Self-discovery has become as easy as a Google search. The Internet is full of tips for determining why you work the way you do. Between the Enneagram to Myers-Briggs tests- knowing the motivation behind your actions is always helpful! I am an ESFJ - which basically means, I am an extrovert who follows her gut and is always evaluating her next move! Even more critical than what is knowing how to use those characteristics to change the world.
We all have inherent characteristics. Some are advantageous, while others can bring challenges. You know how much I love to repurpose things, so I like to look through my challenges for opportunities for growth and learning. Voila! From challenge to education with the flip of a switch...a perspective switch that is!
One of my innate qualities is my drive for organization. Being organized has enabled me to navigate many hurdles in my life. I have been able to travel a challenging childhood and excel in college (while in my 40’s while married and raising children.) I have been able to build two businesses (both on the concepts of being and staying organized) and raise my boys from grade school to jr. high as a working single parent. Most importantly, I managed to juggle all those things with a healthy body and sane mind (well, most of the time!) To list all the ways I have benefitted from being organized is a blog post all its own...in fact, I wrote one already!
Organization may allow me to do great things, like accomplish my goals. Still, it can also be a bit of a pain in the ass...like when I feel the compulsion to organize that list above in chronological order...maybe I have a DISorder! Ha!
It can also be hard on people in my life who weren’t born with the same need for order and organization that I have. Over the years, I have learned that my relationships run smoother when I am mindful to not set my (often high) expectations on their shoulders. For those people who wish to be more organized, but can be overwhelmed by the task and time it takes, assisting them in achieving organization fuels my soul! Buuuuut, I have learned to pump the breaks and step away when the expectation falls on me to do it, fix it, manage it, plan it and execute it with little to no effort on their end. Helping others doesn’t mean doing it for them! Protecting my time is one of the ways I stay organized, and that extends to helping others who don’t want to put in the work themselves!
Another of my innate abilities is to take whatever is lying around our fridge or pantry and throw together something yummy sans recipe. (Shout out to my Swiss-Italian nonna, who had to cook from what she had laying around, for those skills!) The distinct advantage is that my hubby rarely goes hungry. Plus, I can keep kitchen waste to a minimum. You know I love to keep that carbon footprint low! In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention there has been the occasional food fail (like sauteed pea sprouts in turkey loaf). Still, those always result in going out for tacos, so it’s hard to see them as anything but advantageous!
I do think some skills are just advantageous - no challenges included - and for those, I am thankful! Learning and growing are great and all, but sometimes it’s just nice to be good at something! For me, that is my ability to plan and develop a personal style. From mixing and matching patterns, to choosing colors, textures, and styles, I can make people look and feel their best. All advantages, no pain in the ass. Just me making your ass look fab. Or can I say, FAB-UL-ASS? (I seriously just made that up on the spot. Are puns an innate skill set? I’m going to say, “yes!”)
I am grateful that I have been able to shape these skills into businesses I am proud to have shared my name. From dressing others and helping them look and feel their best, to creating accessories that are stylish while being functional AND good for the environment, I’m living my dream life! My work benefits others and feeds my soul at the same time. Is there anything better than that?
Now tell me, what is one of your inherent traits? Do you find it to be an asset or a challenge...or maybe both?