Who are you, really?

Who are you when you’re out in the world? How do you present yourself? How do people see you? Who are you, really?

I want to share a recent experience where I had the pleasure of participating in a very insightful teleseminar hosted by phenomenal coach, Ben Dooley. My preparation prior to this session was such a wonderful and enlightening assignment that I am offering it as something for you to seriously think about. Consider it an early birthday present to yourself!

What made this activity so memorable? I received many affirmations, a couple of “aha’s”, and an overall true sense of self. And, while I am not going to share the specifics of my learning and how Ben helped me to integrate all of this, I am going to explain how you can replicate his initial activity.

I used my social media resources, plus email, and face-to-face, to ask a variety of people only one question: “What 5 words would you use to describe me?” Amazingly, and rapidly, responses began pouring in. From lots of different places. From those I worked with, from close friends, acquaintances, family. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of the people who helped me with my assignment.

Lots and lots of data…yikes!

So, I began a frequency count of the unique words and phrases people sent to me. I read through the list wondering how I could assimilate what was there. Then I began to see similarities, although the words themselves differed. So, I clustered these  similar words, tweaking the words until I had boiled them down into just one word that covered all of the similarities. Yes, this took a bit of time but it was worth it.

I highlighted the top 5, most often-used, words. My words were: supportive, driven, gutsy, energetic and confident. Wow! These are the things people see when they interact with me. This is who I am in the world.

OK, a little secret, I’m not always like this. Some days I just want to hide under the bed. But my words certainly capture who I want to be, even if I’m just not showing them all of the time. But I know who I want to be. What a great goal to have: to embody these words, all of the time!

Bottom line: this exercise was beneficial in many ways. I loved the air of expectancy! I checked my social media resources often, waiting for each little “present” to appear. I was continuously filled with gratitude because so many people made the effort to honor my request. And, my affirmation cup was continually replenished because each response was a wonderful reminder of the gifts I bring to the world.

OK, here’s your challenge:

Connect with at least 20 people who know you. Include people from various areas of your life, if  you can. Ask them only one question: “What 5 words would you use to describe me? That’s it. Just 5 words. Only takes a few minutes of their time. But what a gift it holds for you!

I’d love to hear what you learned from completing this challenge for yourself.

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