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Who Are You?


Hi guys, welcome to A Lifelong Habit of Exercise. I'm Coach Kendra, and this is episode five. Today we are going to be talking about identity. Identity is really interesting because I think it's something that takes a large event, a life changing event, or something different to get us to really examine what our identity is. And I think part of the reason is that it takes that in order for us to look at our identity, is that I think we really believe that our identity is just who we are. Either there's not a reason to look deeper into it, or we already have it under control, or it just is what it is.


And I think there's a couple different ways that we really look at what our identity is. A couple different ways that we kind of identify and I want to take a look at those different ways that a lot of times we use different things to call our identity. If someone were to ask you right now, who are you? What would your answer be? I want you to really just take a moment and think about that. Who are you? Like I said, I think identity is something that comes up. When you think of, "Who am I?", when there is something that is life changing,


Whether it's you're about to have kids, whether it's you're about to get married, whether it's about you are going to college, finishing college, moving to a different state. I think a lot of times when there's life changing events, that's when we really look at or ask ourselves the question of, "who am I?" I think right now we're in 2020, in the middle of a huge pandemic, and I think that This time has given a lot of people a chance. Again, with a life changing event, the pandemic has given a lot of people a chance to ask themselves who am I? And I think more people are currently asking themselves, who am I? So today I want to dig into identity and I want to dig into a couple different things that we use. Sometimes I think, to grab on to of who we are to answer that question of who am I?


And one of the things is other people's descriptive words of us. This may be their opinion. Or this may be something that they think that they're simply observing.


Maybe you have friends that consider you to be the late friend, you were just always late. Or maybe you have a friend that you just consider to be your late friend like, Hey, you just always say maybe you joke with them. Maybe you I joke with other friends about Oh, yeah, they're always going to be late. So it's fine. They're going to be late. And you just, "I already know they're just going to be late." And if it's about you, maybe that's what you kind of start to embrace is you are the late friend. And maybe when you're getting ready, if you know that you need a little extra time in the near just like, Oh, well, I'm going to just take extra time, they already know that I'm the late friend. So I'm going to just be a little bit late, because that's just who I am. And I think we begin to think about ourselves through other people's descriptive words. Like our thoughts become what their descriptive words were about us. And I think sometimes that those descriptive words may not always be what you want them to be as far as of who you want to be, but especially when more than one person says it, then we think, "Oh, that must just be who we are, who I am." 


So I think we use other people's descriptive words to kind of embrace and we make that our identity a little bit. And these could be good words, they could be bad words, they could be something you agree with, or you don't agree with or something that you want to be, or something that you don't want to be. But sometimes we use those and we just like I said, embrace them. So it could be something that seems directed at you. Like I said, it's like for the example of your the late friend, or you're the early friend, or you're the friend that always has to have a schedule. Or it could be something like you're the smart one. You're smart. You're funny, you're a class clown. Or you're mean you're troubled, you're difficult, you're moody, you're a hothead you're loving, you're caring.


Like I said, it could be Got it could be bad.


And then we start to think, like I said, when more than one person thinks that sometimes we begin to think that that's just who we are. And then the other thing that I hear a lot is like, I've just always been now we begin to like, kind of just blame like, I've just always been that way. I'm late to everything. I've just always been that way. I'm hothead, but I've just always been that way. I'm very overbearing, but that's just how I've always been.


We kind of used that just that's just how I've always been, like our excuse for continuing on to be that way. Because at that point, if you say like, that's just how I've always been, that's almost you just embracing it. And you've just made that your identity.


For so long, I thought identity was other people's descriptive words about me. The way other people described me, like mean, moody, those type of things like, okay. Like, I didn't want to be that way. But what I did was I thought the identity, like I thought that was my identity, especially because I hear more than one person saying it. And even though I didn't want to be that way, and when I would try to be different, they would still consider me to be like, Oh, they would just be like, I was that friend. And then that would get exhausting, and I'd be really defeated. And then at some point, I would just embrace it and just be like, whatever. Yes, that's just me. That's how I've always been. Yes, that's just who I am. And I embrace that. And for the longest time, I thought that was my identity. Somebody asked me more recently, like, what do you think your identity is? And they told them like, I used to think it was how other people saw me.


I used to think my identity was how other people would describe me.


Because in a way, I took that on, I embraced it, because I just thought that that's just who I was. It would seem like no matter how hard I tried, it would always come back to that. Even if I would have 10 days completely different and one day, that was that one thing. And then it would be like, Oh, yeah, you're just moody. And it's like, oh my gosh, so this is just what it is. This is just who I am. That must just be who I am. Because no matter what else I try to do, everyone always is gonna describe me as that. So that just must be who I am. 


The other way I think we tend to look at our own identity is through our circumstances. We take our jobs, and we take our positions, and we take our titles and we take the accomplishments we've obtained and have succeeded at We take all of that stuff, our classifications, and we take those, and we think that that's who we are. These are all things that we can't control. We take all of our circumstances, the things that we can't control, and we believe and make those to be who we are. And when I say like, we can't control them, I don't mean that you could have never controlled them. I mean, right now at this moment, so like, like I said, like, the accomplishments we've had, I'm not saying you didn't do something to get those accomplishments, but like now, like, say, a certification or a degree, like now you already have that. And so now that's just what it is. 


You have a degree, you have a certification. That is something at this point, right? This moment, you can't control like the degree is there, the certification is there, that's something you have already.


So we take all of that Those things those circumstances, like a job, and we make that who we are. For example, like for me, if I was telling you like, my circumstances, like my circumstantial identity, I would say like, I'm a coach. I am educated. I have a bachelor's degree. I have a master's degree. I have two certifications, one in mental performance, one in life coaching. I'm a mom. I'm an African American. I'm a woman. These are all circumstances. Those are all circumstantial identities. For me. Those are things of like, who I am, but from what I do what I've obtained the accomplishments I've had the classifications that I am. 


So I want to take a moment to kind of like, tell you guys about a story. This is a story you may have already heard before. But I think it fits great with what we're talking about. And it's a story of a little girl who was watching her mom cook. And her mom was cooking a ham and her mom cut off the ends of the ham. And she's like, "Mom, why do you cut off the ends of the ham?" And she said, "Well, I learned how to cook a ham from your grandmother. And that's just how she always did it. I don't know. Ask her. It could be so that the ham could soak up more juice." And so the little girl asked her grandmother, "Grandma, I was watching mom, cook a ham, she cut off the ends of the ham. And she said she learned from you. Why do you cut off the ends of the ham?" And the grandma said, "honestly, I don't know. I learned from my mother. She always cut off the ends of the ham. I think it could be to soak up more juice. Ask your great grandmother." So the little girl goes to her great grandmother and says, "great grandma, why do you cut off the ends of the ham when you cook it? I asked my mom, I asked Grandma, neither of them really knew. So can you please tell me?" And she laughs the Great Grandma laughs and says, "Oh, honey, I cut off the ends of the ham because honestly, I never had a pan that could fit the whole ham. So I just cut off the end so that it could fit." And so the overall moral to this story again, some of you guys have probably heard this before. But the overall moral to the story, is to refrain from the mentality of we've just always done it that way without asking questions. 


But I want you guys like I want to take it a step further and show you how this can tie into our identity and hinder us when establishing a lifelong habit of exercise. Because I think a lot of times we use our circumstances, and what we've observed, and learned from watching and listening to other people. And we use those as reasons for not doing things. We use those for reasons of not being consistent for exercising. For example, like I said, I'm a mom. So we look and we've heard and we've listened. And we've learned from other people, that when you are a mom, and you have kids, kids should take priority. So therefore, you shouldn't prioritize your own needs. Because if you want to be a good mom, a good mom doesn't prioritize their own needs. A good mom always only puts the needs of the kids first. And I think that's what we learned, and we watch and we listen, and we've seen other people and we've heard and seen that in order to be a good mom. You have to put yourself completely on the back burner.


And we use that as an excuse to not do things such as exercise. So what that story of the we've always done it that way. It's kind of like well, all the moms all the good moms have always made sure to put their kids first and never prioritize anything about themselves, and not make themselves a priority.


I think one of the things for myself, I make myself a priority. And I think I'm a good mom because I make myself a priority. Without being able to make myself a priority. I wouldn't be able to give my daughter 100% of myself. I wouldn't be able to spend quality time with her. If I didn't take time to make myself a priority. Take care of myself, but we look around. And we think because of the things that we've learned, the things that we've always done it that way. And we've always taken care of the kids first, and made sure that we don't prioritize anything in our own lives over the kids. I think that is one way that that story shows us the we've always done it that way mentality. And I wanted to tie that into the habit of exercise. The other thing is like, I'm a college coach, I'm a college basketball coach. And the we've always done it that way type of mentality for college coaches is like you would think that I would have to be working 24 seven, and therefore I should never have a personal life if I want to be successful in the business of college coaching. And that was something that I had to look at and see that kind of question that we've always done it this way mentality. So I want you guys to like start being looking out for those things. Are you with your identity with who I am? 


Are you in that mindset of, we've always done that way because of what you've learned what you've seen the things that you've heard on people that are moms or people that are similar to your circumstances. And I want you guys to listen to me. And I want you guys to take a moment right now to really listen carefully. Who do you think you are?Because of your circumstances. Who do you think you have to be? Because of what you do? Who do you think you have to be? Whether it's your job title. Whether it's something like you're a mom, you're a wife, you're a daughter, you're an aunt, you're an uncle, you're a dad. Who do you think you have to be because of what you do, or the accomplishments you've had, or the titles or the position that you hold? Who do you think you are? What if you didn't do that? Because of what you do, who do you think you have to be? And what if you weren't?


Who would you be without doing what you thought you had to do? Because of your circumstances? I want to say that again. Who do you think you would be without doing what you thought you had to do, because of your circumstances? We've talked about circumstantial identity, the identity that comes with your circumstances, like, what you do, the positions, the accomplishments that you've had, those type of identities. We've also talked about the identities that are other people's descriptive words that you've embraced. And one thing that is almost inevitable when you use other people's descriptive words, if you embrace those, or when you use circumstantial identity, your circumstances as your identity. One of the things that is almost inevitable is that you are going to be disappointed and that you're going to be almost at all loss at some point, because you are connecting yourself with a thing that you do. So if that is ever taken from you, if you ever decide to change, you are going to be really, really questioning yourself and who you are because you thought you were what you do. Or you thought you were, what other people said you were. So that is something to be extremely careful about. So I want to talk about true identity really briefly, but true identity is who you are. When everything is stripped away. When all the titles, all the positions, all the groups you're a part of, all the accomplishments. When all of those are stripped away. Who are you? When there's nothing left, that is outside of your control, who are you?


The nice thing about identity is that I know a lot of us are probably really thinking right now on Who am I? But the real importance doesn't lie with like trying to figure out who you've been in the past, but more so instead trying to figure out who you want to be. Not who I've been in the past. Right now, it's more about like, who do you want to be? Now, without all of your circumstances, I want you to think about who are you. Until next time. 


If you guys love this podcast, you will love my Check Your TEMP program. It is a personalized program that we dig deep into everything we discuss on this podcast. Work with me for one month and never stop exercising again. Head over to to set up a FREE Mini session.

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