Discovering who we are is not always a straightforward process.
Sometimes, it can be downright convoluted.
We need clear answers if we are to use them to craft our life.
You can consistently get to the root of each facet of your personality with five simple techniques.
Then, you’ll have the answers you need to make your life what you want it to be.
Use these five techniques
My last several blog posts have described the paths several of my clients have taken to discover how they best handle information.
- Thad used times he’d successfully processed information to discover his preferred method.
- Tomás used the amount of effort and ease he’d felt various times he’d processed information to uncover what worked best.
- Nalini found her ways to absorb, process, and communicate information by examining times she had utterly failed to do these things.
I use these techniques with just about every client.
And, I often pair each of these with counterexamples:
- When you believe an answer to be correct, come up with at least three examples where it did not hold.
- When you believe an answer to be wrong, come up with at least three times when it was right.
Use the tools that work for you
My protagonists used lists, mind maps, and stickie notes because these were the tools that worked for them.
- Thad’s lists gave him an ordered visual representation of the information he was absorbing. Marking up those lists gave him the kinesthetic experience he needed to process that information.
- Tomás’ mind map let him build the diagram he needed to absorb the information about his effort and ease. Annotating the mind map with color and other data helped him feel the shape of that information and the impact of the information on his body.
- Nalini’s plethora of stickies provided a tactile experience for absorbing the information they carried. The stickies also furnished a visual experience for processing that information. Then she found images representing her internal visual experience.
I don’t recommend any of these tools.
For me, lists hide the shape of the information they contain. I don’t understand mind maps. I get lost in seas of stickies.
Nor, however, do I discourage any of these tools. If they work for you.
Ask those around you
The processes Thad, Tomás, and Nalini used to discover their answers aligned neatly with the methods they used to handle information.
Too neatly, you may be thinking.
I observe this neat alignment with just about every client, however.
So do the people who know us well.
- Thad kept walking around his office because walking helped him think. None of his coworkers, who saw him do this all the time, were surprised that he processed information kinesthetically.
- Tomás’ staff laughed when he explained to them his partial results. “I always know our problem-solving meetings are wrapping up when I hear you say, “OK, this feels clear to me now,” one told him.
- When Nalini showed her slides to her family, they responded rather bluntly: “Of course! You’re always saying ‘What you’re saying feels right’ and ‘That data feels wrong’ and ‘Do you see what I’m saying?'”
So, maybe, this is a sixth technique: ask those around you what they observe you doing as you absorb, process, and communicate information.
Use these techniques to gain clarity
When identifying some aspect of who you are is feeling problematical, give these five (six?) techniques a try.
Use Thad’s, Tomás’, and Nalini’s stories as inspiration for using these techniques to get to the root answer.
Then, you’ll have a little more clarity to apply to crafting your life.
Which technique works best for you? Let me know in the comments!