You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?
It always feels great to ask that question. How would you answer it, though?
I remember, years—nah, decades—ago, when I was in sales, I had an amazing boss who was quite the expert in making us feel great at the end of the day, no matter what kind of day we’d had on the field. He would encourage us to focus on all the good things that happened, and if we could find none, talk us through the day’s happenings, show us how the not-so-good things could actually teach us something. That lesson has always stayed with me, reinforcing what my Mom always said. She was a school teacher, so not surprising.
So, over my corporate-work-years, I’ve answered a number of questionnaires through interviews, assessments, and just-for-fun exercises at work. While going through some of my old files and papers, I came across some of them. It was fun to see that my answers then are not what I might write today. It felt good to take stock and it was quite a pleasant experience.
Let me share some of these questions with you—perhaps you will find the same value. If nothing else, it will get you thinking, and maybe even re-thinking.
The questions are split into various aspects of your personal and professional self, and together, make a rather nice whole.
Make sure you write down the answers. And do be completely honest . . . with yourself. It is all about intentional living.
- What five characteristics describe you? (Feel free to do a poll with your friends/colleagues)
- What roles do you fulfill in life at this point?
- What skills and abilities are you proud of?
- Five possessions that give an insight into you
- Three experiences that define who you are
- What attributes, according to you, would your family/friends use to describe you?
Things you know about yourself
- Based on who you are today, what sides of your personality are clearest to you?
- Is the “you” you show the world the same as the “real” you?
- List three instances when you stood your ground in spite of pressure from peers or society or family
- What three personal values are important to you? How can this benefit you in your life?
- Which of your personality traits do not change no matter what the situation?
- Based on the first set of questions, (today’s you), is there anything there that conflicts with who you think you are? Is there any way you can close that gap?
Looking within: what are your values?
- List your three best qualities
- What are you particularly good at, vis-à-vis others you know?
- How is your life better than that of those you know?
- What three things about you make you proud of yourself?
- What three accomplishments are you proud of? Describe
- What is your next major goal?
- What do you struggle with?
What do you like?
- What three things would you rather be doing, but don’t get the time to do? (how can you make it happen?)
- Are there parts of you that you’ve forgotten along the way? Can you bring them back?
- Think of ways you’ve put others’ needs before yours. Think of ways to bring back the balance, and focus more on yourself.
- Can you make time for a hobby you love this weekend?
- Browse through old photo albums/journals. Are you different now from who you were then? Might you benefit from being that person again?
- Reflect on who you wanted to be when you were in high school. Did you have positive traits then that you don’t have now? Can you rediscover those?
Sit back and look at your answers. You may want to reflect for a while, make some mini-decisions.
Now, let’s look at your professional side.
Are you getting the most out of your job?
- List ways in which your job helps you become a better person. How can you sustain this?
- Do you learn new and interesting things at work? How has this benefited you?
- Have you taken on new responsibilities that you enjoy? Have these made you better at your job?
- Think of ways you can make the routine parts of your job more interesting, more fun.
- What new skills have you built in the last 2/3/5 years? How have they benefited you?
- What new skills can you develop over the next five years? Where do you see yourself in that time?
Becoming a better version of yourself
- Think of three new and exciting things to do. Can you start one/all next week? This can be related to anything: your health/relationships/routine.
- What three ways can you improve this month? What steps will you take to accomplish this?
- List three places you want to visit. How will it benefit you?
- How have you improved over the past five years? Has it influenced who you are today?
- Think of ways to grow as a person in the next five years. Will it help you reach your full potential?
This exercise is likely to help you identify gaps in how you see yourself versus who you really are, and help you fill those gaps.
At the end of the day, make it a habit to write down three positive feelings you had.
I’d love it if you shared how you felt about answering these questions, either in the comments or via email: vidya at vidyasury dot com.
Sending each one of you group hugs–I hope you enjoyed this post!