Families are notorious for typecasting. Sara is the negotiator but Robert knows has to get things done. Mary could sit and draw all day but Bill is a born salesman. Jack is great at sports but Sasha has a flare for writing. Part of growing up is finding out what we are good at and maybe not so good at. Certainly if no one tells us, we figure it out for ourselves as we try to figure ourselves out.
Then we grow up and guess what? That typecasting tends to stick. We think of our family members as we have always thought of them and we think of ourselves the way we always have. Of course, we do grow and change. I used to think of myself as a physically weak because I was sick a lot as a child. That myth got blasted when I backpacked in Europe in my 20’s and even to this day, I continue to prove to myself again and again that I am stronger than I think. I’ve changed in many other ways as well, but I have to admit, if I had to take inventory of my strengths and talents, I bet there are still some that go back to childhood.
All well and good. When everything is working well and we’re just living our lives and enjoying ourselves (hopefully), we may not be thinking much about our strengths and talents. We are just doing. But then it comes time to make a change. Perhaps our job is being reengineered. Perhaps we want a fresh start in a new career, relationship or lifestyle. Perhaps we are reinventing ourselves at retirement or after a divorce. That’s the perfect time to think about what we are good at. Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to stick to the old standards slavishly? Perhaps it could be so refreshing and inspiring to actually go back to the drawing board.
Also, it’s not very interesting. Have you noticed how many people around you are stuck in a rut, bored with their lives, uninspired? What about you? One of things I love about The Game of Thrones is how all the characters are constantly changing, sometimes literally. Imagine if Daenerys Targaryen still thought of herself as the hapless maiden bending to the will of the men in her life. How could she have ever become the Mother of Dragons fighting for dominance of the Seven Kingdoms? How could Jon Snow become King of the North if he still saw himself as the family outcast? Yes, of course, it’s easy for them. They had no choice if they want to survive. But guess what? It really is all about choice. How we choose to see ourselves lays the groundwork for everything we do in life and how we feel about it.
Do you like the way you see yourself or is it time for a reboot? How do we go back to the drawing board? When it comes to strengths and talents, there are many fine tools available for self-testing, but it is also critical to clear the decks of any self limiting beliefs that keep you running in place. Next month we will offering a webinar, Unleashing the Power of You. Finding and loving your strengths, a webinar that combines such a tool, StrengthsFinders 2.0, with the Option Method to help people identify their strengths and talents, and at the same time let go of beliefs that stand in the way of change.
To register or learn more, click here.
Enjoy more posts on self-image.