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You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?

by Vidya Sury April 29, 2017 25 comments
You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?

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.


Today’s you

  • 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.

Action point:

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!

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Debbie D. April 29, 2017 at 7:01 pm

The graphic at the top is perfect, Vidya and illustrates how I feel, as well. 🙂 This is a comprehensive questionnaire with many thought-provoking questions. I’ll come back to it, for sure. Thanks for sharing it with us. Happy 2nd last day of the A to Z!

Shilpa Garg April 29, 2017 at 7:04 pm

‘Becoming the better version of yourself’ is something that we should all strive for. Reflecting on this aspect would help us know our limits and that will help us to go beyond them. Thanks for sharing this and the nudge too!

psharmarao April 29, 2017 at 7:13 pm

This provided me with so much insight into myself at this difficult juncture in life

Darla M Sands April 29, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Sad to say, this reminds me of the one and only time I got fired. The company had me take a sort of personality quiz and told me I was too ‘artistic’ for that line of work. Actually, I just wouldn’t play their political games or gossip. So it was a blessing and important life lesson. I do need to create! Be well.

Roshan Radhakrishnan April 29, 2017 at 7:48 pm

Will honestly take me awhile to fill out all those… and I worry sometimes about what I would find out about myself 🙁
Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…Yahya Hashemi and Ala Amiry are Heroes of Kindness #AtoZChallenge

Vidya Sury April 29, 2017 at 8:10 pm

Hugs Roshan! You are an amazing guy and you know it! This is not a one-time all-questions-must-be-filled-out questionnaire. It is a nice thing to visit every once in a while. And when you pick your best traits, it makes you feel good!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Xing fu. We All Need It

Soumya April 29, 2017 at 9:00 pm

I just put the quote ‘Be a better version of yourself’ on Parul’s blog and now I read this 🙂

I do know myself to a certain extent and still I learn new things about myself. Accepting them doesn’t come easy, but I try my best 🙂


Sreesha April 29, 2017 at 10:41 pm

This left me feeling… worried. Why is it that we can’t find the words/qualities that actually describe us. We are the best people to describe ourselves, but it is so difficult sometimes.
On the other hand, I did find myself answering the questions in Becoming a Better Version of Yourself. I had, in fact, been pondering over some of those, so it was already on my mind.
Sreesha recently posted…You Before Me | #AtoZChallenge

Amrita April 30, 2017 at 1:38 am

The real adventure in life comes from striving for self improvement. These questions are perfect to find the best version of me .Intentional living indeed!

Suzy April 30, 2017 at 9:34 am

I’ve always said, there are no coincidences in life. Just this morning I said to my son – those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
On the questions – too many to answer, but I think I find that when I ask myself what I’m passionate about and what I want from life, it pretty much answers a lot of those and defines at least in that moment who I am.
Suzy recently posted…You are … #atozchallenge letter Y @AprilA2Z

Vidya Sury April 30, 2017 at 4:08 pm

How amazing, Suzy! I think you nailed it with the question you answered! And these questions I listed are definitely not to be answered all at once! Even one or two at a time help. Thank you!
Vidya Sury recently posted…You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?

wendy of the rock April 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm

I’m with Roshan… It would take me a month to answer all of those questions.
Sad to say that I think over the past five…maybe even ten years, although I have kept learning, I believe I have become a lesser version of myself. I have not coped well with aging and body issues. I have developed new insecurities, more feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing and worthlessness.
It’s easier to not like me than to like me.

Vidya Sury April 30, 2017 at 5:29 pm

I disagree with the “easier to not like me” Wendy! I believe we are all works in progress and actually, from time to time, it is nice to take stock of ourselves. 🙂 I don’t score fantastically on these questions. Also, I would never attempt to answer them all at once. Still, I am glad I was introduced to them.

P.S.: I like you very much! 😛
Vidya Sury recently posted…You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?

Vishal Bheeroo April 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

It’s such a great way to tap one’s potential and be more real, Vidya. I like the questions asked for it helps us to grow from a personal point of view. Thanks for sharing this, Vidya.

Vidya Sury April 30, 2017 at 5:32 pm

Thank you Vishal! 🙂 How have you been? I thought of you while reading Amitabh Bachchan’s eulogy to Vinod Khanna!
Vidya Sury recently posted…You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?

Vinodini April 30, 2017 at 7:44 pm

I’m with Roshan when it comes to this. Although I’d love to answer all these questions at leisure, I’m scared about what I might surprise myself with. I loved reading your posts for this challenge, Vidya. I have to admit that your writing has the tendency of leaving me warmhearted in a good way. I wish I get to meet you in person someday. Looking forward to your Z post.

Vidya Sury April 30, 2017 at 7:47 pm

Hugs, Vinodini! As I responded to Roshan, you really don’t have to tackle the questions all at once. Just keep them and revisit them, pick the questions you are in the mood to reflect on and take it from there. It feels good.

Thank you for your kind words. My love and birthday wishes to Viven. I saw your beautiful FB photos and think the book you gifted him is just amazing. Yes, I hope we meet soon!
Vidya Sury recently posted…You. Yes, You! Do You Know Who You Are?

Parul Thakur May 1, 2017 at 2:39 pm

Happy, strong and content – that’s how I feel right now.
That first quote is so true and I love it. What a fabulous Y post. Made me introspect.
Parul Thakur recently posted…Gratitude List – April 2017

Vidya Sury May 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

That’s a great way to feel, Parul! I wish you that state, always! Hugs! Thank you.
Vidya Sury recently posted…Zap That Zwodder

Elle Sommer May 2, 2017 at 2:07 am

Great questions Vidya. I’m a believer in asking questions that have us digging deep for answers. “Know Thyself” really is important. 🙂

Suzie Cheel May 3, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Love you questions and a great end of day exercise- yes if we are true to ourselves we do know who we are xxoo

Menaka Bharathi May 3, 2017 at 6:15 pm

wonderful questions one should get answered to from inside, Lovely Vidya, as usual!
Menaka Bharathi recently posted…Zero Budget Manure Preparation From Household Waste

Sandra Pawula May 4, 2017 at 2:42 am

Oh my goodness, these are such good questions. Yes, it will take some time to reflect on and journal about these. I’m grateful for the encouragement to do a life review.

Birgit May 8, 2017 at 11:50 pm

This takes some time for sure and really makes one think on the positive which we all have issues in dealing with. I think we, as people, naturally veer to the negative and can wallow in it. I find that I have personal convictions that I can not stay away from or ignore. For example, I have a cousin who lives out west who sent me an e-mail and it was so disgusting how she spoke about people from another country that i was taken aback. Most people told me to ignore it, let it go but it is knawing on me. I can’t and I must write her back stating how abhorrent her e-mail was and that i do not think at all the way she does and would actually fight for the opposite! I find that our struggles define us and let us learn how to become a better person. Anyway, I will think about this for sure

Vidya Sury May 9, 2017 at 12:45 am

Thank you Birgit! I know, we do tend to dwell on the unpleasant stuff. I am glad you’re thinking of responding to your cousin! Our struggles do influence us in a big way–and we have the power to emerge stronger. Hugs!
Vidya Sury recently posted…Reflections April #AtoZChallenge 2017


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