Who Am I And What Do I Bring

by Catherine Gray

Who am I and what do I bring?

I don’t know how often you have these kinds of conversations but I’m always interested in discussions about what we need to leave outside of the coaching space and what we are noticing about what we bring in.

I recently facilitated a course for Christians in the workplace which focused on emotional intelligence, use of language, and culture change and this is one of the Bible passages we focused on:

Colossians 3:12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

It got me thinking about what being authentic in the coaching space looks like.

I’d also had a previous discussion with a group of freelancers where we tried to define authenticity and what we came up with was the phrase: ’being who I really am.

But what does that actually mean?

Let me introduce you to the Cat who is the ‘real’ Cat at home. She is quite lazy, watches a lot of tv, has fun with her kids, does a minimal amount of cleaning, and can spend far too much time on her laptop doing work admin. The real Cat who shows up to her friends is the person to try new things with, who loves having a deep chat and a silly chat within 30 seconds of each other, the one who is loyal, a bit bonkers, and the person who organizes all the get-togethers. The Cat who shows up at work is focused, determined, highly organized, hardworking, loves challenging people, and can’t wait to see everyone grow and develop.

Which of those is me being most authentic?

In the passage, God asks us to put things on. That probably means we can forget to put them on…or choose not to put them on too! I think this is a helpful analogy to run with when looking at our authentic selves when we are in different scenarios. We put different clothes and giftings on when we walk into different rooms and that doesn’t necessarily mean we are being any less true to our ‘real’ selves.

Do I wish I could just switch on kindness, meekness, and patience when everything is feeling really tricky and a certain person just seems to constantly wind me up? Of course. Is that easy? Absolutely not. So is it being more true to who God has made me to be to stand up for something and potentially ‘make a scene’ or is it more true of the real me to stay quiet when accused? He has collectively asked us to be his ambassadors so we do all stand for certain things regardless of our uniqueness but there are also things he has placed in you that make you stand out and therefore draw people to Jesus that way too.

For me, this comes down to the difference between my being and my doing. I had M.E from when I was 10 to when I was 19 so when I was applying for university and then applying for jobs and answering all the questions about who I was, what I was good at, and what my experience was, I had very little to say!

I didn’t ‘do’ anything – I had spent 9 years lying down! Over years of focusing on self-development and focusing on what God has to say about me this is what I’ve realised.

I can tell you that I coach. I facilitate. I foster. I can be found on the prayer ministry and prophetic team. I own 2 businesses.  But all of those are linked to a role or a job title I can currently say I have. What if all of those stopped being true, stopped existing? Who would I be then?

God is known through a lot of ‘I AM’ statements which say a lot about how you can perceive Him or approach Him or about what He brings to a situation. They are not the ones that focus on a title such as ‘King,’ ‘Lord’ or ‘Saviour.’ Let’s take a quick look at them:

  1. I Am the Bread of Life – John 6
  2. I Am the Light of the World – John 8
  3. I Am the Gate of the Sheepfold – John 10
  4. I Am the Good Shepherd – John 10
  5. I Am the Resurrection and the Life – John 11
  6. I Am the Way, Truth, and Life – John 14
  7. I Am the True Vine – John 15

They all need a bit of unpacking and exploring, don’t they? But they are wonderful descriptions of who He is precisely because He is I AM.

I started wondering what would happen if I viewed who I was and what I bring to any room that I walk into through the lens of ‘I AM.’ Here’s what I found:

I am a hope holder – my website tells you I have an unwavering hope for the future and my personality type means that I will always be optimistic so I can sit with people in the darkest of places and still believe something will change for the better.

I am a barometer for joy – I notice it (or the lack of it) in others. I can inject it into a situation if needed.

I am a puzzle solver and a navigator – I LOVE finding a new way to do things or solve a problem that everyone else thinks is impossible.

I am an excavator – whether it’s with the care and attention of an archaeological brush or the depth and speed of a mechanical digger, I want to get to the real issue in order for us to make the greatest discoveries.

I am a catalyst – I jump-start things and then am happy to let them carry on without me.

I am someone with spiritual insight – I hear from God and therefore create a space where I just assume you will too.

All of these things are true to how I show up and what my authenticity looks like, no matter what the current label I have regarding my role. I find that so fascinating, comforting, and exciting.

So, I want you to take some time to reflect now. Ask God some questions about this too.

What are your ‘I AM statements’ – who are you regardless of role or title?

And if you don’t know where to even start with this – who or where is going to help you with that?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Cat is a Leadership and Talent Coach who loves to see people aligned with their strengths and giftings so that they can keep growing in joy both at home and at work. She is passionate about enabling people to hear from God about all aspects of their lives on a regular basis. Cat lives in Bristol, UK with her husband, two sons, and occasional foster children and loves to read, paddle board, and go on new adventures whenever possible.

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