Could that be any more counterintuitive?!?!?!
I’ve been kinda struggling the last couple days.
I’m still all-in with the dream of breaking free from fulfilling someone else’s vision (corporate jobs) and living for greater impact through sharing my experience, strength, and hope with the world (entrepreneurship).
But those old tapes, no matter how much we fight against them, seem to still have a voice.
- You aren’t doing enough
- You aren’t doing the right stuff
- Who are you to compete with the big boys who have been doing this for decades
- It’s too hard running an entire business by yourself
- Your goals are too lofty, bordering on unreasonable
- (add your inner-sabotager here)
I say it over and over; until we become self-aware of our negative beliefs and unhelpful thinking patterns we become prone to letting the feelings; those nay-sayers; to take us out.
Gratefully I’ve become pretty good at noticing them, so I can counter them pretty quickly
- I AM making progress, there is no such thing as “not doing enough” unless I place that performance-based burden on myself
- I AM doing the right thing If I am spending time in ANY area of my life that needs attention, which could include a Netflix binge – the definition is up to me
- I AM taking my life to the next level and not competing with the big boys. Impact and success are they byproducts of consistency and creativity; leave the rest up to God
- If my goals aren’t lofty then they aren’t big enough. We shoot for the sun and if we hit the moon, how awesome is that!
- (list your counter-attack here)
But what happens when the internal dialogue comes up against something about yourself that doesn’t want to let go?
For me that looks like:
- The “what if…” rumination can send me down a negative spiral for hours
- Wanting to be “more social” yet always leaning toward introversion keeps me feeling disconnected
- An OCD type behavior that runs really hot or really cold on projects
- Driving other people crazy because I believe EVERYTHING has meaning and connection; even silly and seemingly insignificant things which make me feel like an outsider
- Struggling at small talk and sometimes making people feel uncomfortable because I’m only fully-engaged in deeper more meaningful and personal conversations
- (insert some character traits that you seem stuck with)
But there is good news
That list (and several more) has always been my nemesis, the enemies within that I believed I had to change or grow out of and fight against to be the best version of myself.
So often we fight against our core personality and it makes us miserable, it robs our peace, our self-confidence and can make us feel broken, defective, different.
Again, my entire life’s message revolves around confronting those negative self-image items that reside under the surface and out of view from our conscious mind.
Through those self-awareness tools I discovered that:
- Being an INFJ (Myers-Briggs) and being STRATEGIC (Clifton Strengths Finder) means that being in my own head is where I thrive, it’s where great insights into what makes me and the world tick comes from. It’s what allows me to solve problems, connect the dots and visualize solutions.
- Discovering what makes me tick also allowed me to see that obsessively focusing on a project and losing myself for hours if not days in a task at the sacrifice of other areas of my life, including self-care, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That is what it looks like when I’m “in the zone” or “in-flow” or “in-state”. I can get a month worth of content created in a matter of a few days. Granted I need to be warry of balance, but this is not a valid self-condemnation character trait. Quite the opposite, it is something that if I manage and balance properly should be celebrated; it is another aspect of what makes me who I am.
- Again, both Myers-Briggs and Clifton Strengths Finder confirm the same things, and me believing everything is connected and has meaning is an amazing encouraging tool. It is how I can make meaning out of even bad things, I can give others hope, encourage them that it seems dark now but that hardships not only open new doors but sometimes shove us through them and force us into becoming greater versions of ourselves. God intends for us to thrive, He wants the best for us, and us being challenged in greater ways is wonderful; oftentimes comfort is not our best friend for it breeds complacency.
- I also realized that not being comfortable in large crowds or being comfortable with small talk is not a bad thing either. My core mission, gifting and calling is to have an impact on the lives of others; to become the best version of me and use that to help others. It again is what makes me tick. Something in my character disarms people, and they are many times very comfortable in only a few minutes and I am able to plants seeds of grace and encouragement in an incredibly short amount of time. There is nothing wrong with small talk, but at my soul level, it is a waste of time when there is an opportunity for impact. What a beautiful thing huh?
Hopefully, you can see the point. So often what we may think is a character defect or flaw because we believe we “should be like everyone else” or “more normal” is, in fact, the very thought process that becomes self-condemning and self-limiting leading toward self-sabotage.
We have to learn to love ourselves, embrace even our perceived weaknesses, discover how they can actually be our strengths, and then move forward with even greater confidence, empowerment, and boldness.
Do you have a strength that you believed to be a weakness at one time?
What tools, similar to Myers-Briggs or Clifton Strengthsfinder, have helped you discover more of who you are?
Join the conversation, add your voice to the comments section below.
My desire for LMP (The Life Mastery Project) is to create a fully-engaged community of overcomers who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other
Let’s Do This!
Certified Life Coach & NLP Practitioner
Founder of Nikaos Strategic Coaching
Developer of The Life Mastery Project