Do You Even Know Your Name?

Asking you if you know your name might seem a strange question. Of course you do, you’ve known it your whole life!

But what I mean is not just about knowing the name other people know you by.

I mean do you really know your name? Do you know who you are?

Is the real, natural you clear for you, and the rest of the world, to see?

Or, have you become so far removed from the real you, has the path you feel is the natural one for you to follow become so overgrown with weeds and brambles that you can barely locate where it is, let alone walk along it?

image: eastangerine

In a recent post we talked about your inner compass and how it is always there to guide you, even it feels dusty and cracked sometimes.

Think about your creative life specifically for a moment. Think of the times when you feel: This is me, this is what I really love doing, this is how I want to spend my creative time, this is my creative “home”.

Take a moment to write these experiences out, the times when you’re enjoying your creativity most. The times you’re being most you.

You can of course expand this idea to the rest of your life. When are you most at peace with yourself, when do you feel you’re just being you, your real name worn proud for the world to see? Again write them down.

Knowing how to be happy and creative is the easiest thing in the world. But sometimes it feels like the hardest to actually get there.

The only (inner) guidance you need comes in two parts.

The first part is to ask yourself what really makes you feel happy, most alive, most yourself? How can you bring more of those things into your life? This doesn’t mean a radical overhaul of your whole life. It begins with the simplest acts.

Maybe you love writing short science fiction stories. How can you incorporate that more into your daily life? How can you commit regular time to something that makes you feel more you?

Maybe you enjoy hosting meals and parties for family and friends. Again, how can you do this more? How can you get involved in helping others do the same?

The other part is to ask what makes you unhappy. Or more specifically what makes you feel so far off your own path you can’t even see it? Which are those times when you barely recognise yourself, when you barely know your own name?

How can you reduce, and eventually eliminate, these experiences from your life? How can you be more clear and more kind with yourself, not putting yourself through unnecessary struggle?

Often, the tiniest actions can bring about the biggest shifts.

A personal example is when I first began coaching years ago I had business cards printed with my full name – Daniel James Goodwin – because it felt like the professional, business-like thing to do. But it just didn’t sit right. When I realised a few months down the line that virtually everyone I know calls me Dan, I dropped the Daniel James and used the name I’m most familiar with, most me.

This little shift in turn gave me the freedom to change my direction and focus to being purely on Creativity Coaching, rather than the more general Life Coaching that I wasn’t anywhere near as comfortable in with my full, more ungainly name.

Remember, you know your name, your real name, and you also know the kind of things that will enable you to wear your name badge proudly. You can never forget it.

Listen to what you know, listen to yourself, and be you. No-one else in the world can do it as well!

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