YOU. Who? Why?

Who are you?

The process of peeling back your own layers and facing your most vulnerable self requires real courage. In order to be effective in your work and within the world, you have to take this risk. Recently a good friend of mine sent out the request for a “360-review” to his family, friends, colleagues and peers. This is part of his studies in the Organizational Dynamics program, and will be a consistent theme for him (as it was for me) throughout the program. Not only are we urged to sort out who we are through exploring our personal history, biology (lineage), and our environmental influences, we also have to understand how others interpret or see us. Seeing as I describe my dear friend as part Larry David and part Howard Stern, I can’t wait to hear what he learns. He brave 🙂

SELF, ROLE & EXPECTATIONS. Want to get closer to understanding yourself? Grab a piece of scrap paper and draw this out:

  • What were the professions of your parents? Grandparents? Great-grandparents?
  • What roles do you currently play? (ie: daughter, girlfriend, manager, student)
  • What expectations do you have for your life? And what expectations were placed on you as a child?

NEXT: Take a long piece of twine/rope/yarn/shoelace. Use a safety pin/tape/paper-clip and begin attaching small pieces of paper along the rope that signify the major milestones of your life. Start with your birth and move throughout the line plotting what was most memorable and life changing.

It’s pretty powerful to take a step back and physically see where you’re coming from. It may tell you something about where you’re heading, or inspire you to plot those future milestones.

Why are you?

There is a pretty powerful Ted talk by Simon Sinek that went viral for it’s savvy messaging. Speaking to business and brand he states, “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.” He recommends starting with the why, then build the what and the how from there. I think it was awesomely presented, check it out when you can. I think we can apply this to ourselves – Why are you? Why do you do, what you do? What is at your core?

This post does not have much to do with my capstone, but I wanted to share. These ideas and questions have been posed to me through my great professors in the OD program, and I’m sharing the wealth. For a quick update on the state of my capstone, as Lena Dunham stated in last night’s episode of “GIRLS”, I am in the “pre-writing phase”. I am in the midst of plotting my milestones and drafting interview questions for my upcoming research. I have secured my Advisor (she’s amazing!) and my external Reader (he’s amazing too!), and now I just need to finalize my 2nd Reader who would be a past professor of mine, as my Advisor is. These folks will be along for this journey, with their names on the final document. I not only have to write this paper for myself, but for them. Working towards that next big pin on my twine-line!

My twine-line. Need to update since 2011...
My twine-line. Need to update since 2011…


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  1. I watched a Brine Brown video the other day, “she said she studied shame for years but she never wanted to be venerable enough to feel her shame. She now feels It is like a straight jacket, and shame is an epidemic in our culture. She feels that we cannot have courage, be innovative and creative without understanding our shame.
    If we are going to find our way back to each other vulnerability must be our path, success is not when we are bullet proof and seductive. I share this because how do we really know who we are if we do not become vulnerable enough to really know ourselves.”. Barb


  2. Kristen, it’s Aunt Do I signed my name!!!

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. Kristen, I’m soo glad I bumped into your work. This post is soooo spot on. So many people let fear paralyze action. I love how you broke down the steps and are also helping people tap into the power of visualization to help their growth. This post and the power of self-realization is one of several reasons why I started the #NeverSetlleClub and am launching a TV talk show based on this concept next year. Ihave to read more of your stuff now 🙂


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