singer, lawyer, counselor, mother, employee, etc. While nothing is wrong with these labels, using them as our only way to define ourselves can be. For example, what happens when your primary function of doing is no longer needed? Or if you become unable to do because of mental or physical health issues? Or perhaps what you do stops feeding your spirit?
Without a definition to tell ourselves and others what we do, we may lose our sense of value and self-esteem in who we are. Without identity we often feel lost, searching for our place in the world. While the labels for our actions can shift and change with time, our sense of self and value stay with us. The question becomes how can we be who we are outside of what we do?
I often see how living outside of one’s authenticity can create negative experiences and unwanted emotional states. Perhaps when a job or relationship is no longer a good fit, we try to mold ourselves into someone else but only find we are more and more miserable. To spend some time working to listen to our needs, boundaries, and values can help us live more authentically. It isn’t always easy to just be but we owe it to ourselves to know who we are in order to live our best lives.
So, take a few minutes to get to know yourself a bit more deeply. Think on what makes you, you. What is important to you? Are you living according to those priorities? Are your actions in line with your authentic self? How will you introduce yourself or ask about others differently with this in mind? Please share in the comments section. I would love to know more about you as you are.
JENNIFER EULBERG, MA, LPC
Welcome Jennifer, our new blogger!
Jennifer is a counselor at Sandhill who specializes in depression, self-esteem, and grief & loss. Get to know Jennifer as she shares her perspectives on life, contemplates value themes, and offers gentle encouragement.
THANK YOU to Stefanie Pisarkiewicz, LPC for her blog contributions from November 2014 - February 2019!