When we introduce ourselves, we usually state “I am a/the [blank]…” based on the situation. If it’s a social situation, we explain our relationship to other people present. In a professional setting, we introduce ourselves by our function in the organization we represent.
But is this really what we want people to know about us?
A member of my church recently went so far as to write his own bio for his funeral program. He didn’t want to be remembered by what others thought he might think was important. He took the opportunity to say what had mattered in his life. You don’t have to go that far, however. There are many quick and fun ways to describe yourself.
Quick and Easy “I am …” Exercises
I recently found a “pin” on Pinterest in which the artist filled a capital “I” with things he considered himself to be, an idea I replicated in the photo on the left. You can fill your “I am” in an organized fashion or just use a stream of consciousness.
Writing an “I am” poem
Children are often encouraged to write about themselves, and “I am” poems are a common assignment. It’s not just for children, and doesn’t’ take long at all. Try following these instructions at readwritethink.org.
I Am … Scrapbooking
You can create a scrapbook about yourself or simply take a photo of yourself and journal around the perimeter of your photo. If you like digital scrapbooking with journaling, RLR Creations have some nice templates.
What to Include
Hats you wear
What role do you play at home versus with extended family? What functions do you perform at work? Do you wear volunteer hats? Are you involved in professional or civic organizations?
What you like
Your passions are part of who you are. Do you love nature or are you a puzzle worker? Do you cultivate African violets or brew beer? Write those things down!
Who your family thinks you are
Are you grandma to some and “the young one” to others? You may be highly respected in your field, but your teenagers might think of you as the teller of corny jokes. Are you the one relatives come to for financial advice? Are you the repository of family history? Write about these family “hats.”
Who others think you are
Do others think of you as the cook or confidante? Are you the one with the answers or the one with the probing questions? Are you the homebody they need to drag out on occasion or the social butterfly that gets everyone together?
I am-ing is no place for self-depreciation. If you’re your own worst critic, try to step out of that role as you describe yourself.
Don’t allow external factors to cloud your self-assessment. For instance, just because your kids aren’t perfectly behaved doesn’t mean you’re not a great mom or dad. If you’re not perched at the top of the corporate ladder, that doesn’t mean you’re not intelligent or competent. Who are you, really?