When someone asks you to describe yourself, how do you respond? Do you get tongue-tied because you don't know where to begin or maybe you're too embarrassed to talk about yourself? Do you toss out a few typical nouns and adjectives that pop into your mind? Or do you have an eloquent speech always prepared?
When we do answer that dreaded question, we tend do it in a simplistic manner. We say something like "I'm a mom, wife, sister, coworker, yoga teacher and coach". Notice how these words are all nouns and don't provide any descriptive adjectives. But what if we said "I'm a loving mother, dedicated wife, supportive coworker, a zen yoga instructor, and an inspiring coach."? Notice how each noun is preceded by a descriptive adjective, which gives us a little more information about ourselves, but we are still not quite there.
To go deeper, we need to explore what makes us tick and understand our core values and beliefs.
From the day we are born, WHO and WHAT we are, shifts quite dramatically. The position within our family transforms, along with our occupation, hobbies, likes, dislikes, beliefs, values and even personality traits. But underneath all of those things is a light within you which almost never changes. This is the REAL you.
That light is what makes you who you are. Discovering and nurturing your light will help you maneuver through life; a steady constant that guides us in our decisions, and life's choices.
This light can also be summed up in one WORD. What WORD resonates with YOU? What WORD defines YOU? What WORD makes YOU smile? What WORD encapsulates the essence of YOU?
Years ago when I was struggling with the name of my first company and its mission, I spent some time listing all of the words that described me, including my core beliefs, passions and values. I was honest and dug deep. So what did I come up with for my WORD? What WORD makes me smile, defines me, and encapsulates the essence of me? [Hint: It's been part of both my company names.] You got it! The word INSPIRE.
INSPIRE is the light that comforts and guides me every step of the way. It is my guiding principle for everything I do, especially when it comes to making life altering decisions and changes.
What I love about my WORD is that it represents the ebb and flow, the exchange, the give and take, and ying and yang of life. TO BE inspired and TO inspire.
Enough about me. Let's see if we can find out what your WORD is.
For those that want to find their WORD, this little exercise should help. Download this free What's Your WORD worksheet. Find a quiet corner and allow about 20-30 minutes to reflect and write.
Just make sure that you give it time. Don't make a decision on the first go around. Take a few hours, a few days and come back to it. You may even have an ah-ha moment as you are moving through your day. Sometimes the greatest revelations come in the shower.
If you find there is not enough room in the worksheet to brainstorm fully, pull out your own paper or journal and continue writing until you find your answer.
Remember, there are no right answers. Don't overthink it. Don't agonize over it. Let it come naturally. Once you have discovered your WORD, you will know it. You'll feel a light that comes on within you. Just like a lighthouse, where the light shines brightly so ships can return home safely, this WORD will guide you safely through YOUR life's journey