In my post on thinking outside the box, I talk a little bit about working with yourself instead of against yourself. Since that post I have been thinking a lot about this idea and I’ve realized just how important it is and just how deep it goes.
I recently watched a TED talk by Brene Brown on the power of vulnerability. Some of you may have seen it already, but, if not, I recommend it – it was an extremely powerful talk and I thought it fit in really well with the idea of working with yourself.
One of the things that Brene mentions in her talk, that really caught my attention, is that in order to achieve human connection (which we all need and want) you have to be willing to be vulnerable and let yourself truly be seen for who you are. This made me realize that the same is true for learning to work with yourself. In any aspect of our lives it is so important that we learn to work with our own strengths and needs. This is the only way we can ever achieve our true potential. And, in order to really work with yourself, you need to know who you are, and you need to be willing to let others see that too.
This year I took a 360 assessment. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it is an assessment where you choose 10 people to answer a series of questions about your skills and reactive tendencies. In my assessment I scored very high on the relational side. Which means that my strengths are relational and people skills. At first when I saw this I was not so happy. The idea of being a people-oriented person in a workforce that seemed to really value processes, and logic, and reasoning made me feel like my skills were somehow ‘wrong’. Why? Because I had started comparing myself to others, and to what I thought was the ‘proper’ way to do things.
After thinking a lot about it, I realized a few things:
- Just because someone else is smart, and successful by doing things one way, doesn’t mean that I can’t be successful doing things my own way. In fact, I will always be more successful if I do things in a way that works with my own thinking-process. And, I will be much more useful in my work if I am willing to embrace and use all of my strengths.
- Deciding to do things my own way means that I have be willing to be comfortable in my own skin. I have to be willing to be vulnerable and show the world who I really am. It sounds so simple, but can be hard to do.
- Sometimes the things that we perceive as weaknesses are actually strengths. In my case, I had to realize that relational skills are not a weakness! They mean that I connect with people, that I collaborate, and that I value the opinion of others. These can be powerful tools if I am willing to let them shine.
- It takes all kinds. Just how boring would it be if we were all the same? I know that this is not a new idea, but it is so true. Being different is what makes us all work well together, and what makes for beautiful diversity in the world.
We can all embrace our uniqueness and realize that this is what makes us so wonderful!
What are some of the unique things about yourself that make you wonderful?
Until next time,