3.6 Editor's Pick
November 15, 2020

Do you cringe when people ask, “What Do You Do?” Read this.

Recently, someone asked me what I call myself.

This innocent inquiry brought up memories of grappling with a similar question: What do you do?

This is my least favorite question. For years after quitting my job, I didn’t have an answer. Following the prompt with awkward responses like, “Uhhh, well, I just quit my job, and I’m writing a book, and I’m driving Lyft, and I’m kinda just figuring it out.”

I felt lame. Without a good story, I had no identity. No sense of belonging.

I felt this, yet in another way, I was free. Free to do anything, go anywhere, and explore whatever I wanted. I was untethered from corporate responsibility and could find what lit me up inside. I was free to try things and create a new identity.

I called myself a writer, speaker, meditation teacher, and coach. I believed I was these roles long before I had anything to show for it.

People use the term fake it till you make it like “making it” is what matters and faking it means you’re not legit, aka making money.

I was a writer, not when I published my first book, but when I opened a blank document and wrote.

I was a meditation teacher, not when my tracks became popular on mindfulness apps, but when I asked a friend to meet me at the park to teach him what I knew.

I was a speaker, not when I got paid for my first presentation, but when I was the one paying to speak in a toastmasters’ group.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to express yourself. You’re not “official” when thousands of people watch your work. You’re a pro when you decide to be—when what you call yourself is what you do, regardless if it pays you or not.

My friend just started his hiking YouTube channel. He said he’s an “aspiring” YouTuber. I’m like, dude, you’re not aspiring. You’re doing it—own it.

Words are powerful. What we call ourselves puts a seed in our minds that we subconsciously prove. The psychological shift in owning who we are transforms what we see, do, and become.

So what do you call yourself?

Is it supportive of the greatest vision for your life?

Your self-definition doesn’t just have to be around work. When someone asks you what you do, your answer can be attitudinal, like, I’m a badass, I’m a problem solver, I’m a lover, I’m a friend.

The kicker is labels don’t ultimately matter. This is why you can call yourself whatever you want, then surrender that identity and try on another one. This allows us to let go of imposter syndrome.

Losing my identity was the best thing that ever happened. It showed me that behind all the labels—I am. And so are you. No matter what you do, while you’re alive, at your core, you just, are.

From that arises a blank canvas for you to write your story. They can be few or many. You can’t get it wrong because you will always, at your essence, just be.

I hope that feels as freeing to you as it does to me.

What identity do you want to try on?

What new story do you want to write?

It is my passion to help you create a life you love. Whether that be through meditations, courses, coaching, or writing, I hope they support your path in some way.

As always wishing you much love, peace, and guidance on your journey.

Your Meditation Guide, Coach, and Friend,


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Lou Redmond  |  Contribution: 4,745

author: Lou Redmond

Image: Author's own

Editor: Farah Hany

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