How we perceive ourselves and how others perceive who we are can be two different things. There is so much of our life that’s spend inside our heads and our hearts, we just assume that this information kind of bubbles over enough that people get a sense of who you are.
We tend to see ourselves in 3D, while others only see an outline, our shadows, a 2D silhouette at best, when in reality we are far more than could ever be conceived of or explained in 3D.
People do not see who you are as a person, they only have access to a limited amount of data, which they measure with their own prejudices to draw a conclusion about who they think you are.
It’s certainly not enough for people to know what you do for a living. Often we are judged and categorized by our jobs, or job titles, which hardly indicates who you are as a person, but nonetheless, once someone has learned about your career, they automatically associate certain attributes to you, and once they’ve done that they don’t really care to know who you really are because they’ve already made up their mind about who you are.
Concerning what you do for a living, even though others have an idea of your functioning roll in what you do, they have no idea why you do what you do, or for whose benefit. Far more than what you do, you are a complex variety of skills, strengths, expertise, gifts and special abilities, as well as having a unique purpose and message that makes you who you really are.
People who have a high degree of efficiency in delivering their personal array or their true identity are identifiable and unlikely to be lost among the mob, tribe or community where they reside. Other people get a sense that there is something different about them (if they only knew, there’s something different about all of us).
Starting with what you do, or your job title, stop letting others define you by your title. Instead of saying what your title is, or what you do, interject some unique details about you, because I guarantee, as much as you do the same thing that everyone else does in your job, what you do is unique, because you bring something to the color and flavor of what you do that no one else can duplicate.
In order to adequately present who you are to someone else, you need to have a good working knowledge of who you are. You may not give this much thought, because no one knows you better than you do, and you just take yourself for granted. But put it into words and write it on paper, who you are.
What are your skills, strengths, expertise, gifts, special abilities, purpose and message?
Write them down.
Once you have your list ask yourself, which of these things do I want other people to understand about me and who I am?
Now, you’ve got something to work with. There’s a good chance that more than half of the things on this final list of what you’d like others to have an idea about you, they have no clue.
Once you have this list it’s on you to do the work of finding ways to expose these important facets of your life, otherwise people will only know you by what they see on the surface, like “He’s a stock broker, who cracks people up with his jokes.” when you are so much more than a broker with a good sense of humor, but if that’s all they see, then to them, that’s all you are. Additionally, they have likely made judgment calls based on their person prejudices based on you’re being a stock broker as well.
So, it’s up to you to find ways to let the real you shine through, if you want people to see you for more than what you appear to be on the surface.
If you don’t want anyone to know anything about you, and you’re more comfortable keeping yourself a secret, there’s nothing wrong with that. In this case, you need to be true to you and protect yourself in any way you see fit. These recommendations are not for you.
The idea of publicly declaring and defining who you are as an individual is only for those of you who have a desire to present yourself individually to your peers, and to separate yourself from the pack, for whatever reason.