64: What It Means To Step Into Who You Are

Pattern of Purpose podcast episode 64 cover art

Taglines are hard work. They’re personal and they carry weight. And the best ones create an emotional response. That’s a tall order. So how do you land on the right one? What does it look like to synthesize your mission? I’ll be exploring these questions and more as I share why it was important for me to have a tagline, how I nailed mine, and what these five words mean to me.

On this episode, I share:

  • Why I rejected my tagline when I first found it,
  • The importance of having someone reflect back what you’re saying,
  • Feedback my coach has given me on proving it vs. being it,
  • Why women have to choose between being likable and successful, and
  • Four exercises to reflect on what makes you stand out.


Rather than focusing on becoming more of something else, why don’t we save our energy for being more of who we already are?

A critical factor of how to do this is to get more in touch with who we are. What stands out about us? What do we value? How do we show up when we don’t overprep or overthink it?

It’s easy to get lost in the vortex between who we are, who we want to be, and who we think we need to be.

There are a couple ways to realize who you are at your core. Most of these are having someone who you trust reflect back to you what makes you, you. I wanted to share four exercises you can do to intentionally name these attributes and feel good about them.

1. Ask friends, colleagues, or clients what the first 3 words are that come to mind when they think of you.

This is even more fun when you develop your own list and compare it to the feedback you get from others. I can almost guarantee you aren’t giving yourself credit where you should be.

2. Ask yourself: what are the things that people most often come to me for help? 

This can be an eye opener because we’re riding along, focused on our job title or elevator pitch and may not even see the other things for which people see us as an expert.

3. Send an email to 15-20 people who know you well and ask them to tell a story about a time when you were at your best.

This is called the Reflected Best Self exercise and was created by the University of Michigan Business School. Rather than only getting feedback about our blind spots, this helps us see our bright spots. Once you get the feedback you can analyze the stories for themes about what it is about you when you’re at your best.

4. Assess your contributions by interviewing customers or colleagues.

In the workplace this might be looked at as a 360 performance review. In a business it’s called customer research. But the premise is the same—to get others to share their experience working with you so that they can reflect back to you what made that experience extraordinarily un-ordinary.