I took a class today that my company paid for, and it was such a great class. It was super interactive and intimate, and the instructor came from the improv world. The class is designed for you to know what your realized and unrealized strengths are, weaknesses, as well as learned behaviors, so you can start using more of your strengths on a daily basis to live a happier, more productive life. When you play to your strengths, you feel more confident and you set more challenging goals for yourself. You also feel better about your work because you actually enjoy what you’re doing. Basically to cut to the chase, if you’re not in a role or position that provides you with opportunities to use and maximize your strengths, then maybe you should consider quitting your job or switching to another team.
The class had 7 people, and when we were discussing our work reviews from our managers, my colleague decides to bring up my manager’s tendency to be a micro manager, so I had no choice but to dive into it. I told the instructor that 70% of our performance reviews were based on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. She asked me how that made me feel, and I straight up told her that I knew that my strengths were not aligned with my job because part of why I chose this job was to strengthen my weakness which is my attention to detail. And honestly I’ve improved so much, but at the end of the detail, being detail oriented is draining to me. It’s something that I’ve learned to do well, but it’s not something I’m naturally good at. She then looks at me and hints that I should quit my job haha.
I kept things on the DL throughout the session since my team member was there, but I had a 1 on 1 conversation with the instructor after the class. I told her my career plans, and she looked at me with a big smile. She asked me if I was ready, and I told her I was excited to do it and that Efficacy was my #2 strength.
That’s when she told me she could tell from the way I walked around in the room that I was someone who could accomplish anything I put my mind to. She said that when she asked me about my job, she was surprised by my answers because she felt like I could take on the world if I was given the opportunity to.
Even though I just met this woman for about 2 hours, her words really touched my heart, and we both ended up tearing up. She had just recently taken the plunge and moved to LA about 2 weeks ago just because, and I thought that was extremely admirable.
Anyway, here are my key takeaways and recent revelations.
1) Play to your strengths, and try to use 80% of your strengths in your work. You’re going to feel more fulfilled and happier.
2) Take responsibility. If you’re not using enough of your strengths right now, make it happen. Discuss growth and development opportunities with your manager.
3) I’m a huge advocate of the fact that your personality is not set in stone. You can change anything about yourself if you want to. You can change your preferences and your habits. You have that power to transform your life.
4) Improv, improv, improv. It can change your life and perspective. Worth trying at least once in your life!
5) Take risks. Go out of your comfort zone. Never become complacent.
6) Have a mindset of creating and learning.
7) It’s never too late to change your life and turn it around. Age is nothing but a number.
8) Live by example. The persuasive power you achieve from this is incredible.
9) If you commit, you better commit. There is no half-ass. Do or do not. There is no try.
10) There are no mistakes. Everything in life is a learning experience.
11) I was surprised that my #1 Strength according to this test is Courage.
As I plan my next adventure in life, I can’t help but think of the selfishness of my decision to live my youth and pursue my passion while leaving my parents behind who are getting older everyday. I worry that I will not be able to support them if anything arises, and that has been something that has made me hesitant in terms of moving away. Thank you friends for telling me that my parents can have your numbers and call you if they need anything. Thank you. Sometimes I ask myself how I got so lucky to have such amazing friends. I am forever grateful. Thank you for having faith in me and my journey. I promise to not let you all down.
I let it go. It’s like swimming against the current. It exhausts you. After a while, whoever you are, you just have to let go, and the river brings you home.
One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.
I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.
That’s the problem with putting others first; you’ve taught them you come second.
is that you never half-ass anything. When you decide to commit to something or someone, you’re all in.
Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that’s where I imagine it - there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.