It's been awhile and I felt inspired to write today after hearing of and processing the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of Kobe Bryant and his daughter and seven other beautiful, amazing human beings, way too soon. It just makes me appreciate how precious life is and how we don't ever know when we are leaving. A quote from Kobe is what inspired me and the loose personal connection I have to this tragedy is that I played college baseball in Long Beach, California where Orange County College was in our division. Friends who I played with are still there and were close to Coach Altobelli, who was killed in the crash along with his wife and daughter. I can only hope that there is some strength left in the families to pull through this tragic and life altering event.
The quote from Kobe Bryant ( which i will come back to) and this event really got me thinking about life, about what I do, about what I've done and about what I am going to do. What mere my priorities, how do I want to live and what's what's important to me. It got me thinking about my identity and who I am. It got me thinking about what happened to me and being diagnosed with PTSD from doing my job as a firefighter and ultimately having to medically retire early from the fire service to find myself completely lost. I felt like I had lost my identity. I was so confused as to what was next for me because I lost myself in what I was doing. Don't get me wrong, being a firefighter takes a special person and you could say it could be a calling. There's an unparalleled connection and bond between brothers and sisters. And, although the job is filled with amazing experiences, if precautions aren't taken, the job can be filled with events that you can't unsee. Repeated, untreated exposure to trauma can be life altering. Every single thing I did was related to the fire department. My friends, family events, charity work in the community, travel, family events and more. My entire life was about being a firefighter, even when someone would introduce me it would be, "this is Brad, he's firefighter." And I was proud! Then, it was taken away. BAM! I'm no longer a firefighter. I no longer have that connection. I no longer have the support. I no longer have my identity. Or did I? I didn't even really know what identity was. I just did what I did and when it was taken away, I was lost. Similar to a professional athlete who retires due to injury or even someone who moves into a new city because a family member got a new job. What about when kids move out the house and now the stay at home mom who has devoted her life to raising the kids, has no idea what to do now? Or a child who was part of a team or group at school and now moves and has no team or group to connect with. They can all feel like they have lost their identity. Here's the good news! These things are real and, sometimes we get lost in the roles we play in life vs. our true identity. Your roles are "what you do." Roles are that you're a baseball player or a mom or an accountant etc. Those are the roles we play in life. Your identity is "who you are!" Your identity is having alignment with your beliefs and your values and learning to recognize the difference between roles and identity. Your identity is about letting go of the past so you're not trying to move forward, dragging that heaviness with you. Your identity is about visualizing what you want your future to look like and aligning it with your values (what's important to you) and really feeling it in your head, heart and gut by attaching emotion to your vision! This is how we can start living the life we want. Your identity is who you are at the core, not the role you play in life and what brings me back to Kobe. Kobe seemed to understand this and I want to share it with you in hopes that despite our own personal tragedies, experiences and ups/downs, that when we truly believe and live our lives based on our true identity, so we can live our absolute best life and be the best version of ourselves for long term success!
This quote from Kobe as he was talking about basketball and the way he plays.
"It's what I do, It's not who I am."
Thanks for allowing me to share this with you and you have any questions or want to learn more about how to discover your Identity by Design, please feel free to contact me.