Last week, I asked “Who Are You Becoming?”, but this week I am asking “Do You Know Who You Are?” …Lack of self-knowledge, self-acceptance, self-confidence, and overall awareness of self often leads to a disconnect between who you say that you are and who you actually present yourself as to those around you. This post is essentially a series of questions, and aspects of who you are that I want you to research and really think about. Don’t worry, I will explain the importance of each and use myself as an example along the way. This post contains 3 questions, but I plan to visit this concept soon with more questions for you to explore.
So, we are starting with something simple. Finding out what your name means is as simple as googling “what does ___(name)___ mean?”. When the search results come up, look for some type of baby name or parenting website, as they will also give you the origin of the name to. Do NOT use Urban Dictionary! Now, no shade intended, but some of us have “made-up” names. Meaning that whoever names you, did not use a baby name book and maybe they put two names together to get yours. If that applies to you, then I suggest using your middle name, the two names that your name was “born” from, or your last name. Feel free to choose your first name, middle name and or last. So, before I give you the break down of my name, let me explain why this is important. I believe that names are prophetic; your name is a part of who you are and who you are becoming. Whether your parents (or whoever named you), had this in mind when they chose a name or not doesn’t matter. Your name is a label that is a major part of your identity.
My name: Monique (French Origin: Monique is a variant of Mona or Madonna, which means Wise) Danae (Hebrew Origin: means God is my Judge) Jones (Hebrew Origin: A patronymic name meaning Son of John. The given name John derives from the Hebrew Yochanan meaning “Jehovah has favored. *I will also add that Jones was a popular surname for European Christians. However, during the period of slavery in America, slaves often took on the last name of their owners, which explains the number of African-Americans, including myself, that have this surname* )
Do you know where your family is from?
It is very important to know where you come from geographically, spiritually, as well as in mentality. Geographically, it is easier for some of us to trace our ancestries. Some of us know exactly which country our parents and grandparents came from. Others can only trace which state our parents and grandparents are from. While the geography and culture of your lineage are important, I do not want you to get caught up in the limited information that you may find. Find out what you can and then explore the other aspects of where your family is from. Spiritually it is important to trace the beliefs that have been held in your family and understand why any changes may have occurred. This helps you to build a base for your spiritual beliefs, and if they should stay the same or if they should change. Spirituality, history, socioeconomic status, mental health, and the health history of your family all affect the mentality of where you came from and how you were raised. Even if you never find out how all of these factors played a role in your life, it is undeniable that your environment was shaped by them. By gaining an understanding, you can decide how you want your life to progress, what patterns and habits you want to change, and who it is that you are becoming.
My family: My maternal family is from Jamaica (Kingston and Saint Ann’s Parish) and moved to America during my mother’s lifetime. My paternal family is from Wilson, North Carolina and arrived here during the period of slavery in America. Both of my parents lived in New York before living in North Carolina. Spiritually, my maternal family was Catholic and are now Christians. My paternal family have been Christians for years, my father was a PK (preachers kid) who became a pastor, which makes me a PK also. I won’t discuss the mentality of my family here, but it is something that I want you to explore and think about.
Do you know what your personality is?
I confess that this question could’ve have been worded better, but for the sake of alliteration, it shall stay. Now, I have done taken lots of these Myers-Briggs based personality inventories and I am usually borderline in some areas. I say that because I want you to understand that your assessed personality type may change as you gain life experience in various areas, or based on the situations that you are dealing with at the time that you take the quiz. Feel free to take the quiz again a few months from now, a year from now. Also feel free to take an official Myers-Briggs assessment, as it will be more accurate. It is important to have an deeper understanding of what your personality is, how you react to situations, how you assess situations, and what things energize you. This understanding will allow you to go through life more confident in your approach and more aware of when you will need to adapt your approach and perspective for optimal results. Here is the 10 minute quiz that I want you to take.
My personality: According to the quiz, I am a Defender (ISFJ-A). Defender’s believe that “we are not just born for ourselves” and we are “very dedicated and warm protectors, always ready to defend their loved one”. ISFJ-A: Introverted 58%, Observant 25%, Feeling 61%, Judging 69%, 54% Assertive. If you know me personally, or have been following my blog, or have read the About Project Empower U page, you will know that this is a pretty accurate assessment of my personality, passions, motivation, etc.