Have you ever wondered what sets you apart…as an individual, professional, partner and friend?
Have you ever asked yourself:
“What really makes me unique?”
It might be something you have thought about as a student, or when applying for a job, working in your job or business, or in dating and relationships.
Knowing what sets us apart gives us clarity, direction and confidence and helps us to know what unique value and talents we bring to our work and to our personal relationships.
How to Start Figuring Out What Sets You Apart
To best know what sets you apart, look within.
Dig deeper to get a better understanding of you by exploring what your unique qualities are, what your values are, and what you believe about your values.
This is part of the process I guide my clients through to help them discover their direction and what makes them unique. It also helps them to clarify their mission and purpose and the value they bring to their work and personal life.
You can get started in this process yourself by applying the following two tips/tools.
1. Discover your qualities.
To get clear on what your qualities are, take a shortcut by making a list of everything you can think of that you do, or have done and accomplished, in your life. This can include you moving to a new country, running in a marathon, listening to a good friend, cooking gourmet meals, decorating a room and anything and everything in between.
Once you have your ‘accomplishments’ list complete (frankly, you can start this process even without a complete accomplishments list) look at your list and ask yourself the following for each accomplishment:
~ “What does it say about me that I accomplished ‘x’?”
~ “What qualities did I utilize, or tap into, to do or achieve this?”
~ “What qualities am I noticing about myself?”
2. Explore the stories in your life.
Another way I help my clients (professionals, students, managers and entrepreneurs) discover their ‘personal brand’ and what sets them apart is through guiding them through an exploration of their life and professional stories.
You may not realize it, or have paid much attention to it, but there is a lot of information about you that you can discover through your personal stories.
Your experiences, the things that happened to you, and how you responded or felt about what happened, says a lot about who you are.
You don’t need to have gone through a traumatic experience in your life, or to have climbed Mount Everest, to have ‘a story.’
Your daily interactions and the choice(s) you make in any given situation often says a lot about who you are.
Here’s one example of what I learned about myself from a story that happened many years ago when I was a ‘camp mom’ in a summer program for teenagers.
One of the campers came up to me one day and said:
“It’s really cool that you talk to Jill* like she’s a ‘regular’ person and not like someone with ‘problems’ like every other adult that talks to her here.”
(*Jill is not the real name of the camper she was referring to and she was on watch/probation for drug use.)
It was really nice to hear, as respecting a person for who they are, no matter what happened to them or what they are going through, is one of my core values.
It is a value I bring to my work and everyday life and relationships.
To discover more about who you are and what sets you apart through your life stories, start by thinking of a story, any story, in your life.
Once you have a story in mind, ask yourself the following:
~ What happened?
~ How did I respond to what happened?
~ What am I learning about myself, my qualities and/or what I value, from this incident/experience?
Continue to think of different stories and situations that happened to you, or that you were involved in, and ask yourself the above questions about that story.
What you will discover are your unique values and guiding principles, as well as your unique character and personality traits.
Putting this information together will help you understand, and tell, the ‘story of you’ and what sets you apart.
If you would like assistance and guidance with discovering what sets you apart and learning how to put this information together about you in a practical way to know how to bring your unique value to your work and into your personal relationships, get in touch here (or here) to schedule either an individual or group session. (Please indicate in your message if you are interested in a 1:1 session or doing this work with others in a group.)
In support and admiration,