Clarifying Strengths

Posted by Debby on 15th May and posted in EDC 667

Clarifying Our Strengths and Growth Areas
Take your time. Be thoughtful. The questions are designed to be thought-provoking, so don’t rush through them. Read all of the questions first, and begin the exercise by answering the ones that come easiest. Use a notepad to sketch out longer responses.

1. Imagine yourself observing a dear friend talking about you with heartfelt love and admiration. What would your friend be saying?
She is a loyal and trusting friend who will do anything for those she cares about. She loves spending time with me and is very supportive of my endeavors, but never afraid to tell me the heartfelt truth.

2. When you are energized and inspired, what particular personality traits or strengths are being expressed by you?
Enthusiasm, confidence, fluidity

3. What are some of your Conscious Beliefs about yourself?
I believe that I have the ability to figure out most problems, to adapt to unique situations, and to understand things from the perspective of others. I believe that people are inherently good and have good intentions. I believe that the purpose of life is to find meaning, joy, and fulfillment, and to help others find those things also. I believe in leadership by example, by encouraging rather than forcing followers, by helping those in my charge develop their potential.

4. What are some of your Shadow Beliefs about yourself?
Sometimes I wonder if I can live up to the expectations others have of me. Maybe it’s because most of my knowledge is self-obtained… not officially “learned”. On one level I have a lot of confidence in my abilities. On the other, I feel like I am pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes, and that it won’t be long before they all find out the truth – that I really don’t know what I am talking about, that I am just faking my way through. It seems like each new job or project I take on, I have that feeling. As I spend the time grappling with the issues, problem solving, and trouble shooting, I get control of the situation and my confidence returns. I guess the undercurrent of self-doubt is what motivates me to prove myself wrong and see just how far I can go.

5. When you are In-Character, what qualities come forth? Do certain situations inhibit or express your character more?
Trust, openness, compassion, adaptability. When I feel comfortable with the situation, I am more likely to express in-character traits. When I am uncertain of the surroundings or am among people I don’t really know, I tend to be less open and a little more uncertain in my interactions.

6. When you are In-Persona, what qualities come forth? What beliefs or fears are generating these qualities?
Control, avoidance, distraction. The beliefs behind these qualities probably stem from a false sense of my own capabilities. If I can control a situation there are fewer surprises to cause me problems. When I am in persona, I tend to avoid unpleasant situations and am easily distracted.

7. When in your life have you felt more completely yourself, not meeting others, expectations, but just being fulfilled in expressing who you are?
When I am teaching something I am excited about and confident in my knowledge of, like the 4-H Dog Project, or web design. I feel confident and comfortable, and I enjoy mentoring others to learn new skills. I also feel like this when I get absorbed in a problem that I need to solve that allows me to scaffold my existing knowledge to a higher level, when the solution is just beyond my reach and I have to stretch a little to figure it out. When I find the solution, I feel a great sense of accomplishment.

8. What steps can you take in your life to create more times like this?

9. You are a never-to-be repeated leader. What combination of life experience, life challenges, and innate character traits have uniquely prepared you?
I have the ability to empathize with people and understand their issues. I am able to listen to people and gather information before making a decision.

10. If you have to write a eulogy for your own funeral, what would it say?
Mother, wife, friend, teacher, mentor. Loyal to those she loved, trusting to those she met. Loved to learn and loved to help others discover their own meaning. Always did her best and always tried to choose the right.

  • Cat Milhauser

    I never would have guessed you had this “belief.” Being self-taught can create the feeling of doubt guess. “What is it that everyone else knows that I never learned?” I got my undergrad degree late in life, so can relate to that. I had this sinking feeling that my peers had all had a set of experiences I didn’t share. Now I know that is true, but have come to realize those experiences had more to do with kegs of beer than learning 😉
    Anyway, your doubts don’t show. I rely on you for help and tech expertise — maybe too much. What you have learned through experience is much more valuable than most people get through formal training.

  • Renee Citlau

    I have also been going through the reflections. Powerful is a good word to use in thinking about how shadow beliefs hold us back. I can see that I have a fear of failure that is limiting me. It is easier for me to stay with the status quo than to risk failure. I need to spend more time reflecting on this. How liberating to be able to look at these things squarly.

  • Valerie Karnes

    I can relate to your shadow beliefs as I share them myself. I wonder if we all feel that way?

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