We've been exploring themes around what it means to be yourself - but what we haven't talked about yet, who you are.
We all contribute our own unique, innate strengths - these truths help us to better feel fulfilled and whole - once identified, it also helps us come to terms with where we should truly focus our energy and we can better search for the ying to our yang.
So frequently we are told what we aren't good at, where we need improvement, what we should aim to look like, sound like, think like - it can be demoralizing at times to think you aren't adding up, or can never be 'good enough'. What if we overemphasized what we are good at & did that over and over? If you knew what you were organically good at and were celebrated for it vs. to constantly focus on something that felt unnatural, or you failed at, what would your world look like?
I'd wager to say you'd find a confidence that would allow you to soar to heights never known before. So that is what we are talking about today.
I've had the incredible opportunity to take some time for self-awareness through a multitude of assessments in recent months. I won't lie, some of things that have come to the surface are hard to face - but all have been completely liberating.
My favorite assessment to date was the CliftonStrengths. It was developed with the philosophy aforementioned and has really helped me identify where I need to focus my energy and fully claim what I am good at.
Two of the most important things I've learned so far on this journey of self-awareness:
1. I do have 3 heads.
2. I can't play poker.
Those may not seem like admirable traits - but let me explain.
I Do Have 3 Heads
Oftentimes (more than I care to admit), I will speak out and the response I will get from the room is a blank stare. For ages I thought maybe I had something in my teeth or the audience didn't speak my same language, or that I had started to sprout two additional heads and didn't realize it. After taking this assessment, however, I realized that not everyone has the innate strength to think the same way I do - nor should they - or for me to think like them. I now realize that I love ideas, I love splicing and dicing unrelated topics into one big idea & then making it bigger - sometimes so big that I forget to break it down into consumable hunks. The three heads comes from my ability to think quickly stringing a bunch of ideas together - but not everyone follows that way. Which is why it is a gift to me - it doesn't mean I'm wrong, it means I can bring things to the table that may not have been seen in the same light before. My ideas can still get out, I simply need to make it digest-able in order to share the real vision - instead of take everyone on a ramble jamble brain wave when they don't have a surfboard.
I Can't Play Poker
My transparency & excitability shines loud & bright - and sometimes the color red, but nonetheless, it is there with a purpose. You may not want me to play poker with you because my expressions are easily read all over my face. But, I do promise to be passionate about whatever I engage in - and that enthusiasm and my ability to project it helps create a little contagion of excitement in whatever we embark on.
In short, I may be an alien who is really bad at card games - but I am good at a lot of things. You are good at things, too, for example, perhaps you are a really detail oriented person who is really excellent at math - and I need you, because I suck at math.
The real reason why it is important to be yourself, is that there is only one of you. One unique & beautiful individual who knows things in a way that other people don't - and the world needs each of us to keep it interesting and evolving. So go on, focus on what you do best & be the best you there ever could be and I guarantee you won't even be able to hide from happiness if you wanted to.