Muhammad Ali said “I am the greatest!” Usain Bolt said “I am a legend”. What confidence! I can think of a few others such as Beanie Man who answers this question based on his sexual prowess and attraction as he chants in his song – “Who am I?, the girl dem sugar!!!”
This question has the power to elicit confidence as well as confusion, delusion, and doubt. Often times the question comes from the need to introduce oneself. With hand outstretched, do you give your name? “Hi, I am Delaney”, or “My name is Jordan and I am a singer/song writer”. This kind of response indicates the perceived value of associating “who you are” with “what you do”. Have you ever seen the reaction of “Hi, I’m David and I am a doctor” to the response of, “Oh, nice to meet you David, what kind of doctor are you?” What about you? Don’t you have an identity to share? This is a total hand-off of power and importance.
Helen Reddy wrote an awesome song, which peaked the billboard in 1972 that speaks to this topic. The lyrics proudly and loudly stated:
“I am woman, hear me roar, In numbers too big to ignore”….
But this kind of confidence does not come cheap, as you can see as she continues:
You can bend but never break me ’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal. And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer’ cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul
No one’s ever gonna keep me down again.
Oh yes I am wise, But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price, but look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything, I am strong, I am invincible.
I am woman
Ask a child “who are you”, they typically give you their name which is the only symbol of identity they are aware of in addition to their gender. But to the individual who have gone through some life experiences, there is a much broader perspective. The person who has licked cancer says “I am a survivor”. The student who had bean financial odds in school can say “I am a graduate”. Sweet! This confidence is built on reputation and achievement that is unrefuted.
A doctor asked me once, “who are you?” and I was thrown by the question, which seemed so unusual coming from a physician. He said, “I have your information here, you name age, etc., but what I want to know is, who are you, what is not written here”. Need I say I had mad respect for him after that?
Additionally, this is usually a make or break question at an interview. Simply, “who are you?” Again, in this context it is not about what your name is, your marital status or the number of children you have. It’s an opportunity to sell yourself with confidence. To highlight the skills you bring to the table in alignment with the position you are being interviewed for. Why you are the best candidate!
So take a moment and think about this powerful question, and answer yourself….Who am I? I hope you will be able to answer with much confidence…I am more than my profession, I am more than my education, more than my gender…You are the sum total of all your experiences. You are special.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.