Today I would like to talk about strengths and how much I changed once I found my top 5. I am apart of a program here on campus called LEAD – Learn, Experience, Act, Develop. The program is all about gaining leadership experience through monthly meetings and various volunteering chances on campus. We work with an off campus organization called BRIDGE, a program to mentor youth with disabilities on the UWRF campus. At the LEAD monthly meetings we plan for a big Extravaganza for the BRIDGE clients at the end of the semester, it is awesome.
With any group of people everyone is going to have different strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths may be someone else’s weaknesses and vice-verse, but together, you are powerful and as effective as possible. We leaders took a test to find our strengths and weaknesses to find where we, as a group, are strong and where we may need some help. After taking the test you are given 5 words, which are your top 5 strengths. Our program directors then print of descriptions of each strength and as a group we discuss our results. There are 35 possible strengths.
I will be honest, I was skeptical while taking this test. How could these questions decide who I am as a person? How realistic is this? But I answered them correctly and when I finished and was given my top 5, I was still skeptical. It wasn’t until I got the 4 page descriptions for each strength that my mind was blown. It was not until I learned in depth about my top 5 strengths that I realized who I am, why I do the things I do, and the possibilities in store for me are endless.
I will tell you about my top 5 and describe them, and how I began to see the big picture of who I am.
- Achiever. Achiever describes a constant need for achievement. By the end of the day you must achieve something tangible in order to feel good about yourself. And by “every day” you mean every single day – workdays, weekends, vacations. You have an internal fire burning inside of you. After each accomplishment is reached, the fire dwindles for a moment, but very soon it rekindles itself, forcing you toward the next accomplishment. It pushed you to do more, to achieve more. Your relentless need for achievement might not be logical, or focused. But it will always be with you.
- Harmony. You look for areas or agreement. In your view there is little to be gained from conflict and friction, so you seek o hold them to a minimum. You try to steer away from confrontation and toward harmony. You can’t quite believe how much time is wasted on people trying to impose their views of others. When others are sounding off about their goals, cleans and their fervently help opinions, you hold your peace. When others strike out in a direction, you will, willingly, in the service of harmony, modify your own objectives to merge with theirs. In your view we are all in the same boat, and we need this boat to get where we are going. It is a good boat There is no need to rock it just to show you can.
- Consistency. Balance is important to you. you are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same, no matter what their station in life, so you do not want to see the scales tipped too far in any one person’s favor. In your view this leads to selfishness and individualism. In a direct contrast to this world of special favors, you believe that people function best in a consistent environment where the rules are clear and are applied to everyone equally. It is predictable and evenhanded. It is fair. Here each person has an even chance to show his or her worth.
- Restorative. You love to solve problems. You enjoy the challenge of analyzing the symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution. You may prefer practical problems or conceptual ones or personal ones. You can analyze a situation and identify potential shortcomings and what needs to be fixed. You quickly recognize problems that others may not detect. Your exact preferences are determined by your other themes and experiences. But what is certain, is you enjoy bringing things back to life.
- Individualization. Your individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You view each person as distinct and one of a kind. You are impatient with the generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. This is why you pick out your friends just the right birthday gifts, why you know that one person prefers praise in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one persons needs to be down and another’s desire to “figure it out as I do.” You naturally see how people who are very different can work together well.
Before taking this test I did not know where I belonged or what I really did well. After taking it and seeing exactly the type of person I am made me believe in myself more. I can see why I do the things I do, such as work incredibly hard in school, search so hard for balance, long for consistency, solve problems well, and live with an accepting mind to those around me. I feel like I can take on the challenges and opportunities in my life with more direction and purpose. I just feel a deeper understanding of who I am, and what I was made for.
This test can be found here. You need an access code to take this, or you can pay full price. However! Most schools can provide you with a code – so talk to your high school counselor or the Careers Center at your college.
I hope inner peace finds a home within all of you. I have been struggling a lot lately with really what I want to do and what my purpose in life is. Do not worry. Stop worrying and begin living. Do not search for inner peace because inner peace will come to you when it is ready. Do you and do the best you can. Everything will fall into place.
Thank you all so much. And for those of you who have left messages, thank you. Those messages are what keep me going. If I am helping you in any way do not hesitate to reach out. The purpose of this blog was for me to offer insight for those of you struggling with one thing or another. When I help you guys, I am helping myself.
Love yourself, love God, and love the roller coaster ride: Life.