Saturday, April 17, 2010

The evolution of understanding my strengths...

A couple of months ago now, a friend told me to try "Strengths Finder 2.0" to see what my strengths really are. Now, prior to this I had done some pondering about what I thought were my strengths and these were the two themes that kept repeating:
  • Solving puzzles. Whether this be a brain teaser, Math problem, mystery or something else to figure out, I really do like the process of starting with a question and then having an answer in the end. There is a sense of achievement here of course as well as that of learning something, either something matching what I already knew or something new to add to my arsenal.
  • Helping people. This can be sharing knowledge that I have about something that I overhear someone ask, giving support to others that may need some in a moment of need, or just generally feeling useful and getting a thank you in one form or another. Even if the person doesn't thank me, I may internally thank myself so it still works out well.
Now, after taking the questionaire from the book, I got quite the different themes to explore and I really didn't think these fit me well at the time. My strengths were so different than others I had seen and thus I felt some shame over it, kind of like "I don't want to be different" to put it in simplest terms. Those 5 themese are:
  • Learner - This has 2 parts to it for me. The first is that I like to know stuff and so acquiring knowledge on a subject is something right up my alley. The second part to this is that I like to find new ways of doing things, continually improving what I do. Is there a better way to do this? How could I make this better? Those are questions I routinely ask myself at times.
  • Achiever - This is shown in how I keep busy and always seem to be doing something. I want to get things done, has something I can reflect upon as "I did that" where the that can be almost anything in a sense.
  • Responsbility - This has been a part of me since my grade 2 teacher wrote as a comment in my report card that I was dependable and responsible. Thus, this has been something I've done for years though in some parts of my life I am surprisingly irresponsible like with my health.
  • Intellection - This shows up most frequently in various brain-y compliments I get. I really do like to think a lot and this is what this strength is. One could argue that back in my early school days, I knew I wasn't athletic or artistic, so I found academics to be where I'd carve out my niche in a way.
  • Strategic - This is how I tend to see the periphery more than what is right in front of me. I can see consequences before they happen and try to prevent bad outcomes in a way. This can be a problem in some cases if I try to stay too far ahead as trying to stay 10 steps ahead is amazingly hard to do well. At the same time, staying only one or two steps is much easier to do.
Given that I've had a couple of months to reflect on these strengths, I can know see more of how I do really have each of these within me and where I can use these. Learner, Intellection and Strategic are all part of "Strategic Thinking" in various ways so that may be where I try to take my career in the next few years. At the same time, I feel like I've repressed my emotions for so long that I'm tempted to try to get more mature in that dimension of myself. This will be hard, but I believe I am in enough good communities where this is accepted that the next stage of my life is about to unfold. I will try to get this blog to be a bit more up to date as my journey continues so for anyone reading this, thank you for sharing in my journey.

1 comment:

  1. JB, turning our energies inward to reflect on strengths rather than weaknesses is so wise! We all struggle with this, but amazingly when we shift to 'what makes us feel stronger', everything does begin to shift and even while it happens gradually, it is felt before too long through the intricacies. I think there should be more focus on living from that pure space inside of us that is brilliant and loving and where everything of who we most are is accepted and encouraged to grow! I also like what you shared here and kudos to you!!
    "This will be hard, but I believe I am in enough good communities where this is accepted that the next stage of my life is about to unfold."
    Surround yourself with authentic role models, and build your own community. It is amazing how when you are ready, things happen for you and more people will come into your life. Think BIG and know that you are shifting into NEW and exciting realities.
    have a great week! ~Jenn