Building Our Identity

“Ohhhh… I guess I can see that” – is usually the response I get when I answer “theatre” for what I got my degree in.
As Finn and I waited for the show to start, I found myself thinking about identity.
Identity is tricky because it starts young and starts wrong.
We build our identity around what we do, not who we are.
And with youth sports specialization becoming the giant industry that it is, kids are finding themselves labeled with a sport or pursuit before they even hit middle school.
You can’t fault anyone in middle school or high school for latching onto an identity rooted in an external activity. That is much easier than trying to figure out who you are as a person- and no one is looking to make those years harder than necessary.
But here’s the problem, if you go through life attaching your identity to what you do and not who you are, you are constantly in a state of fragility which equates to fear. Because your job, be it a banker or NFL linebacker- is out of your control. You could get fired tomorrow. Injured tomorrow. Sick tomorrow.
This week was filled with football and theatre for me and this very topic of identity came up in multiple conversations. Conversations that more youth coaches, directors, parents and teachers need to have with kids and teens.
As I watched a truly incredible student led middle school production of Frozen (both performances sold out with an audience of 800 plus per show)- I couldn’t help but spend a little time thinking back to when I took my first basic acting class with a handful of Hawkeye football players to satisfy a gen ed credit. I had no idea that I would become a theatre major, abandon the path to law school, start my own business and 16 years later be watching my own daughter perform on stage after spending the week meeting with NFL teams about what I can offer with leadership development and mindfulness work.
It’s a fun world isn’t it?
My identity isn’t dependent on how others see me, or what I do. Which gives me the freedom to pursue what matters most, without fear of losing the integrity of my identity.

Follow For Daily Posts and Baby Goat Videos!

About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.


As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top