Hello, I'm Dara.
I've spent the first decade of my career, seeking –– in constant pursuit of my purpose.
I went from fast-paced PR agencies, to marketing for beauty and fashion brands, to the bustling startup tech world, to starting an apparel brand of my own.
And even before my professional career, I wanted to experience everything.
I dabbled in 25+ jobs and internships. From early mornings serving piping hot donuts, to hostessing at fancy restaurants, to playing with kiddos at summer camp, to photographing icons backstage at NYFW, I've enjoyed loads of novel experiences.
But this love of novelty wasn't all sunshine and roses. Many times, I've felt aimless and lost. I saw people around me settle into careers, some even truly enjoying their work.
Why couldn't I find my thing I'd wonder...was there something wrong with me?
Like anyone whose been on a soul-searching journey, phase one is marked with soul-wrenching confusion and indecision. And that inevitably leads you to self-exploration.
As I delved into tools for self-exploration, I started with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Through testing and narrative study, I related to the tendencies of an ENFP.
Next up was the Enneagram, an intricate tool that looks at your internal landscape –– your core motivations, fears and desires. After diving into the complexities of the wings, lines, and subtypes, I related to the drivers of an Enneagram 7, SP subtype.
Beyond self-exploration, these tools helped have more compassion. It helped me understand the choices I've made, and the decisions I struggle to make. Instead of criticizing myself, I learned to lean into my nature and grow from a place of acceptance.
When used in this way, tools like Myers-Briggs and the Enneagram are incredibly helpful. However, they can be harmful if you use them to limit yourself, excuse maladaptive behavior, or label others. It's also important to note that these tools are based on theories.
The Big Five, however, is evidenced-based. This five-factor model of personality is the most rigorously researched taxonomy in the field of psychology. The five traits form the acronym OCEAN which stands for: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Intriguingly, there are correlations between the Big Five, Myers-Briggs, and the Enneagram.
This was especially compelling. On the Big Five model, I index higher on the spectrum of openness and extraversion, which matches with the traits of an ENFP and Enneagram 7. Furthermore, psychologists call this trait combination a 'sensation seeking' or 'novelty seeking' personality.
Aha, this explained my propensity to seek new experiences, and new career paths!
Personal Growth for Purpose Seekers
If you identify as a seeker, you may feel like you're on a never-ending quest for purpose. Your curiosity, love of change, and inclination towards novelty will take you on an exciting path.
At times, you will feel like you're a quitter, or lack follow-through. Know you're not alone. And know it's okay to explore, try new things, and evolve.
Though, it's important to be aware of when to stay still.
Perhaps you're quitting to avoid criticism or failure. These are moments to sit with the discomfort, in service of your own growth. Or, maybe your unique contribution is needed. These are moments to share your innate gifts with the world. This joy surpasses any dopamine hit novelty can give you.
With a hyper-active mind, it's not always easy to tell if you're running away from something, or moving towards. My own inability to hear my inner wisdom inspired me to learn a range of tools for inner transformation, and eventually become a coach.
- Co-Active® Model
- Cognitive-Behavioral Model
- The Enneagram
- Mindful Self-Compassion
- Embodied Presence
As your coach, I'm dedicated to helping you create space to hear your inner wisdom, and take intentional steps towards what's next for you.
Curiosity - exploring without attachment or expectation.
Compassion - accepting my humanness, and the humanness of others.
Courage - acting in alignment with my values, even in the presence of fear.
A few tidbits about me...
Fun Things: Myers-Briggs: ENFP | Enneagram 7 | Middle Child
City: San Francisco (right next to Golden Gate Park). Previously New York, San Diego (UCSD), and Burbank (hometown).
Morning Routine: Deep breaths, green smoothie, and a neighborhood stroll.
Happy Place: Dance parties with my daughter and husband. Inspiring conversations. Running alongside breathtaking scenery.
Motto: Be here now, do what flows.