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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Identity Paraphrases

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


February 29, 2016

Each individual and group holds a sense of who they are, often unspoken. It might be parent, leader, collaborators, colleagues, or friends. Our identity is the overarching self view that influences our choices, decisions, and actions. We often recall a person who spoke to us of being overwhelmed by the demands of her life. When paraphrased, “You are a busy person,” she saw a deep part of herself that had learned this identity from childhood. When she examined that identity, she realized she had other choices. Naming identity gives consciousness to what may have been unconscious.

Identity paraphrases can be as simple as, “You are…” or “You are a person who…” or “We are a group who…” When we name identity, we give access to the internal self and provide opportunities to examine who we want to be in the world. This is true for groups as well.

Identity paraphrasing is challenging because is requires listening for being. Ask yourself, who am I hearing this person or group be? Try that out with various conversations you are a part of during this week.

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