Shifting Your Identity to a Serving State

Identity is fluid if you’re open to evolving and changing. Everything we experience impacts our identity. Mine was once very rigid and self-serving, even when I had the best intentions. However, I realized this wasn’t a healthy path to continue on, and I wanted to shift to a serving state.

How I was able to do this is the heart of my book, The In-Between: Life in the Micro. It focuses on the two unique environments—the micro and macro. The micro is the in-between consisting of all the little moments in life. The macro is the big picture, encompassing goals and milestones.

I spent most of my life only paying attention to the macro. It had devastating consequences until I was able to shift my identity.

Self-Serving vs. Serving States

Being self-serving is necessary for survival, physically or emotionally. We all have barriers that act as protectors. These are more present for those with a history of trauma. I was once in this category. I thought a “me against the world” philosophy was the best one to have. It allowed me to achieve some incredible goals, but my self-serving was often at the expense of others that I cared about.

A serving state steps up in the in-between. It’s empathy and action toward others. I had been working on this shift for some time. Witnessing a bad car accident was a key moment in realizing I’d accomplished this change.

In the moments of the crash, I did not think about how this would impact my day or plans. Instead, I removed my ego from the situation. I was someone who helped others and put their needs first. It was a feeling of purposefulness and connection.

Why Care About the Serving State?

Living a disconnected, macro-focused life may have its advantages. They could be monetary or food for your ego. It’s also a very lonely existence. Loneliness isn’t about isolation or lack of human interaction. Rather, it’s the feeling that no one else could possibly understand you. It becomes easy to serve only yourself.

A serving state is the opposite. You are open to others and give them your attention. This enables authentic connections. An identity that cares about the serving state provides opportunities to have meaningful micro-moments that make us better humans.

The Serving State and Actionable Awareness

Another concept in my book is actionable awareness. It’s the act of observing my thoughts, feelings, and actions in a situation and asking if they are serving me. From there, I want to act on this for myself and others. The action can change all this and be transformative.

In this feedback loop, I also remind myself that there is no failure, only feedback. I’m also listening to my gut and acting on it rather than sitting on the sidelines.

Moving to a serving state requires reflection and an embrace of the micro. You can learn more about how to do this by reading my book.

Trauma Creates a Wall to Micro-Moments

Everyone carries around the residue of trauma. Some of us have had more than our fair share, but it’s impossible to go through the human experience without acquiring some on the way. It shapes us in many ways. If unresolved, it causes trouble later on and can wall us off to micro-moments.

Why do micro-moments even matter? Well, they are the everyday connections and pockets of time that enable us to become better partners, friends, family members, and colleagues. Micro-moments were not on my radar for a long time, thanks to trauma. It made me want to be a superachiever with no time to be vulnerable.

Then, a lot of stuff happened, and I hit a rock-bottom moment of reflection. Instead of being blind to micro-moments, I began to embrace them. I share my journey in my book The In-Between: Life in the Micro.

I Didn’t Want to Be Hurt Again

When we experience trauma in childhood and adolescence, we develop a protective part of ourselves. This part of identity builds walls so we won’t be hurt again. However, the wall cuts out the good stuff, too, so we sit in a neutral spot.

I certainly didn’t want to encounter any more hurt in my life after my childhood. I thought that walling myself off was a good course of action. I just didn’t realize until many years later what I missed by only focusing on the macro.

Being Vulnerable Is Hard for the Traumatized

The traumatized brain fights to avoid vulnerability. That protective part wants to be in control. As a result, those with unresolved trauma are excellent at building walls. It seems to be the safe path, but what are we missing by not letting ourselves be vulnerable?

We miss out on the in-between and the micro-moments that are often joyful and illuminating. The journey to being able to be present and aware of these moments requires deep reflection and a desire to change.

Redefining Your Identity through Micro-Moments

The identity that keeps us from enjoying and living in the in-between must evolve. One approach to this is setting intentions. An intention is what we expect and want to happen. Without intentions, we become a victim of circumstances.

Intentions also have to be adaptable to the situation. Staying true to them helps us no longer be anxious and fearful of micro-moments and connections.

I learned about the value of micro-moments through this metamorphosis. When I was only concerned about the macro-moments, I achieved much, but I’m not proud of the old me. Reflection allowed me to look at the past through a new lens. It was necessary and uncomfortable. However, that’s how growth works.

There’s a lot to be excited about when you turn your attention to micro-moments. Without them, we have a life less lived. It’s changed the way I communicate and made me a more empathetic person, in general.

If you want to truly experience micro-moments, it’s time to think about why you brush them aside now. You’ll find more stories, tips, and more in my book.