From the time we are able to understand language, the word no is probably one of the words we have heard more in our life than other words. No is potentially a word cousin to “can’t”. What if “can’t” wasn’t a word you had to hear? Would your life be different?

The full version of this article will be published on January 2, 2020. Happy New Year!

Kathy Murphy

I love change. Most people don’t. However, when you embrace change, and become comfortable with it, I guarantee you will have a completely different outlook on just about everything. This includes how you perceive yourself.

When I talk to people about how they perceive themselves, I’m always amazed at how often their perception is so different than from how I see them. Generally, they do not see the positive side of how they present themselves. They also overlook some of their best qualities which make them unique. Strangely, it’s like they have a completely different mirror they are looking in than I do.

So, how is it that people don’t know who they are, or how to properly convey who they are when asked to do so? Perhaps it is because this isn’t a question they regularly have to address. Or, possibly they have not taken the time to think about how they contribute their talents to others in this world? Maybe they don’t think this is something to invest time in doing? The list of possible reasons why is infinite.

If I were to ask you to tell me about who you are, would you comfortably be able to do so? How would you tell me your “about me” story? Chances are, your story today is different than you thought it would be if you were asked this same question ten years ago. How did this happen, and are you happy about your “new” story about you?

Ironically, the majority of people have a difficult time articulating their story of who they are. This is different from your “value proposition” (https://wp.me/p8nYG1-4r), as this is a concept more appropriately reserved to tell your professional story. However, it doesn’t have to be, and it can help you to frame out your “who am I” story.

The reality is that situations in our life change. This in turn can have an impact on our life, and consequently how we might perceive ourselves. However, we shouldn’t let circumstances dictate the impact it has on the core foundation of how we would describe ourselves.

Do we need to know how to describe who we are? My opinion is that we do. When we have the ability to do so, and are proud of who we are, and the journey it took to get us to this place, it puts us in both a mentally and physically better life situation. When we are in a positive frame of mind about our life, it has been scientifically proven to strongly impact our health and propel it into a better direction.

Are there things you can do to help yourself figure out who you are? Of course, there are. Is it ever too early or too late to do this? No. Do we need help from others to figure out who we are? Yes, and no. Some people are more oriented to figuring things out on their own, versus asking for help. However, let me be clear that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It depends on your comfort level in doing so. Ideally, asking for help should be easy to do. Although I know for many people this is hard to do.

If you are curious or interested, here are some ideas about how to start figuring out who you are.

  • Take the Gallup StrengthsFinder Survey to determine what your Top (5) Strengths are. You will receive two detailed reports explaining what your strengths are all about. The best part? It’s only a $20 investment to do so!
  • There are many “free” on-line personality tests, and they are fun to take. This can give you further support in helping to define, or redefine who you are.
  • Ask people you are close to describe who you are. Even better, have them write down a few words or sentences to help you see from their perspective who you are. I recommend reciprocating this for the person you asked to provide you with this information.
  • Write down words that you think describe who you are (e.g., kind, friendly, optimistic, sensitive, intelligent, creative).  Keep a running list, and refer back to it from time to time. Be realistic with your word choices. Some of them might not be ones you are happy with. However, you can always work on trying to modify the less than desirable ones. Or, I highly recommend focusing more attention on the ones you are happy with.

Being confused or uncertain about who we are is something which impacts everyone at different points in their life. You are not alone with this reality. Even people who seem to have what you would consider to be the “perfect” life, may not in fact really know who they are.

When you do figure out who you are at the core level, and your core is the bedrock foundation of your true self, I know you will have new insight into what makes you the incredible person you are.

I love change. Most people don’t. However, when you embrace change, and become comfortable with it, I guarantee you will have a completely different outlook on just about everything. This includes how you perceive yourself.

When I talk to people about how they perceive themselves, I’m always amazed at how often their perception is so different than from how I see them. Generally, they do not see the positive side of how they present themselves. They also overlook some of their best qualities which make them unique. Strangely, it’s like they have a completely different mirror they are looking in than I do.

So, how is it that people don’t know who they are, or how to properly convey who they are when asked to do so? Perhaps it is because this isn’t a question they regularly have to address. Or, possibly they have not taken the time to think about how they contribute their talents to others in this world? Maybe they don’t think this is something to invest time in doing? The list of possible reasons why is infinite.

If I were to ask you to tell me about who you are, would you comfortably be able to do so? How would you tell me your “about me” story? Chances are, your story today is different than you thought it would be if you were asked this same question ten years ago. How did this happen, and are you happy about your “new” story about you?

Ironically, the majority of people have a difficult time articulating their story of who they are. This is different from your “value proposition” (https://wp.me/p8nYG1-4r), as this is a concept more appropriately reserved to tell your professional story. However, it doesn’t have to be, and it can help you to frame out your “who am I” story.

The reality is that situations in our life change. This in turn can have an impact on our life, and consequently how we might perceive ourselves. However, we shouldn’t let circumstances dictate the impact it has on the core foundation of how we would describe ourselves.

Do we need to know how to describe who we are? My opinion is that we do. When we have the ability to do so, and are proud of who we are, and the journey it took to get us to this place, it puts us in both a mentally and physically better life situation. When we are in a positive frame of mind about our life, it has been scientifically proven to strongly impact our health and propel it into a better direction.

Are there things you can do to help yourself figure out who you are? Of course, there are. Is it ever too early or too late to do this? No. Do we need help from others to figure out who we are? Yes, and no. Some people are more oriented to figuring things out on their own, versus asking for help. However, let me be clear that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It depends on your comfort level in doing so. Ideally, asking for help should be easy to do. Although I know for many people this is hard to do.

If you are curious or interested, here are some ideas about how to start figuring out who you are.

  • Take the Gallup StrengthsFinder Survey to determine what your Top (5) Strengths are. You will receive two detailed reports explaining what your strengths are all about. The best part? It’s only a $20 investment to do so!
  • There are many “free” on-line personality tests, and they are fun to take. This can give you further support in helping to define, or redefine who you are.
  • Ask people you are close to describe who you are. Even better, have them write down a few words or sentences to help you see from their perspective who you are. I recommend reciprocating this for the person you asked to provide you with this information.
  • Write down words that you think describe who you are (e.g., kind, friendly, optimistic, sensitive, intelligent, creative).  Keep a running list, and refer back to it from time to time. Be realistic with your word choices. Some of them might not be ones you are happy with. However, you can always work on trying to modify the less than desirable ones. Or, I highly recommend focusing more attention on the ones you are happy with.

Being confused or uncertain about who we are is something which impacts everyone at different points in their life. You are not alone with this reality. Even people who seem to have what you would consider to be the “perfect” life, may not in fact really know who they are.

When you do figure out who you are at the core level, and your core is the bedrock foundation of your true self, I know you will have new insight into what makes you the incredible person you are.

I love change. Most people don’t. However, when you embrace change, and become comfortable with it, I guarantee you will have a completely different outlook on just about everything. This includes how you perceive yourself.

When I talk to people about how they perceive themselves, I’m always amazed at how often their perception is so different than from how I see them. Generally, they do not see the positive side of how they present themselves. They also overlook some of their best qualities which make them unique. Strangely, it’s like they have a completely different mirror they are looking in than I do.

So, how is it that people don’t know who they are, or how to properly convey who they are when asked to do so? Perhaps it is because this isn’t a question they regularly have to address. Or, possibly they have not taken the time to think about how they contribute their talents to others in this world? Maybe they don’t think this is something to invest time in doing? The list of possible reasons why is infinite.

If I were to ask you to tell me about who you are, would you comfortably be able to do so? How would you tell me your “about me” story? Chances are, your story today is different than you thought it would be if you were asked this same question ten years ago. How did this happen, and are you happy about your “new” story about you?

Ironically, the majority of people have a difficult time articulating their story of who they are. This is different from your “value proposition” (https://wp.me/p8nYG1-4r), as this is a concept more appropriately reserved to tell your professional story. However, it doesn’t have to be, and it can help you to frame out your “who am I” story.

The reality is that situations in our life change. This in turn can have an impact on our life, and consequently how we might perceive ourselves. However, we shouldn’t let circumstances dictate the impact it has on the core foundation of how we would describe ourselves.

Do we need to know how to describe who we are? My opinion is that we do. When we have the ability to do so, and are proud of who we are, and the journey it took to get us to this place, it puts us in both a mentally and physically better life situation. When we are in a positive frame of mind about our life, it has been scientifically proven to strongly impact our health and propel it into a better direction.

Are there things you can do to help yourself figure out who you are? Of course, there are. Is it ever too early or too late to do this? No. Do we need help from others to figure out who we are? Yes, and no. Some people are more oriented to figuring things out on their own, versus asking for help. However, let me be clear that there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It depends on your comfort level in doing so. Ideally, asking for help should be easy to do. Although I know for many people this is hard to do.

If you are curious or interested, here are some ideas about how to start figuring out who you are.

  • Take the Gallup StrengthsFinder Survey to determine what your Top (5) Strengths are. You will receive two detailed reports explaining what your strengths are all about. The best part? It’s only a $20 investment to do so!
  • There are many “free” on-line personality tests, and they are fun to take. This can give you further support in helping to define, or redefine who you are.
  • Ask people you are close to describe who you are. Even better, have them write down a few words or sentences to help you see from their perspective who you are. I recommend reciprocating this for the person you asked to provide you with this information.
  • Write down words that you think describe who you are (e.g., kind, friendly, optimistic, sensitive, intelligent, creative).  Keep a running list, and refer back to it from time to time. Be realistic with your word choices. Some of them might not be ones you are happy with. However, you can always work on trying to modify the less than desirable ones. Or, I highly recommend focusing more attention on the ones you are happy with.

Being confused or uncertain about who we are is something which impacts everyone at different points in their life. You are not alone with this reality. Even people who seem to have what you would consider to be the “perfect” life, may not in fact really know who they are.

When you do figure out who you are at the core level, and your core is the bedrock foundation of your true self, I know you will have new insight into what makes you the incredible person you are.

Kathy Murphy

Look around. What do you see? Depending on where you are is going to impact what you are seeing and reacting to. If you happen to be at work, you might be seeing your colleagues, and any number of different visual images of what is happening in your work environment. What you are seeing and experiencing could be the same thing every day, or perhaps the opposite of that a job that provides constant changing circumstances and scenery.

Essentially bias is another word, or a softer word for prejudice. If you know me, this is a word or type of thinking I don’t tolerate. As a matter of fact, I have called people out on this in my own family. When I do this, I ask them to explain why they think the way they do. Most of the time I vehemently disagree with their thinking, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt to consider re-thinking the way they think. I’m not saying my thinking is always right. However, when someone is overtly voicing or acting upon a bias I’m not going to be quiet about it.

Yes, I realize you cannot change people. They have to want to change themselves. However, I have found that 100% of the people who have a bias are not able to credibly explain why they think the way the do to justify their biased thinking. This is sad, and I understand they have been negatively influenced by their environment and the people they have been around or are associating with.

I view being biased as a human flaw. One which is supported often by closed minded thinkers. Yes, I’m giving closed minded people credit by suggesting they are actually thinking about why they are biased in the first place.

We can all agree that at the beginning and end of the day we are all the same. Humans. No one is better than someone else, and everyone has something good to offer others. Although, sometimes you have to look a bit harder to determine what it is, I guarantee it exists.

So, is it possible to remove biases in our day to day lives either professionally or personally? Absolutely. You just have to commit to doing so. One of the ways to do this is to commit to noticing biases you might have in every moment of your day. Think about why you might have this bias. Then think about whether you can reduce or ideally eliminate it.

Imagine how much better our world would be if we were all able to see one another as equals? I’m not sure if in my lifetime this will be achieved. However, I can do my small part which is to put a spotlight on this topic. When we think, and talk about concepts, it allows us to consider the reason why we act or say the things we do.

Here are some suggestions I have for you to begin reducing or attempting to eliminate biases in your life. I know this is a huge challenge, but I am compelled to make this a better world for all of us to live in. So, this is my version of heading us in this direction.

  • Commit to really getting to know new people. Find out what motivates them. Learn what makes them happy, or what makes them disappointed. Ask enough questions to determine whether they are “Pro” people, or closed minded and unwilling to give most people a chance to get to know them, or vice versa.
  • Try not to immediately judge both people and situations. Attempt to be open minded right from the start. This applies to both what you hear and see.
  • Listen to what others are saying. Really listen to them. Ask them questions to explain when you are hearing a bias of any kind. See whether by asking them additional questions you can potentially move them to at least a neutral place in their thinking, or verbalization on the topic you are discussing.
  • Model neutrality. Do this as you are working on becoming less or unbiased, and do not verbalize or act upon ones you have.
  • Do something kind instead of being biased towards a person, or put yourself into a situation you normally would not be involved with due to your own bias.
  • Lastly, an old piece of advice which is still applicable today, is to treat others how you would want to be treated. I have practiced this my entire life, and give credit to my parents for teaching me this. It really works, and has made an enormous difference in my life.

Although I have hope I will live to see the world become an unbiased place, I am realistic about this. As you know that change can only take place if we want it to, we can all do our part by at least acknowledging our own biases, and doing our best to understand why we have them, and ultimately to let them go. Being free from biases is an incredibly lofty aspiration. However, why wouldn’t we want to aspire to something that could literally and positively change the world we live in?

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

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