What are your Top 5?
Harmony, Context, Consistency, Developer, Relator
How do you see them playing in your life?
I see my strengths at work all day, every day, but I see them the most in my relationships with people I interact with. If I meet someone new and find something in common with them, I get really excited about the conversation. I realize that is my relator strength. I also love history, and find myself looking back to my past experiences to explain and understand who I am today. That is my context strength. I love working with people who want to better themselves, and seeing people have their “ah-ha”, or breakthrough, moments. That is my developer strength, a strength I want to hone in on.
What's your favorite theme?
It is difficult to choose a favorite because they are all important to me, but I think my favorite (at the moment at least) is harmony. It is my favorite because it has helped me deal with the shadow of harmony, which is conflict. Conflict is a part of life, and before I went through StrengthsFinders, I didn’t realize how uncomfortable I was when I had to confront someone over an issue, or be confronted. My fight or flight instinct kicks in and flight is always my instinct because I don’t want to deal with the conflict. Now that I know and understand my harmony strength, and realize why conflict is uncomfortable, I better understand how to embrace it and use my harmony strength to resolve the conflict, instead of shying away from it.
What's the one theme that "get's in your way?
Relator gets in my way a lot in social situations. I am terrible at small talk and I always feel awkward when I can’t find something in common with someone. As soon as I do find something, I latch onto it so that I have some context (another strength!) of who that person is. Once I am able to connect with them I am instantly more comfortable and enjoy the conversation. This also hinders me on a professional level when it comes to networking. I would be terrified to go into an event where I do not know anyone. I feel like I am missing out on opportunities because I am too scared that I will not be able to relate to the people I come in contact with.
How has knowing your Top 5 empowered you to live a more authentic life?
When I first saw harmony as my top strength, I was actually upset. As someone who has always been intrinsically motivated and a goal setter, I felt like my top 5 did not align with who I thought I was. But as I read the details of each strength, it was like looking into a mirror. I kept nodding my head as I was reading the descriptions, going “yep, that’s me…yeah, that sounds about right”. Once I understood my strengths and saw how they played out in my life, I felt empowered. I realized that, while I might be a goal setter and enjoy achieving these goals, I have other strengths that are more important to me, and that I enjoy more. Now I have these badges to wear that showcase my personality and help me to explain who I am.
reCreate's Strengths Mission
For strengths to come alive, we must have the opportunity to use them everyday and make them personal. We showcase our friends, family, clients and anyone who dares to show us the personal side to their Top 5. These post are meant to encourage, inspire and connect you to having a life well-lived in strengths.
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In partnership with the Rady Children's Auxiliary Unit of Coronado, reCreate is hosting it's first event! We are looking forward to teaching the community of Coronado how to have a well-lived life through the use of strengths.
This event is open to the public and we would love to see you there!
Check out our events page for more details.
See you there!
There's a quote by Heraclitus that says: "The only thing that is constant is change."
I guess this leaves us with a lot of uncertainty in life, huh?
If you think about it, there’s uncertainty in all seasons of life. Getting married, having children, buying a home, changing positions, changing careers, and moving are just to name a few.
So my question is...how do we proactively embrace uncertainty?
For me, here's 3 "must-do's" to tolerate the ebb and flow of life:
1) Know your strengths. Knowing my strengths allows me to understand how I think, feel, and behave. It's the lens I see the world through. This gives me a better understanding of how I can self-manage and remain confident even when I am faced with the unknown. Let me give you an example:
Starting a new business can be scary but knowing my top 5 Strengths has given me the tools to handle the unexpected. When situations arise that are unfamiliar I use my learner to understand and research every aspect of the situation. My restorative (problem-solver theme) allows me to come up with many different outcomes instead of just one-way of thinking. My discipline helps me create a structure and process for each outcome. My responsibility knows that whatever outcome this situation will have I can trust myself to take action and do it well all while having a positive outlook- my positivity.
2) "Lean in" to complimentary relationships. We were not created to “do” life alone. This is where complimentary partnerships are key. Having a strong social network can help combat those emotions associated with uncertainty: stress, anxiety, and depression. According to Gallup, a person is 30 times more likely to laugh when he’s with somebody than when he is alone. Another great benefit to complimentary partnerships is the world in which we see our lives is not the same world our friends see. They might see the situation more clearly than you see yourself. Lean in and lean on!
3) Do the downward dog and breath. According to Paul J. Whalen, when you feel uncertain, your amygdala—an almond-shaped structure located in your temporal lobes—revs you up by signaling to the rest of the brain that a fight-or-flight response might be needed. The prefrontal cortex in turn receives the alarm call from the amygdala and can agree and take action or recognize that there’s no cause for concern and quell the amygdala. But sometimes it isn’t able to control the amygdala on its own. When you feel that anxiety, you need to engage the prefrontal cortex directly. How do you do that? Meditation, therapy, or yoga.
Find this helpful? How do you deal with uncertainty? Leave us a comment below!
How many times have we heard this phrase?
In the past, this was a great motivator to get me back to diligently working. Wait…I was already working diligently. Maybe I should say it was a back-handed question to get me to work harder. I would eventually come to resent this completely overused phrase.
As I started to work with Strengths and working on what is right with me and those I coach, I started to appreciate this phrase but in a whole new way. Work is meant to be fun, meaningful, purpose driven and exciting. We all know what it feels like to work “in the zone.” Those are the activities where we work hard in and yet feel like we are hardly working. We complete our work with a smile and with ease. Time flies, energy is drawn from the intense effort left in the project, celebration is had when there is impact on those around us. This is our sweet spot.
Working hard OR hardly working no longer is a “this” or “that”. Hardly working will appear when you are working hard in activities you are called to do. Here are a few things to help you Work Hard so can you be Hardly Working:
1) Hard work – are you struggling at a project or activity in your work? Does it take far more energy to focus and complete it? You know you can do the work but it just isn’t as natural for you as you know it is for your co-worker or even manager. Ask for help. Partner with someone who has the natural talent to help you work on this. If there is even a way to delegate it to someone who loves this work, do it! You are serving them and now freeing yourself up to complete an energizing task for yourself.
2) Working Hard – Take it from me, you can’t be successful if you don’t work hard. You have to put in the time and effort to get to where you want. Sacrifices will be made and time will be spent but the key to working hard is working on things that come natural to you. I spent many years working in jobs that weren’t natural and some were even down right soul crushing because I wasn’t good at the job. These were roles I was ‘told’ I would be good at or even felt I ‘had’ to do to prove something. I felt like a failure but once I started putting my energy into things I was good at and really loved working on, I became successful. Focus on the things that you are drawn to, that people notice you for and the things that light you up at the end of the day.
3) Hardly Working – Your sweet spot. As a facilitator, I am absolutely exhausted at the end of my sessions but somehow always manage to be on cloud nine when participants thank me for the class, the content or the revelation they had. Standing, speaking and engaging adults can be extremely hard work but knowing that I am able to change their lives and be in the work I love, its hardly work at all. Finding your sweet spot that leaves you drained but fulfilled, complete but craving more, challenged but engaged is what working hard but hardly working is all about.
So ask yourself, are you working hard and hardly working?
Make it a great day!
Where there is human life- there is comparison. We live in a world filled with “what you should be” or “what you need to be”. Every time you turn on the TV or open a magazine it is filled with unrealistic, perfect pictures of women and men. The obsession to have a certain body type, to wear “such and such” designer, driving a blah blah blah has created a culture based on what you have and not who you are. How depressing. I ask myself- what would the world look like if we just lived for being the one-of-a-kind person we were created to be? And started with what’s on the inside. Can you imagine a culture based on what’s in your heart? The joy you bring to others? The way you serve your community?
As a young girl, I fought this culture current every step of the way. Not because I believed it was wrong but because neither my parents nor I had the income to put me in Abrocombie & Fitch and give me a BMW on my 16th birthday. It was hard. No, I should rephrase that and say it was painful. It was painful because I was measured and defined by what I had. As many of you know, in high school the most important thing to a girl is being liked her by peers and “fitting in.” I began placing my worth on what I had and what I lacked. This mindset would continue for years to come…
By my late 20’s I had accomplished a lot-by the world’s standards. I went to a great college on an academic scholarship. Moved from my hometown and headed out west to the land of opportunity. Once landing in San Diego, more specifically, Coronado Island I was living what most people could only dream of. I was in the hustle and bustle of sales making 6-figures, traveling, exploring, shopping, and then repeat. Until one day I woke and realized that I was absolutely miserable in this life I created. Sure, I loved having money. I loved traveling and seeing the world. I loved my shopping sprees at Nordstrom and not thinking twice; but there was only a brief relief before I repeated the cycle again.
I hit my quarter-life crisis at 31. After shingles and sleeping disorders, I vowed to devote some quality time to my well-being. Let me first start off by saying that this was one of the most painful yet most rewarding seasons in my life. Over the next year, I focused inward.
Self-work is often the most uncomfortable work we’ll ever do. It requires digging. It requires confronting. It requires answering questions you don’t want to answer. It requires vulnerability. For me, it also required accepting and owning the value I placed on myself. It took a deep understanding of how I got swept up with the current of culture to see that I almost drowned in it.
Through my self-exploration not only was I able to break free from whom the world wanted me to be but was also able to regain “me”. I regained happiness in ordinary days. Working on the inside allowed me to gain clarity on the outside. My values became a reflection of my heart. My soul became satisfied. I began to recognize and love the person in the mirror. My relationships began to flourish. I had more energy to devote to the people I loved and wanted to serve. Here, I found the authentic me.
The catalyst that started this journey was Strengths. It was through my Strengths discovery I was able to build a solid foundation of what truly made me- “me”. This insight revealed I had real power behind what came so naturally to me. I focused on that. The good stuff. The stuff that made me feel strong. With this confidence I was able to see the world and myself in a very different way. I found that being “me” was so much better than being someone else, that is was easier and gave me more leverage to succeed. But most importantly, it gave me a purpose.
This is what reCreate wants for EVERY.SINGLE.PERSON. We want to help you rediscover your purpose. We want you to know that being “you” is the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, your relationships, and your careers. This is where the magic happens. This is where we stop running with the current and start living out our strengths!
My hope is that you get to experience returning to "you".
With Much Love,
Strengths-based Development (SBD) is our passion, commitment and life. Team reCreate is devoted to work that creates transformation, meaning and purpose in the lives of those we serve. This space is meant for you to get to know us, learn more about Strengths and hear from others in this line of work. Thanks for being on this journey with us!