It is proven that one of the most common yet hardest questions ever asked during an interview is, “tell me about yourself!”
From experience, this question, which seems pretty easy at first, ends up being very confusing to the multitude, especially when you’re sitting across from the person who could potentially give you your next big break and even change your life. But, let’s be real, who else could tell me about you better than YOU can? PAUSE!
I know what you’re thinking…
“It’s Mother’s Day!”
“Why does she always have to come with some ‘deep’ question or topic?”
“This is not what I expected today.”
“I thought it was going to be a cute message to mothers”
My first introduction into the world of work happened to be HR. I worked in Human Resource for a couple years and from this experience, I remember being able to detect all of the signs of nervousness, from the twitching of fingers; perspiration; increased heart rate and stuttering of speech when potential candidates came in for interviews.
Many, however, would have with them really long resumes listing all of their accolades and accomplishments, yet they were unable to answer this one question.
What if I were to ask you the same question now, could you answer me? And what would you say?
TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF
Are you the grades you got in school?
The places you’ve worked?
The people you’re related to?
Or are you just an age or gender?
Instead of rushing, how about we take a minute or two to really think about this then answer as honest as you can.
WHO ARE YOU?
If the first things that came to mind were that you are a husband/wife; a father/mother; a brother/sister; a friend; if you described your occupation; your age; your religion; your nationality; and some of your personality traits, then you are CORRECT!
You are all of these things.
However, I want to let you know that your answer is incomplete.
Yes, you play all of these roles, but you are also so so much more.
The purpose of today’s blog, therefore, is not to take up more cyber space with dedications to mothers (who aren’t even on social media to see them) instead of spending actual time to show them we love them beyond an emoji.
Rather, today’s post is going to shed light and help you begin to discover all of the hidden YOU’s you probably didn’t even know exist within you.
In all of my books, one of the constant themes have been discovery (and re-discovery) of self. I see the need and importance of this because ever since a child, I made it a priority to figure out who Kay-Marie Andrea Fletcher was. (Now you know my middle name. Well, at least one. The other is top secret lol.)
Figuring out who I am, is something, that even as an adult, is still very important to me. I believe until we discover who we truly are, then would we be able to see all of our fairytales/dreams/heart’s biggest desires become reality.
According to Anne Lamott, “We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who we were born to be”.
In other words, God knew who you were before you were even able to pronounce your first name. From birth, He placed within all of us, all the pieces to our own puzzle and it is our life’s journey to put them together.
But how do we do this?
When we go through difficult times
When we meet people
When we do jobs
When we find our passions
When we obey our purpose
When we accept our flaws
When we see a reflection of ourselves in others,
Then will we discover who we truly are.
I know it’s a lot right?
Well let’s even add to that list…
Maybe, through reading (which I highly recommend to EVERYONE) you can also begin to see pieces of who you are. One of the best books that has taught me all about who I didn’t know I was, was the Holy Bible.
Likewise, you can discover the real you as well.
Maybe you never gave this much thought, but many of us have a little bit of some of the men and women from the bible within us too. Maybe YOU have hidden within you not just 1 but 5 people from the bible. WHAT?
Don’t believe me, just watch….
Some of us may have heard about the story of King David (found in the book of Samuel in the bible). And how before he became a King, he defeated a mighty giant called Goliath even though he was much much smaller in size.
However, what many of us may not have known is that David was once a Shepard boy that many people overlooked. He had seven brothers and was the youngest son to his father Jesse. Everyone including Jesse considered the other sons as stronger, more handsome and definitely more worthy than David.
From a very young age, he was left alone to tend to the sheep in the fields since no one ever considered he would amount to anything more.
Does any of this sound familiar?
Similarly, we are often overlooked aren’t we? On a daily basis, many of our family members, peers, co-workers and people we associate ourselves with overshadow us. Thus, we begin to doubt our own goals and dreams because no one takes the time to notice our potential.
Well, I am here to tell you that we all have some David in us.
You see, when David was left in the fields alone, to do a job that was definitely not fit for a King (as most of us do jobs that are truly beneath our purpose); he had all the time to practice his skills. He did not train for battle in the city like his other brothers yet some how he was still able to kill this mighty giant.
In the fields, however, David had to fight many other animals to protect his flock and he even mastered how to use a sling shot which was the weapon he used to slay Goliath.
Now, I shared this story to tell you that it is during the period of our lives when we are overlooked, left alone, feeling lost, not being taken seriously, when we tell others about our dreams but they laugh at us, when we labor tirelessly yet feel as though we’re not being rewarded, these are the times when we have to sharpen our skills for these will be the skills you need to fulfill your destiny later on in life.
If you begin to accept these hard times, these tough times, these times in the field, and know that your struggles are only making you stronger then there will never be a giant, mountain, or obstacle too big in life for you to destroy.
Instead of giving up, beating yourself up, falling victim to depression or accepting what others think you are, start to look deeper within and discover that you are much more. There’s a YOU within you that is waiting to be found.
According to Ernest J. Gaines, “I want you to show them the difference between what they think you are and what you can be”. Like David, you too, can move from under the shadows of others, believe that you are far greater than what others say you are and defeat anything standing in the way of making your fairytales become reality.
Little did you know that there’s an Esther in you as well.
Esther is another book in the Holy Bible, which tells us the story about a Jewish maiden who became the wife of a Persian King.
What is this, a blog or a bible story?
Now, it was not overnight that Esther became a queen since she did not grow up in a royal family. In fact, she did not enjoy a life of riches at all. Both her mother and father died leaving young Esther in the care of her cousin Mordecai who raised her like a daughter.
But, he was eventually carried into exile and took Esther with him. Now, in comparison, if someone were to tell you that you’re going to wake up one morning and be living in a castle and called Queen, you would not believe them.
But, like Esther, one day your life can completely change whether you grew up in poverty, without parents, with little education or lacked opportunities to succeed because of where you live. You see Esther obeyed the word of God and instructions from her cousin Mordecai while she was Queen the same way she obeyed when she was not. Thus I believe that obedience to God is the key to succeed.
Often times when people start to acquire wealth, material things or achieve some of their goals, they forget where they come from. However, if you discover all that you are from now, even when your life begins to change, you will not lose sight of your identity.
Esther was also very brave. You see, as Queen she had to confess her nationality and reveal her family background to the King and beg him not to kill her people. This was not an easy task, and had he not favored her, she would have lost her life.
Like Esther, I think that you are braver than you look too. We cannot continue to live in fear all of our lives. Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress.
Sometimes, we can’t be afraid of going after what we want. If we overcome our fears we will be able to move forward and become wiser and stronger within ourselves.
You need to begin to identify and accept the Esther within you in order to go after all that you truly desire. Know that your current circumstances and struggles do not define you. God has great things in store for you, you just have to begin to obey, be brave and discover them.
I also think that there’s a Joseph in many of us. When I discovered that there was a Joseph even in me, I was truly blown away. I started to look at things differently. In fact, it made me start to believe in myself even more. I hope it can do the same for you.
In the book of Genesis, the first book in the bible, there’s a story about a man named Joseph. Joseph became the second-in-command to Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, and was put in charge of all the land of Egypt. In other words, he held great power.
However, before he achieved all of this success, he suffered many ordeals in life. You see, Joseph was a dreamer and his brothers were jealous of him whenever their father favored him.
In Genesis 37:19 Joseph brothers mocked him and said, “Here comes the dreamer!” Well, I can definitely relate to this because I know how it feels to have people mock me when I tell them about my goals and dreams.
Maybe this has happened to you too.
The bible tells us that Joseph’s brothers despised him so much that they first thought of killing him but ending up selling him to the Ishmaelites instead. Against his will, Joseph was taken from his homeland, but the Lord was with him.
After being sold to complete strangers by his own brothers, he ended up in Egypt; again the Lord was with him. In Egypt, he began to have favor but he eventually ended up in prison because he was wrongfully accused. Again, in prison it is written that God was with him even there too.
I know, I know, too churchy for your liking? Wanna stop?! Go ahead. You’ll just miss the best part.
You see, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, or where you end up, God will be with you at all times. It doesn’t matter if you’re in prison, court, school, work, home, in the hospital, on the roadside, or in dangerous places, God will be at your side. If you believe, God will be with you even if you’re ever lost along this road called life. I discovered that I had Joseph in me when I allowed God to take me from the depths of my troubles to the height of my success.
God gave Joseph the gift of interpreting dreams, and I know that God has given you a gift as well. If you accept that there is also some Joseph within you then, like him, your gifts would be the very thing that gets you out of trouble and into great power.
Because God used Joseph to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, he was released from prison and given the title of second-in-command. I hope that you can allow God to start using your fairytales and gifts (yes you have a gift… everyone does) to help you achieve great success in life too.
Even in prison, God showed Joseph favor and the prison warden eventually put him in charge over all of the prisoners. This shows, that even in the midst of your struggles, God will show you favor and allow good things to happen even during bad situations.
This story teaches us to never give up on our dreams. It also proves that envy is not a new trait. It’s been around since before any of us were born. And at times, even the people closest to us, when they find out about our dreams, will turn against us.
Many years after being sold, Joseph ended up being the one who had to take care of his family during a time of famine. The same brothers who plotted to kill him and ended up selling him, now had to depend on him to provide food for them. This can also happen to many of you. Therefore, I say to you, don’t listen to when others have negative things to say about your dreams, nor wish them bad when they do bad things to you.
Instead, continue to focus on accomplishing your goals, and maybe one day, they would need you too. In fact, I believe that one day the people who didn’t believe in you at all will tell everyone they meet of how they knew you. You just wait and see.
The reason why I decided to use biblical references to drive my point across in today’s post is because many people do not believe in these stories. Since they never saw it happen in real life, they think that they too are just fairytales. Well, not everyone is going to believe in your fairytale/dreams either, but I hope that does not stop you from working toward and achieving them.
Are you beginning to see yourself in any of these stories? If I ask you again, who are you, would your answer now change?
Additionally, I believe that there is also a Ruth in many of us. Ruth is the eight book of the Old Testament in the bible and also one of the shortest, (hint hint: You can take a read as you delve into discovering more of yourself. It’s shorter than your favorite sitcom).
In Ruth, we learn of the story of a woman who became a widow after her husband Mahlon had died. One can only imagine that she must have been overcome with a lot of grief and loneliness in life, since she did not have any children either. After his death however, Ruth insisted that she stayed with her mother-in-law Naomi instead of leaving her to be alone also. (Let’s be honest, would you have done this? Your ‘monster-in-law’, really????lol) But, this is a great story because through her obedience to God, despite her loss, she received many rich rewards.
Often times, we experience things in life and we believe that it’s just the worst possible thing that could ever happen to us. During these times we even begin to question God. How could he allow something so bad to happen to someone so good as me? Like Ruth, I’ve shared my experiences of losing loved ones. I’ve also shared having a broken heart, struggling through school, struggling with finances, almost losing my life, and many other situations where each time I felt like it was the worst possible thing that I could experience.
You too have gone through some tough times, and even felt sad and lonely. This is why I believe that we can all relate to Ruth. Like her, I hope that you will remain faithful and obedient to God throughout the bad times.
Ruth’s vow to Naomi is one of the most beautiful statements of commitment in scripture. She loved her dearly and listened to all her advice. She also listened when Naomi told her to go glean in the fields. Now, the book of Ruth is also a narration of a love story, since this is where she met a man named Boaz. Ruth’s spirit and character attracted Boaz and he agreed to buy her mother-in-law’s estate and take Ruth as his wife.
Ruth, therefore, went from moaning the loss of her husband to finding love again. (Bisssh, some of us can’t even find half a man we dream of, she got two!)
This can only be the power of God. The lesson here is, just when we think things are over, God will provide us with a new beginning.
According to Lao Tzu, “new beginnings are often disguised as painful endings”. Therefore, whatever it is you were crying over, know that once you acknowledge the Ruth within you, and demonstrate the kind of love and faithfulness that God desires of us, you will be able to overcome whatever you’re going through. God will not only take you through it, but he will provide many new things for you. Like Boaz who favored Ruth and provided her with extra gain while she was gleaning in the field, God will always give you extra for your troubles. God is a God of increase and He will never let us go without. Like Ruth, He may be sending you a blessing through another person or it could be through new opportunities. Whatever it is that you desire today, whatever your dreams may entail, you have to remain committed to seeing it become a reality. Accept the Ruth within you and never let any situation prevent you from remaining kind, loyal, patient, committed and obedient.
Do you think that there is also room for a Gideon in you? I sure do think so.
In the book of Judges in the bible, we learn about a man named Gideon. Now, Gideon loved the Lord but like many of us, he was guilty of doubting Him. The bible tells us, that even when the spirit of the Lord visited Gideon he doubted that He was indeed God. It is written that Gideon doubted God so much that he put Him to test on three different occasions, always asking Him to prove himself.
How many of us doubt God today? How many of us wonder if God even exists? Is God just a fairytale too? Well, time and time again, God proved Himself to Gideon. Despite being doubted, God was patient because He favored Gideon and caused him to defeat a mighty army and as a result rule as judge in Israel. Because of his great triumph, the people even wanted to make him King.
Like many of us, Gideon also doubted his own abilities. Because he suffered so many defeats and failures in the past, it was hard for him to believe that he was capable of doing all the great things God told him he would do. Does this sound familiar?
How many of us doubt our potential because of the things we’ve been through. Because we’ve failed before, we think that things will never work out for us.
Because we’ve suffered some disappointments, we think that we will never succeed.
According to Napoleon Hill, “most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure”.
In other words, sometimes our success is right after that huge disappointment. But, if we give up, we’ll come very close yet never attain it.
Gideon however, did not give up and the best part is there’s a Gideon within you too. Even though Gideon was slow to believe, once convinced by God’s power, he became a natural leader of men and a loyal follower who obeyed God’s instructions.
God can also accomplish great things through us if we forget our weakness, increase our faith and let go of past failures. Like Gideon, we’ve “put out a fleece” or test God, which is a sign of weak faith.
Today I encourage you to increase your faith because this is a key to making your dreams become reality. During the battle, where Gideon was outnumbered because God only allowed him to have a small army, God caused his enemies to panic and turn on each other. I know that once you discover and accept the Gideon within you, God will also cause all your enemies to panic and you will triumph over every situation that’s troubling you.
So, here I am, applying all of my human resource skills to ask you one of the most common yet hardest questions ever asked to someone in a job interview again, “tell me about yourself”.
I hope that your answer will not be the same as it were at the beginning.
I hope that you realize sometimes the best part of getting lost is being able to find yourself. I hope that you can take some time to look deep within and discover that you are much more than what the eyes meet.
I hope that you will not give up on your dreams because you’ve often been overlooked by others like David was. Instead, you will use this time of struggle and all of your unrewarded labor to prepare you for what’s ahead. When I accepted the David within me, I realized that had it not been for all the sleepless nights of writing in my diary while crying, that I would have developed the skills to become a better writer and be able to publish books. My difficult times were preparing me for my success.
I hope that you will not be discouraged by where you came from so much so that you don’t believe your life can change like Esther’s did. I hope that when you do begin to see your dreams become reality, you remain obedient to the Lord. I am the woman I am today because of where I come from.
I also hope that like Joseph you would acknowledge that God is always with you. Know that no matter how many things the devil tries to take from you, you will never be stripped from your passions. Like Joseph, you too can be freed from the prison of your problems and be rewarded greatly. Don’t be surprised if the ones closest to you betray you either. Always keep focused on your goals and no matter what you go through, trust in the Lord to see your goals and dreams become reality.
I hope you look a little deeper and discover the Ruth within you as well. I hope you never give up, always remain obedient and know that God will provide for you. According to Dale Carnegie, “most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying where there seemed to be no hope at all”.
Like Gideon, I hope you go triumph over your enemies, despite all of your past failures. Increase your faith and stop doubting the Lord. If it’s one thing I am sure about is that God is not a fable. Rather, He is the one who will make all of your hearts’ desires become reality. Believe in Him and start to acknowledge all of the YOU’s within you.
Know that there is a multiplicity of persons within you. Remember that you are not normal. You were born with galaxies of passions within you and it is time to stop selling yourself short and discover all of the different YOU’s within you.
According to Maya Angelou, “if you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be”. I hope you discover how amazing you truly are!