Friday, October 12, 2018

The Peace of "And That's Okay"

One of the ways I give back to my sorority is facilitating conversations with alumnae around CliftonStrengths (aka StrengthsQuest or StrengthsFinder).

The core component of the Strengths philosophy is that rather than wasting time on our weaknesses, we should live in our "strengths space" (as I like to call it) where we focus on our talents and what we do well. 

Note: If you'd like to know more about this assessment/philosophy, let me know, and I can provide that education. #seriously #ilovedoingit


As I worked through the content with a group of women a few weeks back, one of the commonly identified struggles and hesitations was reframing to focus on their strengths. There was that lingering want to "fix" what they can't do well, to devote their energy to addressing their flaws, and to stretch themselves to be good at all the things.

I get it. I totally understood their struggles. 

However, on this night, I was the facilitator, so I needed to get them on board for Strengths. I also know and believe in the power of the Strengths approach.

So, I acknowledged their feelings as valid, and then, here's what I said. 

I explained to these women that we should accept and embrace what we bring to a group. We should proudly say, "I'm <Insert thing we know we know/are/bring>, and that's okay." Adding those simple words to the end of those statements can be a gamechanger. Rather than the quest to perfection, it brings an air of contentment. It allows us to go into spaces and bring what we bring with a peace and confidence that this is who we are and that's okay. Do I bring what that other person brings? Nope, and that's okay. I'm showing up as is ready to give what I give best, and that's okay.

I started this entry a few weeks back, and I returned last night to finally finish up my thoughts. However, as I returned to this entry, I realized this was also something I needed to reflect on for me.

I turned 36 this week. My thirties have legit blown by. I can't believe I'm in the last half of this decade y'all. There are things I thought I'd be by now. There are things I don't have yet. There are things I still need to do. But right now, I am where I am, and that's okay. 

I always joke how I love presenting and facilitating conversations, but I need to heed my own lessons and advice. I realized last night that's what I need to do with all of this right now.

When it comes to birthdays, I tend to think ahead of what's to come a little too much. I've often written the stories for my years before they've began. Instead of being in the moment, I prepare for how I think I need it all to go. I often try to will my years into being before anything ever goes down.

So, this year, I'm going to try to let things roll. I'm going in embracing where I'm at right now. Are there hopes I have for this year? Absolutely. Do I have goals? Yup. However, for right now, I'm just beginning my 36th year, and that's okay.