Know Thyself

 

Happy. Reliable. Kind. Loyal. Funny. Jerk. Spiritual. Visionary. Practical. Big hearted. Pig headed. Easy going. Dreamer. Inspiring. Weird. Focused. Story teller. Hugger.

What words would appear in your reputation tag cloud? If you asked 10 people who’ve known you for (at least) a day or your entire life, what words or terms do you think would appear? Do you have the courage or interest to ask 10 people this question,

“If you were to rapidly, randomly pick 10 words or terms to describe me, what would they be?”

Why would you ask such a question (or a question similar to this)?

Your personal worth is based on real (or perceived) skills, talents and relationships – all key ingredients supporting a real (or perceived) reputation. (What’s with the repetition of the words: real or perceived?) What you think is real isn’t real to someone else until they experience it for themselves. For example, you might think you have a real talent for cooking. If a close friend has never eaten anything you’ve cooked, unless you have a solid, long term reputation as a known chef, it’s unlikely your friend would believe you have a reputation for being a good cook.

Reputation: a concept worth paying attention to.

The more your reputation inspires the best in others, the more you’ll enjoy expanding worth on many levels. What’s the key to a solid, healthy, robust, evolving reputation? Two words. (Two words inscribed in stone at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.) Know thyself.

Sounds simple – right? You should know yourself pretty well – true? You see yourself every day. You probably talk to yourself a bit (that endless inner mind chatter stuff). Yet do you really know yourself? Let’s find out shall we? Care to do some of the most difficult work known to our species? (Personal development work is some of the hardest work we face. If you doubt this statement, try this exercise on for size!)

The Reputation Review & Renew Workout Program is a tried and true experience that guarantees to open your eyes to your truths (facts) as well as untruths (fictions). How does this author come to make this bold statement? Based on two decades of working one-on-one with a wide variety of clients, I know this program is a life-changer on many levels.

Reputation Review & Renew Workout Program.

Step One: Over the next few months, spend a few moments each day writing down words or terms you believe describe who you sense yourself to be. (I often suggest my clients purchase a simple notebook. Keep this book by your bed. Write five to ten words in the morning and evening pre/post bed time.) Goal: 1000 words / terms. (Ya! Ya! That seems like a long list. 10 words a day for three months and you’ll be there in no time!) Don’t worry about words or terms showing up over and over again. Repetition is fine.

Step Two: once you complete your personal list, time to step-up the pace. Repeat Step Two by asking as many people as you know to share 10 (or more) words / terms they would use to describe you to a friend. Send an email blast out to your entire list. Before you know it, you’ll have plenty of words! (Before you complain about asking so many people – keep in mind, this exercise requires a desire to KNOW THYSELF. If that desire isn’t there – good news! You’re free to skip this program.)

Step Three: use your computer’s word program to enter in both lists.

  1. Create two files at first.
    • For your personal list – use any font color you like.
    • For your combined list (friends, family, coworkers, etc.), select a different color for each group of responses. Example, family = green; coworkers = blue, etc. Be sure not to repeat any font colors.
  2. With two completed files, copy both lists into ONE file.
  3. Sort this third file – alphabetically.

Step Four: review the results. Observe:

  • what surprises you in some way.
  • repetition (do these words repeat more often with family? Friends? Co-workers?)
  • positive or negative outcomes (more positive or negative than you thought)
  • As you dive into step five, please review step one. Remember to balance your ability to be kind to yourself with understanding these words / terms are a snapshot of who you’ve BEEN! As you’ve discovered as time flies by, are you the same person you were a decade ago? No! You’ve changed in many ways.

As you come to know yourself better, you’ll discover this final list is a treasure chest of opportunities to learn, laugh and grow more healthy, wealthy and wise. As people come to know you to be a genuinely happy, healthy, stable, self-aware person, your reputation inspires a warm, deep respect. Such respect is known to naturally, effortlessly produce a desire to help or honor you in many ways. Example: think of ONE person you sincerely respect in a healthy, supportive way. When this person asks for help, how do you respond? If this person is a professional who has to charge you for something, how do you respond? Would you risk your reputation with someone you respect by offering them anything less than your best?

While a solid, stable, healthy reputation is a cherished treasure, it might become a liability. How? If your reputation has you locked into something you’d rather not be, or do, you face a difficult (but not impossible) task. It IS possible to change your reputation to include (or possibly completely phase out) something you no longer find enjoyable or doable. This takes time and effort. Based on what I’ve seen over the decades, it’s well WORTH your time and effort to always align your reputation with what you absolutely LOVE doing. If you find yourself stuck in some sort or fashion, WARNING – being stuck based on a desire to NOT risk your reputation ultimately brings about you facing that risk. I’ve seen such events happen more often than not.


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