Do you dread the question: “What’s your story?” or the instant opener: “Tell me about yourself.” It happened to me twice in the last week and to be honest I wasn’t prepared. I instantly fell into the trap of describing my past and my current situation. Neither memorable nor inspiring!
So I reflected on all the coaching collateral I take my clients through and realized the importance of being in the present tense to be truly present and to share what really makes you tick and what you are choosing to do going forward!
Use the following 7 ways to discover more about who you are!
“This above all: to thine own self be true.” ~Shakespeare
This answers the question “why?” Why do you exist? What do you choose to devote your life to? What brings joy and meaning into your life? Yesterday I helped a coaching client strike up the courage to ask to attend a Strategic Planning Event in her company. She got a “yes” and we high-fived. That gave me a high.
My purpose is to help people realize their potential – their personal power to create and shape their lives. What’s yours?
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
What do you deliver to others? How do you make a difference in their lives? What results do they achieve faster and easier because of your help? Think back to 3 peak moments in your career. What were the amazing things you achieved?
My promise involves uplifting people, leadership capacity and people engagement! I can identify three major measurable successes where coaching clients have shifted a full stage in leadership development in a single year, where leadership capacity has increased by 20% in a single year and people engagement has lifted by 30% in 6 months. I can promise rapid results in developing leadership capacity. What’s yours?
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” ~AA Milne
The third thing to focus on is our own unique value proposition. What 3 elements distinguish your services that lead to the Promise? If you go back to your peak moments, identify the common threads that were integral to each success. Once you’ve identified these 3 elements, they form the foundations of your Proposition, your offering to others. Nail them and keep them.
By way of example, my Proposition is strategic leadership, holistic leadership and culture/career transformation.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
Who do you serve? What situation are the people in who could use your help? What problems or challenges are they facing that you’ve already navigated and have got some answers for or at least a methodology to follow to allow new solutions to emerge? Your ideal prospect is your customer avatar.
For example I love working with senior executives who aspire to do more, be more and live more powerful lives. People who want to take more responsibility for creating transformational shifts in their lives and in their organizations so that they can create real value for their customers, build goodwill in their communities and create a more sustainable world. Who are your prospects?
“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” ~Oprah
Let’s go with 3 words once again to encapsulate your uniqueness. You could use words that you own as being true to you – I’d probably just say intelligent, intuitive and interested – I’m curious about life and how it works. However these descriptors can lead to a mundane definition of yourself.
It’s much more exciting to select 3 less common words that others use most often to describe you! For instance one of mine is “uplifting”. It’s an unusual word that kept coming up and I thought to myself, really, that’s cool! I’m glad I’m able to do that for others. What key words do others use to describe you?
“We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world.” ~Marianne Williamson
The source of your power are your aspirations (purpose and vision for the future) and your values. Let’s focus on values as the ones you choose become your GPS as you navigate your life. If they’re not clear, you’re not making the most of your inner GPS to become who you were meant to be. Once you’ve identified a specific set that are right for you, they’ll act like a radar for you to pay attention to.
Choose a set of aspirational values and play with the words until you can create an acronym that also speaks to you. I’m a big believer in personal power so I ended up with POWERFUL – Peace, Order, Wisdom, Eminence, Reverence, Freedom, Unity and Love! Once you have these programmed in your mind, they will alert you to the alignment of your actions with your values. This is how we learn and grow to become who we truly are. What are your most important values?
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~Jung
It’s important to embody our ideas and notions of who we are through a set of regular practices that enable us to become more of what we espouse every day.
For instance I read a book every week, I’m a pescatarian (with the exception of pepperoni pizza!), I put my knowledge into form every day to guide others, I use Saturdays to clean, shop and do the routine stuff of life, I consult my oracle cards every Sunday to see how I’m tracking and I’ve started to use Sundays to find a new practice each week to incorporate into my life so I can improve my health and wellbeing.
What are your regular practices? How do they contribute to your Purpose and Promise? Do you need to develop some new ones?
And there you have it – the 7 ways you can get to know yourself better and, even more importantly, become the amazing person you are within! Having just gone through the process of reminding myself of who I am and could become, I feel more alive and focused again! So how about you? Please use the comments below to share a snapshot in answer to: “Tell me about yourself.” I’d love to read your opening lines …
“Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll
Book a Complimentary Coaching Meeting with me if you’d like to get crystal clear on your 7 Ps above and your aspirations for 2016, develop a new holistic awareness of what is causing challenges for you, and feel energised, uplifted and inspired to make 2016 your best year yet!