Some of us embrace who we are. Some of us shrink away from who we are. Others of us just coast along hoping that who we is good enough. But within all of us the question is asked at some point “who am I and is this who I should be?” We classify people the “chatty ones”, the “analytical ones”, the “driven ones”, the “over achievers”, the “just gettin’ by”, “the slackers”, the “loners”. In every area we categorize, compartmentalize, group, box. We try to fit ourselves into the known “types” and many times we can, yet when we find that one thing that just doesn’t seem to fit we all of a sudden feel out of place, alone, confused, wrong. “Who am I and is this who I should be?”
So how do we identify who we actually are so that we can begin the journey of really finding and embracing ” the us”? The beautiful thing is that there is a fabulous tool readily available at our finger tips (+ some shipping time unless you buy digital) that can do the initial work for us! Tom Rath, a New York Times Bestselling Author, has written a book entitled “StrengthsFinder 2.0″. For those of you who just lost interest with the word “book”, stick with me for a moment. The book is really more of a reference, the gold is the online strengths assessment.
The 35 minute assessment is unlike any other personality, gifting, or fit-you-in-a-box assessment that you’ve seen before. It isn’t an assessment that compartmentalizes, rather, it holistically unwraps. It doesn’t point out the areas in which you “need improvement” or tell you how to better “manage your conflict skills”, it helps you to see what you are truly good at so you can better embrace those things and excel in what already comes natural to you.
The test takes a list of 34 well-defined strengths and identifies your top 5. It then goes on not only to give the general description (which is available in the book) but it also gives you a personalized description of how each of those 5 strengths manifest themselves in your life. It doesn’t end there. It also gives you ideas for how to grow in your strengths and information for others on how to work alongside of your strengths.
I heard about the “StrengthsFinder 2.0″ about 9 months ago when a good friend of mine told me about how she was using it at a local university in a leadership course. I was thoroughly intrigued but it stopped there. It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested, I was just busy. At Christmas I was pleased when she excitedly gave me the book, but it sat and collected dust. Once again busyness got the best of me. It wasn’t until my girls life group at Bloom decided to use the book to get to know each other on a deeper level. We started by having one girl share her strengths each month and after she shared then we each wrote her a note about how we see these strengths in her life and how we are praying for her. Not only did it become a time when we got to know more about each other, but we also began to develop deeper relationships and see the real beauty in each of us.
Getting to know others’ strengths has been my favorite part in this journey of finding. Finding my own, however, has also been enlightening and eye-opening. I’ve been able to see that the areas in my life where I’m sometimes misunderstood are beautiful things about me that I’m actually really good at. Realizing that they are strengths has helped me to not be as frustrated with others when the misunderstandings occur. On the contrary, I’ve actually be able to articulate how I view things and how that can be a good thing.
If you’ve ever asked the question “who am I and is this who I should be” maybe you should take some time (35 min + is all you need) to take the “StrengthsFinder 2.0″ assessment. If you take the time to identify, to realize, and to embrace, I promise you will happen, you will grow, and you will live.
If you do take the test, post your results in a comment, I would love to read what your skill set is!
Strategic * Learner * Significance * Maximizer * Responsibility