How do YOU define your SELF?

Beth E Lee MBA MSc
6 min readJan 12, 2021

A week into the new year and I’m busily working toward my goals. We’re in full lockdown here in Ireland, so that means I have to manage my kid's home-schooling activities as well. On Sunday night, I sat with three calendars, two notebooks and my laptop on the table making checklists and timetables.

This morning, however, I had a moment where I stopped and looked at myself and my two kids sitting around the kitchen table. Each of us “doing” work.

I stopped and had a moment of presence looking at my kids and my to-do list in front of me and asked myself — are these goals aligned with who I am? I can align my goals to my purpose (which I discussed here)and I use my values to drive my behaviour and tap my character strengths to positively move forward. (More on these to come…) But are my goals aligned with who I am? Then I asked myself - who am I?

Do you ever ask yourself this question??

Or better yet — if I asked you this question, how would you answer?

Who are you?

Go grab a piece of paper and write down the answer to this question… go….

( I’ve used this exercise with some of my clients. Throughout the rest of the article, you’ll learn ways to articulate your answer further.)

What did you write down?

Here’s my example:

“I am a people person, who loves to learn, enjoys philosophical conversations, am a Mum of two children and a wife.”

Did you write something similar? Maybe you used phrases such as I am tall or I have a big family or I am gay. Perhaps you used more emotional phrases such as I am shy, I am happy, or I am usually alone.

Describing yourself is a very difficult thing to do. You can use terms from personality tests like those acronyms from Meyers Briggs (I am an ENTJ) meaning I’m Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging.

Or my favourite, use the words from the Values In Action (VIA) Character Strength Survey. My top strengths are Curious, Zest, Honesty, Love of Learning, and Leadership.

Maybe you’d rather just use your values to describe yourself. Family-focused, committed, or have a good work ethic.

Beth E Lee MBA MSc

Psych skills and discussions to develop an intentional mind.