“Discovering yourself could be the best thing to ever happen to you.”

— Janette M. Braverman

“Who are you?” I know, it might seem like a pretty easy question to answer. However, when I was asked this question in the past, I didn’t always have a crisp response. I’ve noticed that most people tend to stumble a bit when asked and are unable to provide a concise answer. I believe it’s because the answer to this question is not always at the top of our minds. Unfortunately, we only think about it when we need to or, when asked.

However, I believe it is one of the most critical questions that we should always be able to answer. When we know ourselves, it liberates others not to make assumptions about us. Your intent is clear, along with your sense of self-confidence and security.

In the past, I would sometimes say the things that I thought made me sound important, but never really thought about how I should genuinely answer the question. I gave what I called “surface” answers, the ones you don’t have to give much thought. I did this before having an opportunity to spend quality time in quiet introspection learning who I truly wanted to become and fully documenting my leadership philosophy. I hadn’t yet learned how to be more intentional with my responses.

A while back, I took some time away from work to remind myself about the things I’d planned to accomplish throughout my career. I had to ask myself some tough questions. Are you where you thought you’d be by this time in your career? Have you accomplished everything you’d planned after college? It seemed I kept putting my passions on hold because I thought everything else had to come first.

During this time of reflection, I found out that I didn’t have to wait any longer. I could start pursuing my passions whenever I wanted, but first, there were some things I had to change. I made a list of all the things I’d accomplished as well as those I hadn’t. I set goals and deadlines to ensure I stayed on track.

Some of my goals included writing a book, evolving my consulting business, working more so across my community, accepting more speaking engagements and more. Most importantly, these were all exploits where I could make a difference in the lives of others. They invigorated me! Of course, I also had to recognize and let go of the things that didn’t.

Now when someone asks the question, “Who are you?” I respond by saying I’m a servant leader that enjoys collaborating, creating, writing, and spending time with my family. Empowering leaders to pursue their purpose ignites me. Sharing knowledge with others excites me. I am an author, a public official serving my community, an entrepreneur, a wife, and a mom.

There is so much more I could say because I am always evolving as a leader. I will never stop. Discovering myself was the best thing to ever happen to me. I am happy with who I’ve become and intentional about every decision I make. I always ensure that my choices align with the things that are essential to me. The icing on the cake was becoming an award-winning woman of influence after deciding to pursue my passions.

“When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it.”

— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I encourage you to reflect on the things that are essential to you. Make a list and crush it! It will transform both your professional and personal life.

If you’d like to read more about my journey, check out my book called, 10 Reasons Communication Brings Transformation: Unleash Your Greatness. This journey is for those ready for introspection and a personal and professional breakthrough.