Exercise: My Identities

The Multi-Faceted Nature of Identity

We all see different situations from different perspectives; in large part because of who we are. But who we are—our identity—doesn’t boil down to just one thing. In fact, we all have lots of identities.

The following little exercise will drive this point home—help you take stock of your own cognitive diversity—through some questions about yourself:

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Understanding your own multi-faceted identities can help you operate from a place of strength. Knowing the unique perspectives you can bring to a group, even when those perspectives are not obvious from looking at you, can help you reinforce an important fact:

Identities are tools we can use, not objects that we are.

As we journey through our lives, learn, and join different groups, we take on additional identities—and sometimes let go of others. In other words, we don’t have to operate from a fixed place when it comes to identity and perspective.

Understanding this can also help you understand the cognitive diversity around you—and where you could use more of it in your life.

Think about this while we spend the next few lessons talking about dealing with our differences when we collaborate.