I did an exercise a while back with a coach and she asked me to identify the best parts of myself, my essence. In doing so I talked with friends and searched within myself and found five essence words that are the truest nature of who I am. With this set of words, I am more aware of what my best self is capable of and more aware of when I am responding to the world from one of these places.
For example, one of my essence words is acceptance. When I am in a situation, especially one in which disagreements may arise, I have learned to become aware if I am responding to these situations from a place of acceptance or from somewhere else. If I recognize that I am coming from a place of fear, insecurity or doubt, I take a step back. In a matter of moments I evaluate my response and change it if necessary. When we come from a positive place, a place of essence, we are being our naturally greatest self. From experience, this is both beneficial to ourselves as well as anyone we are interacting with.
Check in with yourself and identify 3-5 essence words. Are you a leader? loving? patient? nurturing? Next time you find yourself in a situation where you must think before you speak or act-ask yourself, "Where am I coming from?"