The Science of Becoming
The Self You Were Born to Be
Senka Holzer, PhD
Award-winning, science-backed guide to authentic living.
For decades, psychologists, and researchers jave studies core values, what Dr. Senka Holzer’s calls “psychological DNA.”
These core values are the things that light people up, gives them pure joy—they are what matters most. When one’s life is aligned with their core values, they are at their best. Yet despite what popular psychology says, understanding one’s core values isn’t enough to guarantee fulfillment. Senka’s research reveals something new: that people operate with not one, but two different sets of values. In addition to core values, everyone absorbs values from outside sources—family, friends, the media, their generation, and their culture. Senka calls these acquired values, and most people aren’t even aware of them. Here’s why acquired values are important: it’s our awareness of our acquired values that determines our ultimate fulfillment. Without this knowledge, people may spend precious time and energy attempting to align themselves with values that are not even their own.
In Be You, Senka draws on her award-winning research as a real-life scientist with a day job in molecular medicine and heart physiology at a major international research hospital. Throughout Be You, readers can be confident that science—evidence, facts, research, and logic—are the foundation of her work. But it is also inspired by Senka’s life-long fascination with human psychology and mind-body connection. She has years of certified personal and professional coaching experience and she is committed to turning “hard” science into a deeply intuitive and empathetic model for self-transformation and fulfillment. Senka writes from the heart, in every sense of the word!
Dr. Senka Holzer was led to her specialty—heart physiology—by her fascination of the biochemical connection between the mind and body. After completing studies in biochemistry at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia, she moved to Graz, Austria, to attend a PhD program in Molecular Medicine from the Medical University of Graz. Soon after graduation, Senka was awarded the Austrian Science Fund’s most prestigious postdoctoral fellowship for young female scientists, which led her to the University of California, Davis. While living in California, she entered the world of coaching by completing Professional Coaching for Life and Work at UC Davis Extension and The Science of Happiness at UC Berkeley. Senka left the coach-training program inspired to understand whether disconnection from our value systems can have detrimental effects on our hearts. She organized a team of coaches, educators, and scientists to conduct an experimental study on life values and how values-based coaching can change levels of wellbeing and stress. In 2015, she received a research award from McLean Hospital’s Institute of Coaching and Harvard Medical School. Currently, Senka is leading the research unit on subcellular ion homeostasis and hypertrophic signaling in cardiac health and disease at the Department of Cardiology of the Medical University of Graz. Senka lives in Graz, Austria, with her husband and two kids.