Why Your Position Doesn't Define You

I think that it's common to associate leadership and position names such as "President" or "Officer" with worth, as they translate to a sense of power. They're like little medals that we get to wear, flaunting around in order to verify that yes, we matter. While these position names do of course come with a lot of responsibility, I think that sometimes we go for the position just to be able to wear that name with pride.

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The Hindsight series consists of guest posts from various bloggers sharing their stories on Bloomly about any personal experience that they might have encountered that reflects personal growth, self-improvement, and/or struggles with mental health. The Hindsight series is about looking back on experiences that shaped who we are and have helped us grow, which we only see now with hindsight.

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Faith (Life with Faith) talks about how she felt a strong need for a position in high school and college and how she realized that without it, her worth didn't change.

Throughout high school and college, you run into so many opportunities to be a leader and many go through many elections for specific leadership positions. From class president to BETA Club Historian, we’ve all been through those kind of things.

I want to be completely honest and transparent as possible today, in high school I was the girl that joined every club I was slightly interested in and I ran for every position that came open. I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be in control. I wanted a position. Those elections that came up time and time again were a big deal to me.

I wanted to be in control. I wanted a position.

When I got to college a little bit changed. I decided I was only going to join a few clubs I was really passionate about and ready to fully invest in. I realized that with the college course load I just wasn’t going to have the time or the energy to be a part of everything on my college campus, even if I wanted to. I accomplished that pretty well and have stuck to two organizations to participate in during any one semester or school year.

My freshman year, I only participated in Autism Speaks U and the beginning founding process of my sorority. During my sophomore year, I focused on my sorority and Delight Ministries. However, what didn't change was that need for a position. As a freshman, I planned for elections for the next year in all my clubs. And I actually did end up becoming Service Committee Chair in the sorority some girls and I were founding at the very end of the year. I was in charge of planning and executing all of our service events throughout our founding process and first semester on our campus. We made blankets for refugee families, we donated pencils to a local low income elementary school, handed out cookies to our fellow classmates at the start of exam week and so much more.

Holding this position was a lot of work and required a good amount of my time, but I truly loved it. I loved the fact that my sorority was able to impact people on our campus and in our city and I loved that I got to be a key part of making that happen.  I served until the end of my sophomore year until elections came up again.

I immediately searched for the next position I could hold.

Due to a couple of different reasons, I ended up not having any position at all by the end of the election period. So, as I prepared for summer and my junior year of college, I did not have any position in any of my clubs. I also want to add that at this point in time I was also considering trying to start another club, where I'd obviously have a leadership position if it came to be.

But as the year came to an end and positions were transferred to new girls, I changed my outlook on these positions. I realized that any position I held, or didn't hold, didn't define who I was. I wish I had some grand “ah ha” moment to share about when I came to this realization. However, if I’m being truly honest, I don’t have one. After the election process ended I slowly began to see that I didn’t feel any different without the position. I felt like I was the same person as Service Committee Chair and I did not having that role. I slowly saw that I didn’t need the position to feel good, successful, or worthy.

Whether I was president or just an active member, it didn't change who I was. My worth went beyond that.

I think this desire to hold a position of some sort really comes from the fact that society often sees "worth" or "being the best" as having a position or having control over something or someone. Worth is all too often measured by power. Worth is all too often measured by accomplishments or by the number of good things on a resume. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Now, I don't want you to get the wrong idea about what I'm trying to say. I'm not saying having a leadership position is bad. Having a leadership position or desiring to have one is not bad. It's a great thing to do and a great thing to strive for. What I am saying though is that it's not the only thing that defines the person holding it. People are so multidimensional that to judge a person by their position, or lack of one would be such a disservice to that person. Worth goes far beyond power or accomplishments.

A position is not the only thing that defines the person holding it, it goes far beyond power or accomplishments.

So, I want to give y'all as readers this encouragement. You are so much more than any position. You have so much more to you than any leadership role. You're not defined by any position you have or don't have. You don't have to be in control of every aspect of your life. You don't have to add something else to your resume. You're worthy if you’re the president or if you're a participant. Know that. Remember that.

Why Your Position Doesn't Define You
Faith Allyn Dumais
About the Author: Faith Allyn Dumais
Faith is a junior Special Education major and Sociology minor living in North Carolina. She's a sorority girl and with a heart for the kids and people around her. She loves life and sharing it on the internet. To learn more about her life and what she's learned along the way, check out Life With Faith.

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