I love Strengths because it gives people such a powerful insight into who they are and how they think versus all the people around them. I think there’s something very freeing in realizing that that discomfort you sometimes feel is probably down to the fact that you have X Strength that most people don’t have. And I think there’s something powerful in embracing your difference and your uniqueness.
But just because you know your Strengths doesn’t mean that life will be perfect and happy and wonderful from here on out. You can better understand your experiences, but that isn’t always going to change those experiences and sometimes your Strengths are going to lead to painful moments. It’s just how life works.
I was thinking about this this morning because I have Maximizer and Intellection in my top ten and what that can sometimes look like for me is this:
I have a meeting or a conference or some big presentation and I get up there and I do my thing and I think, “That went pretty well” and I leave on a bit of a high.
But then my Intellection gets to work reviewing my performance and over the next twenty-four hours or so it sifts and it sorts and it analyzes and it turns things this way and that way and the other and then my Maximzer steps in and tells me the sad truth: I did pretty good, but there was definitely room for improvement.
It’s especially good at picking out the little slip-ups and mess-ups. Those small embarrassments that you wish you could erase. That’s because Maximizer wants to be great, not just good. So it takes each of those little moments of less-than-perfect and tries to figure out how to improve the next time around. It surfaces the flaws.
The end result is powerful. Next time I’ll be even better. (Or just find new ways to misstep.) But it’s not easy to go through. So in those moments of self-critique it’s helpful for me to remember that life is not perfect. It never will be. No one can get it right all the time. And that’s okay.
(Although I really want to, don’t get me wrong…Both my Responsibility and Maximizer were like “What do you mean, it’s not possible to get it right all the time? Yes it is. Change that sentence.”)