Let’s Get Personal: Tell Me Who You Are and Who You Want to Be

Do you ever say to yourself,

“I wish I could be more ______________________.”

“I don’t understand why I always _____________________.”

“I’ll never be like______________________.”

This kind of negative self-talk is more familiar than we’d probably like to admit.

There’s a reason I talk about mission so much; it’s the message I need to hear. “Follow your mission, not the madness,” I always say.

As this year draws to a close, you may be thinking about what you want next year to look like.

Me too.

I love thinking about the future.

That’s why every year I choose one word that sort of becomes the embodiment of my aspirational self for the year.

Over the last few months, I’ve spent a lot of time inhabiting a space I can only describe as self discovery. Isn’t it weird how life is like that? When you’re a kid, all you care about is having fun. You don’t even really think about the person you are—or the person you’re becoming. And then in middle school and high school well-meaning friends write things in your yearbook like “Stay sweet” and “Don’t ever change.” And I don’t know if everybody was like this or it was just me, but I remember thinking, “God, I hope I’m not the same person in twenty years that I am today.”

Thankfully we are not static.

Over time, everything changes.

Including people.

When my middle school friends said, “Don’t ever change,” surely they didn’t really mean don’t ever change. In middle school, I was petty, self-absorbed, painfully shy, and overly judgmental. The best parts of me hadn’t yet had a chance to grow.

Never-changing should never be the goal.

And so this year, my word is DYNAMIC.

It’s true some things are static. I’ll never be able to belt out a beautiful rendition of “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” because I’m completely tone deaf, but I can learn how to play that song on the piano.

There’s more than one way to make music. The symphony of our lives can be played out in many ways.

Several years ago I read a book that completely re-framed the way I thought about my limitations. Instead of saying, I can’t because__________________, the author asked us to focus on solutions by “keeping the oxygen of optimism alive.” Now, I say, “I can if__________________” and thus focus on how my goals might be possible rather than if they are possible at all.

See the difference?

This year, I’m going to stop beating myself up over the things I’m not, over the things I believed were always true about me, and instead focus on what could be. Like the world around me, I will be dynamic.




1. Characterized by constant change, activity or progress.

2. Having a lot of ideas and enthusiasm; continuously changing or developing; relating to forces that produce movement.

What’s your word of the year? I’d love to know!