Ok, that might sound a bit harsh (and not entirely true), but honestly, I find Self-Reflection painful and difficult. I mean, how can you reflect on your blind spots? If you know Johari’s Window, our blind spots are the “I don’t know what I don’t know” box. If you don’t know it, then our blind spots are the things we just can’t see about ourselves with any clarity – it often takes an outside perspective.
So, hear me out.
I believe self-reflection is incredibly helpful, but only if we have some basic information to start. For me, that information comes from Strengths – CliftonStrengths©. All too often our biggest blind spots aren’t the fears or the negative aspects of ourselves. We usually see those quite well. What we tend to miss is what is amazing about us.
How we shine.
How we are better at something than those around us.
How we can achieve excellence by doing something that actually comes easily to us.
We’re human. And society has created a belief that we need to focus on our weaknesses to become better. Frankly, that’s just not so. Our best chance for excellence comes from doing what we naturally do best – and most of us don’t really know what that is. Heck, I’ve been in the Strengths world since 2003 and I’m still figuring out. However, the more time I do what I most enjoy and do well, the clearer my true path becomes.
I believe we are all given a divine purpose or path and it is imperative to nurture this path. I’m not a traditionally religious person, but I do have Connectedness® and I believe in the beautiful mystery and intelligence of the Universe – that’s my “divine”. I also believe that the answer to why we are the way we are and why we are here are also wrapped up beautifully in our talents.
“I finally feel like I have permission to be me”. This is the phrase – or some variation of it – that I hear most often at the end of my online course, The Language of You. From this, I have learned two very valuable lessons:
- Confidence is not the problem; it is merely a symptom of a lack of self-awareness
Most people I have worked with would likely say they are pretty self-confident – and even pretty self-aware, but something is missing. They can’t quite put their finger on it, but they know they could be living or working in a better, more satisfying way.
Which leads us to lesson number two…
- Most of us are holding ourselves back somewhere or somehow.
We do this because there’s a piece of us that is afraid of being judged, or being seen, or we just honestly don’t value the power in that part we’re holding back. Somewhere along the way we’ve been told (or understood) that there’s something wrong with that part of us.
If I were to sit with these people and just ask them questions about what’s being held back (or holding them back), they may never figure it out. The powerful language embedded in their talents combined with their values, motivations and what they most enjoy doing creates an undeniable fabric of who they are and their greatest value and opportunities to contribute to this world.
No more holding back!
I’m sure my thoughts on self-reflection come from my own talents: Strategic, Activator, Maximizer, Communication and Ideation. I’ve never been one to look back, ponder why and dig deep. I prefer to acknowledge the pain and find a way to move forward in a productive way. I want a plan. I don’t want to endlessly ruminate on my feelings about it. Maybe that’s just me. Or maybe it’s you, too?
And please understand, I’m not at all discounting inner work. I’m not missing the value of reflecting on our inner motivations or struggles. I’m not shrugging off the power of understanding why things may have gone the way they’ve gone. I’m merely suggesting that we can make that inner work so much easier by understanding some elemental truths about ourselves, truths that are easily revealed through our talents. I think we make it too hard on ourselves and it doesn’t have to be that hard.
I want to help kick start you in moving forward with your plans, your big dreams, your amazing vision by creating a solid foundation from which to launch yourself. A foundation that will guarantee a higher rate of success and sustainability.
If you’re even a little bit curious about how, let’s have a conversation. I deeply desire building a community who believes things can be better and sees a future of possibility before them.
I look forward to connecting.
Peru’s only Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and President of Conscious Business Journey Peru. I am on a mission to Raise a Strengths-Based Generation by teaching Strengths as a Second-Language. I seek to create a world where everyone can live to their full potential, talents aren’t wasted and happiness is contagious. As a single mompreneur and expat living in Peru, I understand the challenges and rewards that both entail. When I’m not helping others create extraordinary lives, I can be found at the sewing machine, at the movies, enjoying a glass of wine with friends or horsing around with my terribly precocious little boy, affectionately known as O.