Thursday, 24 September 2015

Who Are You - No Who Are You Really?

How many profiles of you are there out there?

Social Media profiles, website profiles, C.V./Resumes, company profiles etc.
Probably quite a few nowadays but how many truly reflect the real you?
That is not to say those profiles are lies but they are all designed for a purpose and written for the platform they are placed on. They are usually extremely brief and do not fully explore the person that is you.

Yet honestly reflecting on ourselves and our abilities can help us improve our lives as we identify areas we can grow and question ourselves on our beliefs to break unhelpful beliefs.

For example, personally, having had considerably more positive than negative feedback on my writing I will state that I am good at it, having started with the school newsletter writing is a passion that has always been buried within me, but is it my best quality? I can also claim to be a specialist in communication having studied it extensively and spent most of my working life in customer facing roles.

Yet, in reality, what I truly think I am best at is helping others. I have informally and formally coached many people through their NVQs or other qualifications, I have supported people through personal and professional problems. It is why I hugely enjoy training others and why I have also tended to drift into roles that involve helping others in some way. I am a person who will patiently question and prompt to aid learning rather than someone who gets frustrated and says “I’ll just do it myself”

However, to me, this quality has been a double edged sword. Frustratingly I often seem to be better at helping others than helping myself and, occasionally, people coming to me for help feels like a burden more than a pleasure, because of this it means I am probably less likely to promote what is probably the best quality I have!

Yet by recognising the issues there I can begin to break the shackles and start to move forward with the recognition the, perhaps, the best way to help myself is to really embrace my ability to help others.

The reality of life is that we always try to present a certain image dependent on the situation we are in at that moment. Yet it is vitally important to our own well-being that we can be grounded.

Now, it would be wrong to say that this sort of self-reflection is easy. Remember the first time you heard your voice played back to you and how odd it seemed? How we see ourselves is not always the way others see us and although the voice thing has a physiological reason there are psychological elements involved which are probably best shown in issues with body image etc.

 Yet, short of going to a professional in such matters, we can do some of the work ourselves, we can talk to those close to others and ask them what they would describe as our best qualities and then reflect on the reasons why people would say that. We can also reflect on where we have been successful in the past but doing this honestly recognising that being successful is not always associated with a sense of achievement. We could have easily excelled at doing something but we felt, at the time, that achieving that success was hard work and not a success worth celebrating. 

What was it you did to make that success and how many times have you done something similar to achieve results.

If we want to improve our lives, our income or abilities etc. we need to reflect and be honest to ourselves about what we are good at and where we need to improve.

Yes, we will sell ourselves in different ways to different audiences but trying to achieve that grounded sense of self allows us to add an air of honesty to those profiles and allows us to grow further.