The title of this article alludes to people who take on a new identity prematurely. These people partake in a hobby for some time, and begin to consider themselves as closely aligned with others who have much more experience in that specified domain.
Some people consider themselves boxers after three months of classes, and call themselves chefs when they simply enjoy cooking. They’ll mention that they’re runners, and that they’re avid meditators. They’ll align themselves with identities too quickly after adopting a new behavior or hobby.
Often to our disappointment, we find out that our friend who calls themselves a chef has no real experience cooking professionally. We discover that the person we met running on the same trail has only been a “runner,” on and off, for a year.
This article hopes to discourage you from adopting new, favorable, identities too quickly. Particularly after beginning a hobby which is deemed beneficial by society as a whole, the idea of aligning our identity with those who regularly partake in that good hobby is seductive. However, there are distinct downfalls to doing so prematurely. Typically, the longer you wait to align your identity with your hobby, the better of an impression you’d set on those around you.
“I Run,” and “I’m a Runner,” Are Different in How They’re Perceived
The trigger behind the advice you’re reading on this page is the act of insinuating that you’ve attained master-ship of a craft prior to doing so. People are sensitive to how experienced people are in the respective identities that they assume. If you call yourself a chef simply because you like to cook, those whose standards for a chef are high will see you as ignorant to how much work actual chefs put in prior to adopting that identity.
Those who realize that you’ve “not arrived” by their standards, will look down on your acts of insinuating that you have. They’ll treat you as naive, and wouldn’t take your experience in the domain seriously. Even if you’ve worked hard to improve your level of cardiovascular fitness, prematurely calling yourself a “runner,” can blind people to the legitimate hard work you’ve put into your craft. Their disappointment with your new self adopted label will encourage them to ignore the perhaps legitimate experience that you have, in fact, attained.
Rather than calling yourself a runner, tell people that you run. In doing so, you’d separate the identity from the act itself. People will notice you to be stable and careful in the identities which you adopt. You’ll be treated with more respect than someone who aims to impress others by adopting certain identifies too quickly.
People will be less likely to find holes in your tendency to enjoy running, cooking, or anything else which can lead toward the adoption of a certain identity. They’ll be less likely to be threatened by your attempts to improve yourself, and would be less likely to be envious of your new habits if you don’t adopt identities too quickly.
Disrespecting the Craft
From the perspective of established chefs, runners, or other professionals, identifying as them prematurely will unveil that you don’t respect their respective field enough. Those who’ve attained the identity of a chef for instance, had to be professionally trained perhaps. They’ve put in years of hard work to have others refer to them by the title that you’ve adopted too quickly. The professionals who’ve legitimately earned the titles and identities which you prematurely adopt will be unlikely to accept your induction into their “clique.” If they do, they’d inherently be disrespecting the field they’ve worked so hard in. They’d lower the bar of skill required to be considered a formidable chef, runner, comedian, actor, or writer.
Make it a habit to always separate the act from the identity. Try to abstain from identifying as a professional in any field prior to being called one by onlookers. Though it may seem the other way around, there are more downsides to adopting an identity associated with a certain skill too early, rather than waiting and being late in your adoption of that title. Notice when others start to label you a runner, a chef, or a scientist. At that point, you can safely evaluate if you should start calling yourself one.