Part One - Introduction
Part Two - The Freedom to Redefine Failure
Part Three - Freedom at Work
Part Four - New Strategies for Life Management
I've loved writing these posts because it's given me a chance to re-process a few things. (My intellection strength at work, of course.) I know that [probably] none of my readers will have the same exact strengths as I do so you perhaps won't relate to the specific things I've learned. But I hope that you've gotten some food for thought about your strengths and the strengths of others.
One thing to note is that there are many other assessments out there that can be just as life-changing. And the StrengthsFinder assessment may not be as life-changing for you as it was for me. It was a very specific answer to prayer for me - I had asked God to help me reclaim some things in my life and help me find the "real" me. I felt like I had spent so much time trying to please others that I had lost who I truly was. So I had a conversation with God and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me to some answers and about a week later was when I got the book.
If you are seeking answers then I have confidence that the StrengthsFinder assessment is a great tool for you to consider but I recognize that it might not be the right tool for you. That's a conversation for you to have with God and to ask the Holy Spirit to show you what is right for you.
My husband recently took the assessment and he felt mostly "meh" about it. There were no significant "aha!" moments. He found it to be interesting but it didn't necessarily have big implications for where he is right now. So I guess this is my disclaimer that "results may vary." But if you have $15-25 to spare I highly recommend that you at least give it a shot and buy the book/assessment.
Another note about the strengths - and I suppose I could write a whole other post on this but I'm just ready to wrap this series up - is how it has affected my parenting. Just yesterday as I was rushing out the door with Kaitlyn it hit me that I often give in to the worst parts of my adaptability strength in the morning. It is easy for me to start out in la-la-la-whatever mode - I get up, drink my coffee, check Facebook, etc., all the while knowing that I really ought to be getting ready. And then we hit the 30-minutes-until-we-have-to-get-out-the-door mark and I kick it into high gear. RUSHRUSHRUSH! GOGOGO! This isn't a problem for me with my adaptability strength. In fact, I seem to thrive on it.
But it's a different story for Kaitlyn. She takes her time with every task. I know that this is partly a five-year-old thing (and also one of those common things that parents and kids naturally struggle with) but that doesn't excuse me from recognizing where I'm allowing my strengths to overwhelm and frustrate my daughter. I felt really convicted about this yesterday and realized that I need to do a better job of harnessing my strengths in a positive way instead of letting them run wild.
This is true not just for parenting, but for all of life. I've touched on this through this series but I suppose it bears stating again - knowing my strengths is not an excuse for me to act however is most convenient and easy for me. I'm reminded of Philippians 2:3-4:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
I am challenged to see my strengths as a ministry opportunity - how I can use them to bless others? I'm also challenged to think about the strengths of others and use that as a ministry opportunity - how can I give them opportunities to showcase their strengths? How can I help them grow in their strengths?
So, there you have it. (I feel like I should have something very inspiring or profound to say, but I've got nothing.) Now I need to figure out what my next series will be...