If there is one thing that I have learned about blogging, is that I suck at it. I always have these amazing thoughts and ideas and “what if” questions and tell myself that I am going to write about, and then watch them trend and go viral. Then I get distracted and start playing candy crush.
Over the last few months, I have taken on some personal challenges, (no I didn’t resolve to blog more) however I did begin to meet with a life coach. I knew this was something that I wanted to do, and finally got the nerve to reach out to a friend of mine who was working with a pretty cool organization. He started out by telling me that I needed to take the Strengths Finders. It was one of the most enlightening times in my life. We went through the process, and I discovered a lot about myself. But here was the biggest thing: Most of my life I have been told to work on all the weaknesses in my character and life. But very few, if any, people have told me to focus my attention on my strengths! I have spent so much energy trying to be someone that I am not, that I have totally ignored the strengths that I naturally possess…for instance, I am:
I am not:
I have focused so much energy on the bottom 5 and have pretty much ignored the top 5! Now here comes the irony of all of this. When I learned to pour energy into what I am gifted in, the bottom 5 strengths have naturally risen with the tide! You know that old adage, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” This has proven true.
Recently, a position opened up in my department. I thought I might be good at it, although I wasn’t sure of all the details of what the program did. I applied. Now in my past life, I would have tried to convince the hiring manager that I was perfect for this job. This time, I simply slid over my strengths and said, “This is who I am. If you think that I would be right for this position, then this is who you are getting.” I can tell you that for an instant, I thought about selling myself to fit the position. But I stayed the course and trusted the process. Instead of trying to squeeze myself into a role, I simply relied on how God had made me, and rested in that! There were no lies, or manipulation. I rested in my strengths…I got the position.
Since then, I have continued this process with the team that I am responsible for. I have applied the strengths to our team, and we are able to learn the same language. It’s a process to be sure, however we are learning that by recognizing each others strengths, we can work interdependently with each other, instead of being in a toxic “it’s all about me” environment.
One of the biggest problems in our culture is lying. We lie or twist the truth to try and get what we think we need. We lie to ourselves, our bosses, our families simply because we have not been given the permission to be ourselves. When you find out who you are, the stress of trying to be something you are not will wash away. You can really have fun with how God made you!
We’ve also applied this in our home. It has given us a language in which to speak with each other. We know our strengths, and that helps us recognize how we think about situations…it’s helped my marriage and my relationship with my kids…
I suck at being consistent. I suck at being disciplined. But I am pretty good at being positive! I am pretty good at seeing the future and help others get there! I think I’ll stick to what and who God made me, maybe you can too. Being who you are can set you free. It may sound odd, but it’s true, and that’s OK.
At KeyStone, we are going through another amazing study of the Enneagram. This is incredible as it unpacks the 9 types of humans in context of interacting with other fascist of strengths and weaknesses. Wherever you land, find out what makes you unique. Find out what makes you…you. When you do, chase it down and never regret being someone you’re not!