How are you? Who are you?

Copyright © Jenn Shallvey

Copyright © Jenn Shallvey

How are you?

Good? Great? Could be better?

How much of your answer is relevant to your mood, state and thoughts right now?

A typical question asked 100s of times a day. How often do you truly, genuinely consider how you are?

What if in addition to this question you were also asked “Who are you?”

After the initial awkwardness of this seemingly socially out there question, there would be a range of answers.  Potentially you could say your name, your job, your role, your background, your country of origin. These are safe public observable descriptors. Easy to exchange and offer up in a conversation.

But are you really just these descriptions? No. You are more. Only you know the inside descriptions.

So take a moment and consider this. I am asking you the question now “Who are you, really?” Your answer will be as unique as you. Your answer will also be a reflection of where you are at this time in your life, career, personal growth.  Your answer will also show me something else. It will show me first how self aware you are about you and second how vulnerable and honest you are about sharing the truth.

As a coach I often ask these questions. Not literally but in the course of the coaching process. I get a range of answers, reactions. A coaching conversation is to me sacred. It is confidential, supportive and challenging, private, unconditional, collaborative not competitive, judgement-free, based on trust, open and focused on the person seeking assistance. Not a lot of relationships have this dynamic. For me to help another is to ask, with permission, the questions that others will not or can not ask.

So in the absence of an external helper my suggestion is to at a minimum be your own coach every day.  Hence the questions above. How are you? Who are you? Both together offer you a regular way to check in with you to see if you are ok and if you are clearly in alignment with you.

Checking in with self is a great practice to develop. It is also a way to maintain awareness of what is working and not working in your life. With constant awareness you can respond to challenges better. You can also shape and create what I call a ‘better you’. By better you I mean the fuller more whole you that we often do not express or be.  Such awareness also empowers you to make tough decisions, go in directions you may fear and take on interesting life changing opportunities.

Asking these two simple but powerful questions, and better knowing you, is a foundation from which to be you.

A challenging invitation should you accept it. I offer this up as a suggestion because until you know what you want to do differently then nothing changes. Well it does but by default rather than through your intention. So take charge of you and your life.


Jenn Shallvey