You might have seen that I recently retired my Instagram name. For those of you not on the Gram, or not following me (something you can rectify now) — my handle — almost since I joined IG, was @bitchcanmove. Why you ask? (CrossFit trigger warning) Well, as you also might know, I do CrossFit. I used to talk about it all. the. time. Because the first rule of CrossFit is always talk about CrossFit. Now, I don't talk about it so much. But I've still been doing it for over nine years. And when you do something that long, it tends to become part of your identity. More on that in a few. But as far as the name, it was bequeathed, albeit accidentally, by my old coach at my very first box (that's CrossFit lingo for gym). As someone who apparently is faster than I look, my coach commented to a friend of mine that "damn, that bitch can move" after I logged an impressive time during a workout. Thus the moniker was born.
I resemble that remark
When your handle on a new platform is something bold and funny like bitchcanmove, people not only love it and remember it, they start to identify you with that name. I stopped counting how many people would comment with things like "best handle ever" and "greatest name on Instagram."
In fact, at my second box, they used to joke that I wasn't Danielle, I was bitchcanmove. And I loved this name. It meant something to me because I was never an athlete growing up, so to be given a moniker that suggested as much, and receive that blessing after the age of 40, was the highest of compliments in my mind.
But as my business has evolved and grown, as have I, and since branding is literally what I do, this thought about whether that was still my brand has been weighing on me.
After careful consideration
So, after much marination and discussion, with myself and people I trust, I came to the conclusion that it was time to bid adieu to bitchcanmove. I feel extremely comfortable with this decision, but what's interesting to me is the number of comments and DM's I got from friends and IG friends and strangers who said I'll always be bitchcanmove to them. And this made me think about how one small aspect of our identity can become our entire identity. For a long time I had to be this person who was fast, who was competitive and who pushed hard all the time — not even just in the gym. Everything in life became me embodying bitchcanmove. And I know I'm not alone. We all get so stuck in one aspect of who we are. We fixate on it, or people associate us with it. We start becoming one thing, when, of course, there's so much more to us. When I work with clients and they tell me what they do, I remind them that it's such a small part of who they are as a person. It's not until we uncover that and we start talking about what other things they like to do, other hobbies or other passions, that it becomes evident to them — or they can admit — there's so much more to them than their job.
Insert trite analogy about layers here
Today, more than ever, we're all falling victim to identifying with something so strongly we can't let it go, or worse, it becomes all consuming. Consider this: you aren't a Democrat, you vote Democratic. You aren't old, you are aging. You aren't a runner, you enjoy running. You aren't just a writer, you write for a living. I could go on, but you get the picture.
I encourage you to stop identifying with just one aspect of yourself and letting it consume you to the point where all the other facets don't matter. Because they do. You are a "all the trite positive memes about layers and dimensions." In other words, there's so much more to your identity than one thing you're currently holding onto.
What can you release today?
What can you add?
Who can you become?
And most importantly, are you ready to find out?