Who am I becomes incredibly important when we are having “one of those days”. Do you know the difference between your role at any given time and “who am I”?
Who am I
Who am I: “I” is who you are at your very basic core. Your core values and how those drive your interaction with the world around you at any given time. For example, I grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and came from a lower/middle class family. (Ssh! My siblings may not agree with that description!) Hamilton in the 60’s and 70’s was very much a manufacturing town. People in a community like that tend to be very down to earth and not really focused on amassing great wealth or impressing others with their brilliance. Don’t get me wrong, these people were a lot smarter than many people with doctorates that I have come into contact throughout my life.
As a result, I don’t consider myself any better than anyone else and actually sometimes struggle with being in a formal leadership position. This leads me to the difference between my “I” and my role or “R”.
Our role changes at any given time, often many times within a single day! You may find yourself in the role of:
- Significant Other (Whatever that means for you!)
- Leader or Manager
When you think about it, you could be all five. And, sometimes one or more may really suck!
Have you ever had a day when either you disappointed someone or they didn’t live up to an expectation? In my experience, this could lead to either being frustrated because I lacked a skill or missed that I didn’t give the other person the tools they needed to meet my expectation. Ultimately, disappointed myself and ended up feeling angry or sad and feeling that I was a bad person or did something wrong. There is likelihood I was correct but it made me feel bad about myself.
Wrong! Don’t do that!!!
Understanding I/R Theory
It’s OK to be mad/sad/disappointed;
- in how you delivered or didn’t on a promise; or
- in how a project turned out; or
- in a decision you made.
If I were to ask you out of 1-10 “how is your I today?”, the answer should always be a 10. This is how you see yourself as a person. Be careful not to confuse that with the role you are in at the time. Maybe as a father, you had to say no to a child and it made them sad or mad, or your wife or an employee. Sure, you feel lousy about having to say no and that’s OK. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. Maybe even quite the opposite because that was the right answer for the circumstance. The problem is simply something is wrong with or in the role. And it may be that you have done something to violate a core value meaning you need to make a change in that role. When a project or job isn’t working, you can end it and walk away if you need to.
If you are constantly violating core principals, that affects the I. You have changed and when it’s for the worse, can destroy you. That needs to be fixed fast! If your employer is making you do something illegal or immoral, you may need to change employers. Maybe even a spouse. Do what you have to do to protect your “I”.
Make it a great day!
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for positive people, great leaders and my family. What are you thankful for today?