Doorway, Stone, Terrace, Mountains

Answering the “Who Are You?” Question with Lightness and Depth

In my last post, about the possibility of transforming the elevator pitch, I touched upon a reframing of that question as “who are you?”  In this post, let’s dig in deeper into this perennial question.

What happens when we tell our story, when we answer “Who are you?” upon meeting someone new?  Of course, it’s difficult to answer such a big question, because you can’t give a comprehensive answer.  And by not being able to tell your whole story, you may feel like you’re getting boxed into a category, that an incomplete conclusion about you is made that doesn’t match with who you truly are.  Or you might feel that the outline summary you create with limited time omits many important sparks of your soul’s energy.  I know that’s how I feel.

We need to make peace with this question of “who are you?”  Perhaps, approaching it with lightness is a good way to start.  The sooner we make peace with this inevitable question that comes with meeting new people, the sooner we can approach the interaction and communication with another as a beautiful opportunity to be ourselves and participate fully in the game of life.

There are many angles by which we can answerDoorway, Stone, Terrace, Mountains this “Who Are You?” question.  The intent of the question may not alway be to find out the entire story of your life.  And what a relief that can be.  The post master may want to know who am I so that he can help give me my mail, in which case, a proportionally appropriate answer would be, “I am the resident at 24 Baycrest Lane.”  But then again, a potential employer may want to know “who are you?” on a deeper level of what are your values and strengths, how do you go about navigating the world?  They may be trying to relate who you are to whether your experience in the game of life is in alignment with how you might build a working relationship together. Alternatively, meeting a new acquaintance at a party, or on a plane, or waiting in line at the grocery store, affords yet another option for how to answer the question of “who are you?”

“Who are you?” “What is your quest?”

Here are two approaches to this question with a deeper, more fluid answer:

1. Be vulnerable and honest.  Answer the question of, “what is your passion?” Or, “what are you fascinated about and curious about right now?”  Consider expressing what activity you engage in that makes time shift and stretch to an standstill?

2. Think of it as a grail quest question that is the key to healing the king.  “What is your quest?” becomes a possibility of helping the person, an offering of, “what can I do for you?”  In short, turn the question around to find a means of connecting with the other person.

Each communication with another person can be seen as an opportunity.  It is our choice to creatively decide how to play the game of relating to another human being.

We also need to keep asking ourselves regularly, “Who am I?” because in this self-reflective process, we have an opportunity to look for our deepest potential.  We can lift the veils of inauthenticity even to ourselves, take off the costumes of the ego that pretend we’re supposed to be one way or another.  In this space of vulnerability and authenticity, we can find peace with what is and create from it.