top of page

Knowing Me - My Journey

So, who are you? What shaped you that way?

There is that old question, ‘nature or nurture’? What shapes who we are? Is it our genetics or the experiences that we have that make us who we are today? In reality, it is probably a mixture of them both. The experiences that we go through, the journey we have been on in life can have a significant impact on who we are. Depending on how we process them, we can develop them to enhance our identity.


Identity is not static.

Our character is formed by how we process our thoughts. Our thoughts lead to feelings and we then choose to make actions based on how we process those thoughts and feelings. The more we do those actions it becomes a habit and ultimately part of our character. This means that we can shape the character we want by shaping our thoughts and thinking. With clients, I encourage them to use PAUSE; REFLECT; RESPOND. By taking time to reflect on your thoughts and deciding which of them you want to action and respond with, this helps shape our character.


Processing our experiences

The person I am today is very different to the 10-year-old Colin, the 20-year-old Colin, the 30-year-old Colin, the 40-year-old Colin and even the 50-year-old Colin. My character and behaviour have grown and developed through each of those milestones. I would hope that I am older, wiser and calmer because I have chosen to listen and learn from the experiences that I have had. We can choose to see our experiences as good or bad or we can choose to see them as learning experiences.


Lemony Snicketts

Lemony Snickett wrote the books of ‘A series of unfortunate events’. When we have a series of unfortunate events, we can process it in a way that is unhelpful. We can think that these events reflect on us and we make changes to our behaviour and character to avoid being in this situation again. For example, a series of events where people are unkind to us in our childhood, teenage years and young adult hood and so the person adapts their behaviour to avoid that again, for example in being super servient or very quiet to avoid the attention. This identity helps us avoid those feelings again but often creates other problems and is a somewhat ‘calcified’ identity masking the person we could be. Un-calcifying ourselves starts when we recognise that maybe there are other explanations to these events and they tell us more about the unpleasantness or sad situations of other people than us. The calcification can begin to drop off when we make peace with our story, consider what we have learnt from it and then start to ask ourselves who we want to be now.


Making Peace with your story

Sometimes things happen, beyond your control, that affect our story. The death of a loved one, an injury or illness that affect our opportunities or a decision that someone else makes. Sometimes it is a decision that we made that changes the course of our life in a way we had not wished for. In these moments we find ourselves mourning the life that we have lost or hoped for. It is ok to mourn this. The problem comes when we then lose the life it could become because we have not made peace with our story, acknowledged the part we had to play and let go of the things that we could not control in those moments.

The key thing here is to REVIEW what happened. REFRAME and re-understand it in a more helpful way. REBUILD yourself with an identity that is more helpful to you and others.

We can then ask ourselves,

  • What have I learnt from this?

  • What can I use for good from this?

  • What can I use to enhance my character and identity?


My journey

I grew up as a son of a farmhand. We were very poor as a family and that resulted in some teasing for trousers that had been grown out of or jumpers that were hand knitted. That helped shape my thankfulness for things in life and that people are all valuable. My parents modelled hard work and commitment and that in turn helped shape me to do the best I can with all I have in any moment. Hard work brings achievement. In my childhood and teens, Key people like church youth workers helped me to feel valued and so I seek to do the same to others. The route I took to do this was to work in education and 17 years of this as a headteacher. Some mistakes at work when I was in my late 40’s, when I did not spot the mistake of others with missing reference paperwork, caused an earlier than planned exit from my job as my employer allocated all the blame on me and ‘asked me to leave’. As a result, I learned how to deal with public failure and unkind actions and as a result I now help others through coaching to process their story and manage their challenges. All of these life and leadership experiences help me to help others with my purpose to EMPOWER people.


That’s a bit of my story that has shaped my identity today. What is yours?




Can we help you? 

We hope this blog has been helpful and if you would like some more targeted support to explore discovering your identity and gain better insight then Everyday Leader is here to help you. We particularly want to help you if you have found it hard to make peace with your story. We would love to help you REVIEW; REFRAME and REBUILD. Our clients find their coaching empowering, as we help them gain a full perspective and find a way forward.  If you have a challenge and you would like our support, then do get in contact with us. Give us a call on 01449 710438 or email if you would like us to help you explore this and empower you.  



Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page