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Who Are You Meant to Be?: A Groundbreaking Step-by-Step Process for Discovering and Fulfilling Your True Potential by [Anne Dranitsaris, Heather Dranitsaris-Hilliard]

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Who Are You Meant to Be?: A Groundbreaking Step-by-Step Process for Discovering and Fulfilling Your True Potential Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER ONE

THE WAY WE LIVE

Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.

—John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

THINK OF A TIME when you truly felt connected to yourself. You knew what you were aiming for, knew you were on target, knew what you needed, and had a plan to get it. All the while, you were brimming with passion about the whole enterprise. You were fully engaged, working with strong determination and purposefulness. You were infused with a feeling of well-being and power. If you’ve ever experienced this feeling, even for a short time, you have a sense of what it means to live authentically as who you are meant to be. It’s a wonderful feeling—like driving a finely tuned race car on a smooth track with the finish line clearly in your sights. But for most of us, the better-fitting analogy is white knuckling the wheel of a sputtering old jalopy, hanging on for dear life as we bounce over an endless series of potholes toward an uncertain destination.

Too often, we try to figure out what we are meant to be (good mother, loving husband, dutiful son) or what we are meant to do (scientist, teacher, engineer) without really knowing who we are. In other words, we get in the car and drive with only a vague notion of where we are going or why. We seem to define ourselves and live our lives from the outside in, looking outside for answers to questions that can only be answered from within. This approach leads to a lack of self-knowledge and self-awareness and is one of the reasons that so many of us suffer from anxiety, depression, addictions, and other problems. And even if we see our lives as moving along fairly well (maybe not like a high-performance race car, but not like a bucket of bolts either), imagine the benefit we could enjoy if we had an “owner’s manual” that could show us how to prevent some of our most frustrating situations and how to stay tuned up and running more smoothly. Imagine that there was a Roadmap to help you emerge as the person you are meant to be. Well, here it is!

Who Are You Meant to Be? is for everyone who wants to thrive—to step up and face the challenges of living life authentically, feeling the power that comes from living unafraid to be themselves. However, doing so doesn’t mean that we have to drop out of society. The Striving Styles help us understand what it means to live our life authentically and thrive as a result. This book can be of benefit to everyone. It helped a nine-year-old girl learn at school rather than being labeled “unfocused” and “rebellious”; it helped the couple who stopped fighting and blaming each other for their unhappiness and started working together to create a more loving relationship; it helped the employee who stopped complaining about work and asked for a transfer when he realized that his job was not meeting his needs; and it helped the leader who was no longer afraid to hold his employees accountable and stopped hiding out in his office. It has the potential to help every one of us who has ever felt empty, has been afraid to show who we are, has been dissatisfied with a career or relationship, or has been simply living anything less than our potential.

Life on Autopilot

There is only one success: to be able to spend your life in your own way, and not to give others absurd maddening claims upon it.

—Christopher Morley, Where the Blue Begins

With all the advances that have been made in understanding the human brain, and the hundreds of volumes that have been written on the ins and outs of personality, emotions, and behavior, how can it be that most of us know more about the basic features of our televisions or computers than we do about our own thoughts and feelings? A quick scan of the self-help section of any bookstore confirms it: we have more information at our fingertips on how to create the life we are meant to live than we could ever read in a lifetime. We read the information—some of us obsessively—yet few of us actually use it to make significant changes in our lives. Ironic, isn’t it, that in a culture so attached to the success of the individual, we walk right past the opportunity to get into the race car and instead climb behind the wheel of the jalopy again and again, going down the same dead ends and making the same wrong turns?

Often, we don’t even know there’s a problem. If we don’t love our jobs, if we feel stifled in a relationship, if we get impatient with those we love, or if we just have a restlessness we can’t quite define, we may write it off as “normal.” But the truth is that most of us don’t understand our own needs, feelings, and habits of mind very well, so we sabotage ourselves by living life at less than full throttle. Over time, we may accept this compromised situation as living, when, unknown to us, all we are really doing is surviving.

When we feel insecure or indecisive, we don’t seem to have the skills and capacity to look inward for answers, or we are too afraid or embarrassed to seek help. We often end up with some degree of persistent, unfocused anxiety about ourselves. We keep pushing ourselves to do more and have more or are in pursuit of a perfect state of being that always seems to elude us. We live our lives on autopilot doing what is expected of us because we are too afraid we will disappoint or upset others should we reveal our human qualities or perceived limitations.

Take Suzanne as an example.

Suzanne is a working mother who spends whatever free time she has with her three young children. She has regular evening and bedtime routines with the kids because she read that this was important to their development. She has little time with her husband and even less to spend on herself.

Although she had never been much of a crafter, she felt pressured to accept a request by her youngest child’s teacher to plan and set up a large bulletin board display for Halloween. Despite not having the time or inclination to do this, she didn’t feel that she could say no. Suzanne felt increasingly panicked and resentful as Halloween drew closer. During the entire week before she delivered the bulletin board, she lost her patience with the kids and toiled away on the project as her husband made dinner and carried out the pre-bedtime rituals without her. In spite of being an early-to-bed sort of person, she stayed up well past midnight on the final night to finish. When she saw the final product, all she could think of was how someone else could have done it better.

Like Suzanne, we can get so caught up trying to do what others expect of us that we become a “human doing,” stretching ourselves so thin that we end up running on empty. We make decisions that are inconsistent with our own values, and we forget that we have a self to take care of. We don’t always think of the consequences of this, and if we do, those thoughts probably come in the form of negative self-talk. For example, “Why did I say that I would help Ted move? I am so stupid. My wife is going to be so angry with me. I keep doing the same thing over and over again. When am I ever going to learn? I am hopeless.” This type of self-talk only serves to make us feel defeated as we go from activity to activity, without awareness of the price we pay when we are just surviving our day-to-day lives.

Why do we stretch ourselves beyond all reasonable limitations or repeatedly fail to say what we really want? Simply put, we do it out of fear for the way it will make us or someone else feel. We let our fear define and decide what experiences we will have and what we will say, because we are afraid of stirring up emotions in others or ourselves. We don’t want to risk causing those whose love and approval we desire to feel disappointment, frustration, or anger when we fail to meet their expectations. We are also afraid of the feelings we might have—such as anxiety, embarrassment, or shame—when we don’t measure up to our own expectations. We adapt excessively, looking outside of ourselves to let us know who we should be and how we should act.

Looking Outside of Ourselves for the Answers

You can succeed if nobody else believes it, but you will never succeed if you don’t believe in yourself.

—William J. H. Boetcker

Looking outside of ourselves to get to know who we are or who we should be doesn’t make sense. It’s like looking through an open window when what we really need is a mirror. When we depend on others’ approval to determine what we will do with our lives, we live in a narrow, distorted version of ourselves. The same thing happens when we compare ourselves to others. We don’t realize how much we weaken our self-esteem by making these comparisons, as they tend to make our own perceived shortcomings appear even worse. Whenever we look outside for acceptance and approval, we move further away from our true nature and become more and more dependent on others to validate us. Asking others who they think we are meant to be is like calling out through the open window, saying, “I’m searching for myself. Have you seen me anywhere?”

Too often, the way we come to realize that we aren’t traveling on our own path or we are failing to meet our potential is that we finally get tired of listening to ourselves complain and we start doing something about our situation. We might also wake up to the fact that we’ve been waiting for something or someone else to change, believing that this will allow us to have the life we really want. Some of us hit a life crisis, such as a divorce, children leaving home, or losing a job we hated anyway, before we take stock of ourselves and how much we have denied our... --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Publication date : January 1, 2013
  • File size : 1564 KB
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 384 pages
  • Publisher : Sourcebooks (January 1, 2013)
  • ASIN : B00AQLTOSM
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • Language: : English
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.9 out of 5 stars 13 ratings

Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5
13 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2013
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Top reviews from other countries

sjbjoat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book and great food for thought
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 27, 2013
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Jt
4.0 out of 5 stars A good place to start to find out about yourself.
Reviewed in Canada on September 22, 2016
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Karin
5.0 out of 5 stars I already have this book and just ordered several more for my clients.
Reviewed in Canada on March 17, 2013
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