Knowing who we want to become

The second of the three ways in which people can sometimes get stuck is when they aren’t sure who or what they want to become. This lack of clarity about direction and purpose can make all options seem equally (ir)relevant. And that, in turn, can lead to indecision, overthinking, and getting bogged down.

This means that another option to add to your list of opportunities in any situation can be to spend time getting clearer on who it is you want to become. You can use the tools of Chapters 1 and 2 to achieve this. Chapters 4 and 5 will bring additional clarity. But if you choose this option, be sure it doesn’t turn into a way of avoiding a decision: set limits. Be clear on what clarity you will obtain, by when, and how you will go about doing so. Then take the best decision you can.

If you realise there is no particular date by which you need to take a decision, ask yourself whether this is really a priority for you. Do you need to take a decision at all? Why? This can bring additional clarity.

Most of all, remember that it is better to have done the work on this before you need the answer. We will rarely know the answer with complete certainty and often it is only by taking a decision and moving forward that we really get to learn more about what we like and what we don’t. So, no matter how things turn out, a choice to move forward will bring us greater clarity on what we want and what we want to avoid. That helps us choose the next step. The biggest mistake can be simply to stay where we are.

In a time of churning, all ways forward are likely to seem difficult. Doing the work to get clear on who you want to become can be a big help in choosing a direction to move forward.

Adapted from Inner Leadership.

Photo By Nationaal Archief via

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