WHO are YOU? The Unique YOU! The Authentic YOU! How well Do YOU know YOU? Sharing MY Top 10 Ways that I got to know Myself Better.

 In Career, Communication, Entrepreneurship, Health, Leadership, Personal Development, Professional Development, Relationships, Time Management, TOP 5

Dave’s Top 5 Lists:
Sharing some ideas and insights on transformation and change with YOU!
(Oh! and as a bonus if you can make it to the end. A challenge for YOU!)

Chapter 1: Setting the Stage (a.k.a. The background and context)

Finding Dave.
That pretty much says it all.
If you prefer a song to a saying,
Then I would suggest “Who are YOU” by none other than,
The rock group, “The WHO”.
The lyrics go something like this …
“Who are You? Who? Who? Who? Who?”
Note: I added the question marks for effect. 😊
Question marks because,
what I have found is that “IT” often starts with an inquiry.
By “IT”, I am referring to one’s journey of self-discovery.
Finding our WHO.
Finding our Authentic selves.
Finding (insert YOUR name here).

For those of you who read my blogs,
and/or have visited my website. http://davewcoachingandstorytelling.com/who-am-i/
You have probably seen me mention that I have undergone
a significant journey of self-transformation over the past few years.
People no longer recognize ME, I have changed that much!
They do not recognize ME on the outside (a.k.a. physical ME).
They do not recognize ME on the inside (a.k.a. mental, emotional and spiritual ME).
I even have trouble recognizing MY new self sometimes, I have changed so much.
Quite the journey.
Quite the change.
And fortunately for me,
Quite the POSITIVE journey of change. 😊

But when I sit back and reflect on that journey of self-transformation,
I realize that there was also another journey going on.
And that was a journey of self-discovery.
At times, I am not sure which one enabled which,
MY journey of self-transformation? or MY journey of self-discovery?
The two journeys seemed almost joined at the hip.
It is as if they were feeding off of each other.
And the resulting changes just started to take on a life of their own.
How cool is that!
But how and when did “IT” all start?
And by “IT”, I mean my focus and fascination with the WHO,
More specifically, the question, WHO are YOU?

That is the story that I would like to share with YOU.
as the topic and concept for this blog.
I would also like to share some of the tools and approaches
that helped ME the most in finding ME and MY WHO.
I am sharing them in case YOU would like to give some of them a try,
In order to get to know yourself better.
To gain a better understanding of YOU and what makes YOU tick,
To gain a better understanding of YOUR WHO.
Who YOU are!

So, first the concept.
And then the tools (through a Top 10 list, in this case).

Chapter 2: Exploring the Topic (a.k.a. ideating, reflecting, researching and connecting)

It was back when I took my first coaching class about a year and a half ago
that I first came across the concept and the importance of the WHO.
We were told that coaching was all about 3 key elements.
And since coaching is all about enabling change,
Then I figured that the 3 key elements were
also 3 key ingredients in enabling change.
Apparently, the first TWO are the ones that most people gravitate to first.
And those TWO are;
the WHAT and,
the HOW.
For example,
I no longer like my job. WHAT else can I do?
Or. I no longer like my job. HOW do I go about making a change?
Those TWO, elements, or lines of questioning, are often,
where the coaching clients will initially want to focus.
But supposedly, and theoretically, at least for me back then,
for me back then since I was hearing this for the first time,
the magic and the power of change is in the WHO.

The more we gain an understanding of our WHO,
The wider our lens becomes,
and with it,
our level of self-awareness,
which in turn increases the number of opportunities we have to explore,
and sheds a new light on the type of decisions that we can choose from.
And by our self-awareness,
I mean YOUR self-awareness,
And mine.
We are, after all, unique.
There is no one size fits all approach to change.
Each of our respective journeys are unique.
Finding the approach that best FITS each of us is the challenge.
And finding something that fits us requires that we know ourselves,
Our True selves.
Our Authentic selves.

One of my favourite new words.
Finding it sounds so easy.
But in reality, it is not always that straightforward.
Some of us are not even aware that we don’t know who we really are.
We don’t really know our Authentic selves.
They have often been lost in the shuffle of life.
We are afraid to show our true selves for some reason.
No wonder.
There was so much noise as we were growing up that:
At one point,
it becomes hard to distinguish between what we want to do
and what others want us to do,
At one point,
it becomes hard to distinguish between how we want to go about our lives
and how others think we should go about them,
So many SHOULDS,
Often from the people in our lives who mean well.
So many SHOULDS,
Often from people who are more interested in their own wellbeing rather than ours.
So many SHOULDS,
that it is hard to fault someone for forgetting WHO they really are at some point.

Well that some point, losing oneself, happened to me along the way.
Along the way of my life journey.
At a point around the mid-point of my life journey.
Ironically enough, it was a personality self-assessment that led me
to realize that I was not honouring my authentic self.
I had actually taken on someone else’s personality.
I had become an imposter.
And as it turned out,
It was not ME but someone else WHO spotted MY true personality.
Good thing that he did.
I much prefer being authentic ME than imposter ME.
I prefer the fit and the feeling of,
Being in MY own skin.
That “outing” as I will call it,
was when I first realized the importance of understanding MY WHO.
And it set ME off on quite the journey of self-exploration.
As you will see when you get to my top 10 list below,
there are not a whole lot of self and external assessments that I have not tried out since then.
Including finding my primary love language! 😊
But more on that later.
For now, back to my imposter days.

My “outing” took place about 5 years ago now.
It was during my employee days.
It was one of my program leaders at the time who “outed” me.
Or at least said something that led to my outing myself.
Long story, short,
My ex-employer had developed their own proprietary personality type
assessment tool.
The objective of the tool was to develop a framework so simple,
that you could hunch the personality of others and yourself.
Well I took the self-assessment and as luck would have it,
MY blend of personality was similar to those of
Chief Financial Officers (CFO’s).
I say lucky, because I was the program director for a CFO Program at the time.
Wow. Talk about a great fit.
Well. Guess what?
Apparently, it was not a great fit.
When I decided to retake the self assessment, I ended up with the
exact opposite results.

What made me retake the self-assessment?
It was the leader of my program who encouraged me.
He informed me that he enjoyed working with me because,
I was different than him and that complemented him.
But I could also drive him crazy at times because,
Guess what?
I was so different.
It was when he mentioned my differences that I became confused.
He was describing a very different type of person than ME.
He was describing some very different personality traits than mine.
Or, so I thought.
I was intrigued.
So, I took the self-assessment again and,
Well, the rest is history.
Something had happened to me during my life journey up to that point
that led me to believe that I was someone that I was not.
To act like someone that I was not.
And when I look back on those days and times now,
I remember that it did not feel good,
It did not feel good to be living the life of an imposter,
To be living in someone else’s skin.
To be embracing someone else’s preferences.
I did not enjoy that ride,
and my intention is not to go for that type of ride again.
Hence my newfound fondness for the A word,
The A word being, “Authenticity”.
And my fondness for getting to know and honour oneself.
The importance of getting to know our WHO.

I have now made the theory real,
The importance of the WHO now makes sense to me.
It took me a while to make it real.
Lots of trying and doing.
But in the end, I stuck to it, and,
I am glad that I did.
Because MY lens has not stopped expanding since then. 😊
It has been quite the journey since then.
That widening lens thing really took hold in my case.
My journey of self-discovery soon became
quite the journey of self-transformation.
and Wow. What a self-transformation.
People no longer recognize me.
Not on the outside and not on the inside.

If YOU would like to get to know YOURSELF a bit better,
I am sharing some of my favourite self-assessment tools in the section below.
My top ten favourites.
Oh, but be forewarned!
You might want to set some time aside if you want to try them out.
What I found was that although taking the assessment did not take that much time,
It was reflecting on and processing the results that took the time and most of the effort.
What I discovered was that self-discovery requires,
Self-awareness and that does not often come without some self-reflection,
and, as mentioned in item #9 below, some feedback from others.

Chapter 3: My Takeaway(s) (a.k.a. What I have I learned? How have I grown?)

My top 10 self-awareness initiatives in Finding Dave.
Sharing them in case they can help YOU find YOU.

Taken from the pages of MY “Who are YOU” workbook.
(Yes. I have created a workbook where I keep them all in one handy place for easy reference)

Here they are.
In no particular order.

#1 Finding MY Primary Love Language (and enjoying it)
I thought that I would start with my most recent discovery first. In my BLOG, “WHAT IS YOUR LOVE LANGUAGE? OH, AND, HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!” I committed to taking a self-assessment in order to find out which of the 5 love languages was my primary love language, in that case, in a romantic context. I had a strong hunch that it was “Words of Affirmation”. Well, I finally did get around to it and, “Words of Affirmation” came in third. I am not too upset though since I am very much enjoying my top 2 these days; “Physical Touch” and “Quality time”. Quite the coincidence, they are the same as the those of my romantic partner. How cool is that! 😊

So, now I know mine.

What about YOU.
Do you know YOURS?
Yours and those of YOUR loved ones?

The link to the self-assessment if you would like to give it a try…

#2 Finding MY Personality – a.k.a. MY Preferences (and embracing them)
Like most assessments, there are many types of them out there. I took a few. It took a little extra effort but it was comforting to know that they all pretty much were telling me the same thing. I have included the links to a couple of them below. One is free and one will cost you a bit.

Myers Briggs (MBTI). The 16 personality types. Free

Which of the 16 types are you?
I am the “Debater” (ENTP.A).

What are YOU?

The link to the self-assessment if you would like to give it a try…

True Colors.
Finding your true colors will cost you a bit but I found it to be a worthwhile exercise. What is MY primary color? What is MY secondary color? For those of you who have one of my business cards, you will notice that the front is in Orange, my primary color, and the back is in blue, my secondary color.

What are YOUR true colors?

The link to the self-assessment if you would like to give it a try…

#3 Finding MY Strengths (and playing to them)
Playing to One’s Strengths. In one of my recent blogs, Playing to one’s strengths, I described how I helped some 10-year-olds find theirs, and one of them was my daughter. How cool is that! 😊

Again, there are many of these types of assessments out there. Some are free and some are not.
FYI. Strengthfinders 2.0 is my favourite so far.

As I mention in my blog, try and play to all of them and you will most likely not be playing to any of them.

MY top 5: Activator, Ideation, Input, Futuristic, Responsibility.

Activator:  I “can make things happen by turning thoughts into actions”
Ideation: I “am able to find connections between seemingly disparate things”
Input: I “like to collect and archive all kinds of information” (In my case, on people and change)
Futuristic: I am “inspired by the future and what could be”
Responsibility: I “take psychological ownership of what I say I will do”

What are YOUR Top 5?

The link to the self-assessment if you would like to give it a try…

#4 Finding MY Values (and honouring them)
Ah Values. What we refer to in coaching as our “Life GPS”.

Once again, there are many different Value assessments out there.
I have developed one of my own using some ideas from a few of the others out there.
As you can probably guess, the output was a Top 10 list of MY Values,
No easy feat, given that I was starting from a list of over 500 of them!

I will eventually post it to my website but, in the meantime,
if you are interested in taking a crack at it,
Reach out to me through my email daveawalker123@outlook.com
and it would be my pleasure to send it to YOU.

#5 Finding MY EQ (and honing it)
Emotional Intelligence (a.k.a. EQ). I don’t remember when I first came across the concept but, when I did, I decided that the best way to dive into it and explore it was via, you guessed it, another self-assessment. I came across one in the book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Graves. On the book cover it was mentioned that it was “the world’s most popular Emotional Intelligence test”. And besides, it included an endorsement from The Dalai Lama on the cover. How could I go wrong? 😊

Long story short, my initial scores were nothing to write home about but luckily for me we can improve upon our EQ. There are numerous examples of ways to do so in the book. Practice, Practice, Practice. That is what I have been doing and I am not only seeing but I am also feeling and enjoying the progress.

The link to the self-assessment if you would like to give it a try…

#6 Finding MY Vocation (and Loving it)
This one takes me back a-ways, to my first blog to be precise, MY Dream Job  . That is when I came up with my Top 5 list of criteria to evaluate opportunities in what I was calling, at the time, “MY Career Quadrant”.

When I finally narrowed them down from a list that seemed to be growing rather than shrinking, I came up with a 1-pager of MY top 5 career criteria (O.K. I cheated a bit, I ended up with 7). Apparently, I was “seeking a career that provides me with the following”,

  • Autonomy (a.k.a. choice)
  • Flexibility
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Doing what I love (a.k.a. nurturing my core)
  • Making an impact
  • Master of my domain(s)
  • The opportunity to develop a broad and diverse network

And guess what? When I took a closer look at them as I was finishing them up, I ended up undertaking another transition, from MY “Career Quadrant” to MY “Business Quadrant”. Oh, and by the way, I still use the criteria in evaluating my business opportunities. How cool is that!

Those are mine.

What are YOURS?

I will eventually post my 1-pager of Career Criteria to my website but,
in the meantime, if you are interested in taking a peek at it,
Reach out to me through my email daveawalker123@outlook.com
and it would be my pleasure to send it to YOU.

#7 Finding MY Calling – a.k.a. MY ikigai (and being purposeful about it)
The first time I came across the concept of the “ikigai” was on page 102 of Neil Pasricha’s book, “The Happiness Equation”. It is a Japanese word that, as he puts it, “means the reason that you and I wake up in the morning. You can think of it as the thing that drives you the most.” Well, that sounded pretty good to me. I wanted one. So, I came up with one, and I printed it, and I framed it, and I put it on the desk in my office.

Here is MINE, “To help people lead more fulfilling lives”.

What is YOURS?

For those of you who would like to take a peek at the “Happiness Equation” book and the discussion on the ikigai, here is the link: https://globalhappiness.org/books/the-happiness-equation-want-nothing-do-nothing-have-everything/

#8 Finding MY Dreams (and believing in them and in ME)
Believing in MY Dreams. It had been so long since I had spent much time dreaming about anything, that I had to find them first. Yes, another opportunity to come up with a PowerPoint 1 pager. Yes, another opportunity to come up with another top 5 list.
Was I worried about coming up with one?
No way. I was going to be able to play to one of MY strength’s,
The “Futurist” in ME. 😊

What about YOU!
Are YOU reaching for YOUR dreams?

#9 Finding out how others perceive ME (a.k.a. MY BRAND)
Speaking of getting to know oneself better. I was doing a good job of covering off things as seen through MY LENS but I felt like it was about time that I took a peek at ME through the LENSES of OTHERS. And so, I did, I reached out to a few of the folks in my community, actually more than a few. And here is what I heard back from them, through their lenses:

MY Brand Persona: Evangelist
“Evangelists exude passion and enthusiasm. They quickly inspire those around them with their fervor. Evangelists can ignite a fire under those around them – compelling them to act.”

MY Leadership Competency: Inspiring
“Inspiring includes activating, inspiring, nurturing, empowering and developing others.”

Inspiring! Compelling people to act! Empowering!
As a coach and storyteller, it does not get any better than that! 😊
Thanks for the feedback folks.
Very much appreciated.

That is what the folks in my community think of ME.

What do YOURs think of YOU?

Once again, there are many tools out there.
I was very pleased with the one that I used.
I liked the output and the process for gathering the data.
I am sharing a link below in case you want to take a peek

For those of you who would like to take a peek at the tool and the supporting organization

#10 Finding MY Style. My Leadership Style
Last, but not least, MY Leadership Style. Well, I got to cheat a bit on this one. Turns out that the same organization and author that helped me find MY Strengths, could also help me Find my leadership style. All I had to do was map my top 5 strengths as determined through the “strengthfinders 2.0” exercise to one of the 4 leadership styles that are outlined on page 24 of the book “Strengths Based Leadership”. You can do the same thing if YOU have your results handy.

What leadership style do YOU Prefer?

  1. Executing
  2. Influencing
  3. Relationship Building
  4. Strategic Thinking

To my surprise, mine came out as “Strategic Thinking”. Interesting, maybe I should have joined the strategy practice in my earlier consulting days. Oh, well, I can still leverage my style in my new business. Helping my clients come up with strategies to lead more fulfilling lives. And then the activator in ME, can help them on the execution side of things. How cool is that! 😊

For those of you who would like more information on the “Strengths Based Leadership” book,
Here is the link http://strengths.gallup.com/110242/About-Book.aspx

Chapter 4: MY Challenge to YOU (An opportunity for YOU to learn and grow.)
Optional of course. Like everything in Life. YOUR CHOICE!                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Are YOU Ready for a challenge?

YOU know the saying, Rome was not built in a day.
Well it certainly was not in my case.
Neither was my journey of self -transformation.
Nor my journey of self-discovery.
It was one step at a time.

So, as for my challenge to YOU!
I encourage you to start your own “WHO are YOU” workbook.
Feel free to steal any ideas for your cover page from mine
Just don’t forget to add your name. 😊
And then start it.
Start it by starting with one of the self-assessment exercises mentioned above.

Pick one.
One that floats YOUR boat.
One that is top of mind for YOU these days.
Then, take a crack at it.

Get to know YOU better.
The authentic YOU.

Oh, and while YOU are at it.
If you come across any other relevant tools,
or come across any other ideas on the subject,
Please do share.
I love great IDEAS.
Or should I say, the “IDEATOR” in me does. 😊

Well, that’s all folks.



Looking at making a positive CHANGE in YOUR Life?
What would that change be?


Make that change a reality and explore Life Coaching at the same time by participating in my “Life Coaching with Dave Experience”.  A great opportunity to experience Life Coaching in a very timely and cost-effective way. The details are on MY website in the 1to1 Coaching Section.

And NO, that is not a typo in the $ rate of the offering. It looks low because it is. I am really trying to encourage YOU and others to give Life Coaching a try.


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