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Do You Know Who You Are?

time limited

It’s a confronting question but one that I believe needs to be asked:

Do you really know who you are?

If I was to ask you: “What’s unique about you?”, could you answer? Or do you know more about your favorite celebrity than your own true self?

The thing is, we enter this world alone and we leave this world alone. Sure, we pick up people along the way, we move through different careers, houses, cars and pets…but we are the only thing that’s remains constant in our lives. So, you’d think, we might be worth getting to know? Right?

The reality is, most of us have absolutely no idea who we are because we don’t stop for a second to think about these things. Instead, we get sucked into the everyday minutae of life and before we know it we’re stuck doing a job that we don’t really love, in a relationship that doesn’t fulfill us, living a pretty ordinary and uninspiring life.

If we don’t even know who we are, how on earth are we supposed to make ourselves happy? How are we supposed to know what job might fulfill us, or what partner might inspire us, or what life dream might enthuse us?

Living the life we deserve

Knowing who we are is the first step we need to take in order to start living a truly fulfilled life. And in my experience, the best way to do this is to start by finding out what we truly value in life.

When I work with people as a life coach, I always, always start with a personal values workshop because this is a crucial step towards understanding more about who we are.

Our personal values are those things that matter the most to us in life – and ideally they should drive every decision that we make. Once we know what our values are it becomes easy to make big life changing decisions because we already know what’s important to us. Once we know what our values are it becomes easy to manage our time, because we know what areas deserve our time and what areas are not worthy. Once we know what our values are we start to know who we truly are.

Our values become a framework by which we live our life and they help us to identify when someone else has stepped into the driving seat. Have you ever felt frustrated because you’re doing something because you feel like you should be doing it? If you have, this is more than likely a values conflict in action. You see, we often pick up other people’s values without realizing it and before we know it we’re living a life according to what makes someone else happy – not ourselves. This is a sure fire way to unhappiness – and one that can be avoided if you take the time to identify your values.

So what’s the alternative? Fast forward 40 years and you’re at the end of your life no wiser than you were when you entered the world. As Steve Jobs once said:

“Your time is limited. Don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Simple Life Strategy: How to Start Identifying Your Values

I have a lengthy process that I use to help people identify their values, but to get you thinking about what your own values might be, you can try these five simple steps:

1. Consider what you’re passionate about? What things really get you excited and motivated in life?

2. Think about what’s really unique about you? What do you do differently? What do you do that no one else does?

3. When have you been happiest in your life? What were you doing? What triggered this happiness?

4. What is your dream life? What would you want to do if there were no limits (and there no limits by the way).

5. What qualities in others do you admire?

If you feel like it’s time to get to know yourself a little better, I would take some tie out to find a coach that resonates with you that can help you through this process. You can get in touch with me to find out more about my own values process here: zoe[at]simplelifestrategies[dot]com

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27 Comments. Leave new

nice article there Zoe. I think it’s quite a challenging one for many people, because they’re not taught to dig this deeply in school, and many people just continue living in a similar way of thinking as they did when they graduated university or high school…


Nick you’re so right – I wish people were taught this in school! It would be alot more helpful! At least we have the power though as an adult to stop and take control of our lives and make the decision to make some changes now…while we have the time! Life is short 🙂 We have to make the time to learn about who we are – it’s not something that just happens. But when we put the work in, it is very much worth it 🙂

Zoe B


This is great to help identify ourselves.. I know what i am, and what i want to do.


Thanks Kungphoo – if we don’t know who we are then how can we plan what we want to do! 🙂


Your post is such a great example of what people need to do in order to know what they want. Do you want to be a doctor because you think it’s cool to wear a white coat or is there a deeper reason. I feel that growing up we don’t know how to find our passion, we just go with whatever is going to make us the money and hope we pass college to get to that point.


Thanks Krystle. It’s a simple equation but the first half often gets lost because no one teaches us these things!
Zoe B


Knowing one self is critical to success in business, marriage, and all of life. Without knowing you, how can you truly know others and how to communicate with people properly. Loved the post!

Robin (Masshole Mommy)
February 23, 2014 10:25 am

That is an awesome list. I think I have a really good handle on who I am and what I am capable of.


Very good post – totally agree that #1 We must know who we are before we can ever know what we want


awesome post… and so true. it took me so many years to really learn about myself and what I wanted to do/be and become!


I think these are wonderful tips in finding yourself and doing a little bit of soul searching. These days we can be more focused on what we don’t have than what we do, whether it’s materialistic things or attributes we see others posses. Knowing who you are is crucial when it comes to growing as a person.


These are some really great tips and advice to get me thinking. There’s so much I want to do, I just need to make time for it.


If there is one thing I do know, it is who I am! My parents did a great job teaching me to be happy with myself and my accomplishments no matter how big or small.They taught me to ask questions and not feel pressured to conform.I feel that because of that, I have never been one to keep up with celebrities at all, like I am really bad with even knowing their names much less their personal issues. I have always just focused on real life. Which at times people have thought I am crazy for not knowing that a Kardashian was pregnant or that Jennifer Anniston is broken up again (with someone I didn’t even know she dated).


This is a great post, and a core lesson that sometimes takes quite awhile to learn. Excellent post.


great info and I shall practice the above to better myself. A great goal for the week. Thanks

Joanna Sormunen
February 24, 2014 4:35 am

Great post and great questions! I think they help us also as bloggers. Because what is unique about us, is what makes the blog so good.


That Steve Jobs quote is one of my all-time favorites. I constantly get sucked into the stress cycle of my work and home balance.

Susanna Barbee (Zealous Mom)
February 24, 2014 5:40 am

Great strategies for people to search for their true selves. I’ve been going through a metamorphosis over the past two years, and it’s been amazing. I think it’s important for us to constantly ask ourselves, “What do we want out of life?” “What lessons and legacies do we want to leave?”

Amy Lynn Desrosiers
February 24, 2014 11:35 am

Its funny because your article sort of aligns with what my pastor at church talked about today. I know who I am, and I must set a good example because I know a lot of others look up to me.


This reminds me of my husband’s expression, ” a man ought to know his place in the universe.” It is true, we must know who we are so we can understand what we are going to do and where we are going to go.


My brother was just talking about this concept in a talk he gave at Church yesterday. Understanding who we are, why we are here, and what our priorities are. Those priorities can fall into line when you understand both who you are and what your purpose is.


I love this post – it’s exactly the reminder I need to take a more focused look on the path I want to take. DO I always to things that align with my goals and aspirations…no. I need to take that into account more often.


Thanks for your honest reply Amanda 🙂 Nobodys perfect…the first step is awareness 🙂


You bring up a lot of great points about finding yourself. I think it’s so important to be true to ourselves.


only by being true to who we are can we find a fulfilled life of purpose and meaning 🙂


This is a lovely post and much food for thought… Sadly some people want to be someone else or everybody but themselves.


Thanks Eliz. It’s true – everybody is so focussed on how great everyone else is that they forget to look inside at who they are and how great they are!


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