Safe Places: Identity Health

The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose – Richard Grant

Your Identity

Personally Identifiable Information (PII), as defined by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) is “any information about an individual maintained by an agency including any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity such as name, social security number, date and place of birth or biometric information.” An example of biometrics that we commonly use are fingerprints, facial recognition, and retinal scans. 

No one else has fingerprints like yours. That’s why, on criminal shows, one of the first questions asked by detectives at the scene of a crime is if fingerprints were found. Fingerprints will determine who was there and help identify the criminal. There are over six billion people on this planet, and each has a unique set of fingerprints. We can use our fingerprints as a lock feature for our phones. Your social security number or picture identification is a PII. Your passport and birth certificate are PIIs as well. Like fingerprints, passports, picture identification, and social security numbers, your purpose is also PII. You had a purpose before you had a birth certificate, an identification number, a passport, or even a fingerprint. God created you after He purposed you.

When you understand you have a purpose, you will find your way to your destiny.

Your purpose is the “why” of your existence. One of the most common questions that everyone asks is, “Why am I here?”

What Constitutes A Healthy Identity 

Mental and identity health are intertwined. Healthy identity is directly proportional to a healthy mind. While several qualities constitute a healthy identity, I will highlight two:

Purpose is a unique identifier and a universal predictor of potential. It is the channel through which human potential comes to light. W. Clement Stone observed, “Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” Through purpose, we find that we are worth more than a paycheck. This reflects an observation from President Barack Obama, “Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your potential.” That something larger is purpose and it matters because others benefit from it.

Our identity is strengthened when we realize we are born with a purpose that cannot be stolen.

Value is the intrinsic worth a person carries not because of wealth or status but because they are human. Everyone has intrinsic value and according to leadership guru John Maxwell, “personal value influences and guides behavior.” In a time when people are devalued, I admire my friend Samson because he sees value in everyone he meets. I observe this trait in how he interacts with people and makes them feel important and always looks for ways to add value to people. He is a safe place for people to know they have value, and that value can increase. He’s taught me that your view of someone determines your value of them. Not knowing your value can be costly to your identity and diminish your ability to see and take advantage of opportunities 

How to Build Safe Places for Identity Health

Becoming a safe place for identity health requires this basic knowledge; everyone is created with purpose and value. There is value in a $100 bill, whether you crumble it, step on it, tear it in two and tape it together, dip it in water and let it dry, or put mud on it. Its value is intrinsic and can never be lost. Many people have been crumbled, stepped on, broken, and traumatized by life, but their value remains. They still have a purpose. As a safe place, your goal is to help them realize their value and discover their purpose like digging through dirt to find buried treasure. Most of us fall victim to our experiences, environment, and statistics that seem to cancel out our potential which is connected to our purpose and value.

A safe place allows people to discover who they are and what they were created to do despite the odds. A safe place for identity health promotes purpose and value.

Final Thought: Identity health is crucial in life. Knowing that everyone has a purpose and value despite their background, color, or experiences makes you a safe place where a person can thrive in all areas of life. A safe place for identity health begins with how you view people according to their purpose and value.

Keep on keeping on!  


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