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  • Rishi Gaurav Bhatnagar

pre-work on getting to know yourself

GTKY or Get To Know You was a famous term while I was working at Target between 2014-2017. In this activity, you speak with the new peers and get to know them. You ask them questions, tell them your story and bond. I never thought how a GTKY question would fundamentally change my life. Let me tell you my story. The year is 2018, I am at an all-night party in the deserts of Masada thanks to the Forbes summit. I met a few folks from some well-known media houses who were just curious about my story and wanted to know me better.

“Tell me about yourself and I’d love to know your story better” - that was the question that in more ways than one showed me the mirror that I had been avoiding for too damn long. And what I saw in the mirror wasn’t nice. All my insecurities, my imposter syndrome, and everything else that I didn’t even know at the time came out from deep subconscious to my conscious, and the body gave up on me. I excused myself for a brief moment and experienced a blackout.

Between the real self, the projected self, and the self we think we are, there is almost always an inhuman about of gap. I have learned that this is the space where all the insecurities, triggers, traumas, and more lie.

Let me ask you this: if you don’t really know who your real self is, and whether you like it, wouldn’t trying to be authentic just be an exercise in vain? How would you be a good leader, a good partner, a good friend? In a conflict, how do you know that you are angry because you don’t like what was said, instead of you reacting to your integral triggers that have nothing to do with the other person or the conflict?

If I didn’t even know my real self or the self that I am at this moment, how was I to tell my story? Who is me? This question started me on a journey of its own. Thankfully, the world around me told me and showed me that I wasn’t half as bad as I thought I was.

On returning from Israel, and getting mugged in Istanbul, I finally landed back with a lot of work ahead of me. I was entering into a journey that I just knew I had to take now, the only way around it was through it. The questions below have guided me into the understanding self, given me a status update on where I stand and eventually helped me identify where to go from here.

As you will see, it’s a pretty straightforward question and answer process that you can go deep down into. But you must do it in a safe space, you must find a therapist or a coach who can help you with this. I recommend never doing this with friends because you don’t know if your story may trigger your friends knowingly or unknowingly.


  1. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you like yourself?

  2. What are your triggers?

  3. What are your insecurities?

  4. What are your anxieties?

  5. What are some patterns you repeat in your life knowingly or unknowingly?

  6. What are your fundamental belief systems driving your life?

  7. Do you have healthy boundaries in your life?

  8. Have you been avoiding certain kinds of literature, music, TV shows or movies? Do you know where that is coming from?

  9. What would your ideal self look like?

  10. How would you bridge you self today and your ideal self?

Take your time and do this at your own pace. Reach out to me if you think I may be able to help. I am always happy to share whatever I have discovered about myself, perhaps you will find some mile markers in our conversations. I hope this helps! :)

Be 1% kinder to yourself today. Keep growing!

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