There are many things that are unique about you. By recognizing the different experiences, perspectives, and values you bring to the table, you can better understand how they influence the way you navigate the world.

Life Lenses

Self Reflection
25 min
Pen + Paper

You look at life through many different ‘lenses’, made up of your unique experiences. You can start identifying those lenses by naming the experiences that matter to you most. Reflect on those experiences and use the following questions to guide you.


Inherited Lenses
Some identities that we are born with are a part of us forever and help shape who we are. What identities do you have that are foundational to who you are? This might include your ethnicity or where you were born.


things that are part of me (inherited):
Such as family, ethnicity, where you’re born, etc.

For Example

puerto rican
Oldest sibling

Able bodied
“Middle class”
From a small town


Developed Lenses
Other identities we develop over time through our experiences and choices. What have you experienced that influences how you see the world? This could be places you’ve gone to school or important experiences in your life, like a big move to a new city.


things  I’ve experienced (developed)
Such as places I live or how I spend my time.

For Example

Went to public school
Played lots of sports
Became vegetarian

Moved to a big city
Love/hate relationship with technology


Cultural Lenses
We can also develop identities based in our beliefs. What beliefs do you hold strongly? These lenses might be related to your political views, spiritual views, or causes you are passionate about. They may change over time, but think about what you believe right now!


Things I believe (cultural):
Such as political views or causes I care about.

For Example

My heritage matters
Spiritual, but not religious
Politically liberal

College is important to me
Environmental rights


Sometimes calling out the experiences that help shape who we are can show us what matters to us. Look at all of the different lenses that you view the world through. What values or beliefs do you have that might be showing up across some of your experiences?


Identifying values
What are some values I have based on my own unique perspective and experiences?

Understanding values
Why are these values important to me?

Sharing values
What could others learn from my unique perspective?

Take a look at our habits below!

Connect with intention

What people or groups do you want to get to know better? Why do they matter to you? Reach out to one person or group today— send a quick text, give someone a call, or reach out in another way. Set up some quality time to spend with them and let them know you value your relationship with them.

Make belonging personal

Who on your community map do you feel closest with? In what situations do you feel most comfortable? Who do you feel most recognized and heard by? Look for commonalities and patterns in how you feel. Finish the sentence: I feel a sense of belonging when __________.

Grow your circles 
of support

The communities we feel most connected to will grow and change over time— continue to add people to your map in the next few months. Use the map as a guide for noticing where you strengthen your relationships and where you might not— where do you want to continue to grow your circles?