I have come to learn something very valuable about myself in the last 6 months. I am a learner and a restorer with a high sense of responsibility. Through taking the Gallup StrengthsFinder test, I have seen qualities about myself to enlighten me as to who I am and how I operate. One of my top traits is a Learner which is someone who “constantly strives to learn and improve. The process of learning is as important to them as the knowledge they gain.” That is SO me! I am constantly pursuing fascinating subjects, interesting ideas or digging deeper. It isn’t about becoming an expert but a hunger to know more and encompass a subject matter. If you have been subjected to any one of my conversations where I interject “did you know…” you will understand where this comes from!
Another part of my personality I scored high on was a Restorer. “People with strong Restorative talents love to solve problems. They enjoy the challenge of analyzing symptoms, identifying what is wrong, and finding the solution.” Again…SO me! I really do find it enjoying when I see a problem to bring order to it.
The third part of my personality is Responsibility. “Responsibility talents take psychological ownership for anything they commit to, whether it is large or small, and they feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion.” Umm…yes. I feel the weight of what people ask me to do and want to do it with a high degree of carefulness and thoroughness. Here is the conflict of these three that I am wrestling through.
Scenario: I am asked to plant a tree to which I find exciting so I say yes. I start down the path to completion and my responsibly nature kicks in. People are counting on me. They are expecting and desiring top notch quality and I want to deliver that to them because I want to give them my best. In steps the Restorer. I start asking questions and seeing problems with the current system of tree planting. I ask the “why are you doing it this way?” and “could we improve this process for you and make this better?” In order to do that and make this great, the learner steps in. I am not an expert in tree planting, so I have to dig into some necessary specifics to accomplish the task. I enjoy learning but the more I learn about trees the more subjects are opened up to me. The larger the project becomes. Then I get 85% into planting and I realize that the system is SO broken they should just start from scratch (and probably should re-do 50 other systems that are currently in place if they really wanted to make this tree business a success), stress that I can’t really get to the bottom of the learning because I have sunk so deep into the learning process that I can’t dig myself out and then start getting really stressed that I am not going to carry this out to a successful completion as a responsible person really should.
I get totally lost in the forest. I was asked to plant a tree. Instead, my solution is cut down the forest because it is too diseased and start a re-foresting project that could take 10 years but ultimately would be more sustainable.
Not all of the trees are diseased. The forest doesn’t need to be cut down and I don’t need to become an arborist. I need to find one tree to work on and focus on that. Baby steps.
The journey of learning more about myself has been incredibly helpful in adapting and coping with life. Embracing who I am to capitalize on my stregths and being aware of my weaknesses makes me a better tool for the Kingdom.