In the last 10 years I have intentionally learned a lot about myself. I have become much more self -aware. The good, the bad and the ugly some might say. It has been not only eye opening, but I have no doubt grown greatly because of it. However, over the last few months I have been processing the pitfalls of self -awareness — or maybe better said, the blindspots of self- awareness.
Meyers Briggs labels me an ENTJ. Spiritual gifts labels me with Leadership, Administration, Wisdom, Giving and Exhortation. Strength Finders label me with the strengths of Command, Strategic, Maximizer, Futuristic, Significance. And Dr. Adezis labels my management style as PaEI. Lots of different labels, gifts, strengths, talents, styles, etc, etc…and that is really just the beginning. It can become overwhelming if you let it. As I have entered into more mentoring and personal consulting roles, I have discovered that self- awareness does have its pitfalls — or blindspots. I have seen it become a crutch to some.
A crutch? Yes, a crutch. What happens naturally as people become more self- aware of who they are — they are discovering in tandem who they are not. With the right boundaries and direction this is a great thing, but the crutch happens with a simple thought like “I am just not wired that way.” Or even more challenging is when we can use our weaknesses as an excuse to dismiss wrong reasoning and behaviors. I have personally seen extremes such as this in a community I am a part of.
Bro, they are going to have to just get over it. You know I am just a tell it like it is kind of guy. If they are not man enough to hear the truth, then screw’em. —Anonymous
Extreme I know, but I think we all might know someone like this. Elements of this are good, it is self- awareness of who we are, and who we are not. But, let’s not be stupid or so deceived that we use our self- awareness as a crutch like this… “it’s just the way I am” is not ok.
While it is ok to realize you’re not great at everything, don’t use it as an excuse. The fact is we are not great at every thing, and we can not be anything we want to be, or desire to be. Yes, you heard me right…no matter what your daddy told you growing up. In an interview with Tom Rath, author of StrengthsFinder 2.0 (Gallup Press, February 2007) he said this best:
The one thing that we were clear about in StrengthsFinder 2.0 is that the American dream ideal that “You can be anything you want if you just try hard enough” is detrimental. This is especially true when people buy into it hook, line, and sinker. You may not be able to be anything you want to be, but you can be a lot more of who you already are. — Tom Rath
While raising two pretty amazing daughters (Reese and Reia), I sometimes want to buy into the false dream at times and tell them they can do anything they set their minds to. But, I don’t actually believe that. God created them very uniquely and with individual gifts and talents; as their parents it’s our role to draw out and develop those gifts.
Train a child in the way appropriate for him, and when he becomes older, he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6
Pastor Charles Swindoll has a unique view of this Proverb. He says that this refers to each child’s unique “bent” (appropriate for him/her)– we need to raise our children with awareness and understanding of their unique bent and help them be the “best” they can be.
Embracing this fully, we have brought these self-awareness and development concepts into our family and parenting style — we desire our girls to be great women of God, solid leaders to those they support, lead and interact with in their communities. Parenting with these tools is empowering and helpful for sure (I hope you understand it’s not just parenting, but leading teams and people as well!). Having a 12 and 9 year old who have good ideas about who they are, what their God given gifts and strengths are is great! But, we must beware of the crutch. Just because one might be an (I) introvert does not mean we will allow her to be disengaged in social interactions or be outright rude. Or one being a strong (P) and this allowing for a scatterbrained school plan and a messy room. Or both of them being high (F) and letting their feelings drive everything…Oh wait, they are young girls. 😉
The pursuit of personal enlightenment and self -awareness leads to amazing discoveries and growth if we allow it. Truly understanding who God made us uniquely to be is one of the greatest gifts we can have here on earth. As I said before, and you see in the sketch — I am an ENTJ, a PaEI, with the Spiritual Gifts of Leadership, Administration, Wisdom, Giving, Exhortation and my strengths are Command, Strategic, Maximizer, Futuristic and Significance. But what I know, and hope you know as well is: the world does not define us. These letters, and information do not define me.
I belong to Christ! My old life is gone — the new is here. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Who am I?
- I am a child of God.
- I am a husband of 1 & father of 2.
- I am a leader of many.
- I am a legacy builder.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous — how well I know it. Psalm 139:14
Who are you?
Are you self aware?
Is it a crutch?
If you like what you just read, please click the green ‘Recommend’ button below so that others might discover this article.