Marianne Klancke: Who do you think you are?
July 23, 2009
How many of us, in our exuberant youth, were interrogated with stern and accusatory tones by our parents and various other authority figures? We were often asked: Who do you think you are? I can just hear my father posing this question to which there was no real expectation of response.
What were you thinking? This inquiry, too, was not really meant to be explored. Another rhetorical favorite was: How would that make you feel? This question was offered more as a convoluted demand for behavior modification rather than an authentic interest in anyone’s feelings. And finally, the favorite query of all disciplinarians, meant to stop anyone in their tracks, was: What do you think you are dooo-ing?
Now, I want you to fast forward to your adulthood. As a life coach, I ask these four questions of intelligent, well-behaved adults on a constant basis. With a change of the tone and intent, all of these questions become fertile with self discovery, development and actualization. Human potential is my business and the exploration of identity, thoughts, feelings and actions are among the tools of my trade.
So, let me ask: Who do you think you are? Our core identity is key to our life interactions and contributions. One of our greatest roadblocks from manifesting success in what is significant to us is our own concept of self. Know, however, that our personal image is multi-faceted and can be very lively in contrast.
There is the you that is who we are in terms of physical existence. After that, the real identity fun begins. There is also the “who” that manifests in our thoughts, the “who” that others think we are, the “who” we want to be, the “who” we think others think we are, and, finally, the “who” we think others want us to be.
Who, then, is the best you? The answer may be in our next two childhood interrogatives: What were you thinking? and How would that make you feel? Feelings are the result of our formative thoughts and create the energy in our life experience. If you attend to your thoughts, you can feel your best.
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Neural brain studies disclose the disruptive mental state of “threat” we experience by ignoring our feelings. Mindfully bring your feelings into the full light. Developing our thoughts and discovering our feelings are essential to realizing our desired potential, both individually and collectively.
Sadly, our society draws a strong discriminatory line between facts and feelings, including emotions, instincts, opinions, and values. Factual input is deemed to be knowledge and the others are, well, just not considered appropriate for anything official.
However, the fact is, our brains do not prove to be as clever with our problem solving as we have always thought. Emotional regulation is gaining points in the big brain bowl and rising in popularity as a viable ingredient of wisdom. This fact should allow the signature Grand County sense of community to hold its place of honor in our decision making and subsequent actions.
Actions are great indicators of our emotions. If you want to get a clue, ask yourself, “What do I think I am doing?” Better yet, the pointed question is: Am I doing what I thiiinnnk? Well, are you? Do you activate what you contemplate?
The more we think and deeply feel our desires; the more we are drawn to act, react, and interact in unison with our own compelling sensations. It is our feelings that can literally be measured by their electromagnetic charges of energy. Personal fulfillment and joy register high vibrations. By matching your actions with your best values, you can create a positive formula for potential.
I am sure our parents cared deeply about our human potential. Indeed, they wanted us to be all that we could be – but only if it was quiet, did not pester our siblings, or get us suspended from school. Hence, their coded questions: What were you thinking? How would that make you feel? What do you think you are dooo-ing? Who do you think you are?
– Marianne Klancke is a certified professional coach and group development facilitator. What are your coaching questions or communication concerns? She welcomes any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.