Being Self-Aware Is Not Enough

March 9, 2020

Being Self-Aware Is Not Enough

I attended a party for one of my kid’s friends who is big into Harry Potter, and they had the four houses printed out on a sheet of paper. Along with the names of the Houses were the descriptors of the people that would fit into each house. One of my friends read the descriptions, looked at me, and said, “I am going to take a wild stab in the dark and assume that you are Hufflepuff.” I was offended, but…yes, I am. For those that are not aware, Hufflepuff is the most inclusive among the four houses; values hard work, dedication, loyalty, and patience. It is also the house that does not play a large part in the stories. For goodness sake, the emblematic animal is a badger.

I have to say it is fun to think about stuff like that even though I would rather be any of the other three houses. Unfortunately, when I learned which house I was in, I was not questioning myself, “how can I be more loyal or patient?” My thoughts were not on how I could better myself, but rather on how interesting the qualities of that house were. Basically, I did not take the placement very seriously.

That is how it seems that many people handle various assessments and personality quizzes that they take like Myers-Briggs, DiSC, and others. “It is interesting.” “I wondering what my friends would be listed as.” What I find is that many who take even CliftonStrengths have the same mentality. I once had a coach that I was training under make a simple statement that without self-regulation, self-awareness is pointless.

I am going to generalize, but so many people love talking about themselves and feeling good about themselves, but few seem to desire to change unless it is very needed and glaring to them. People are often more offended when something truthful gets pointed out that they are not interested in changing because either they don’t deem it necessary or don’t know how to. It is easy to stay the same because we are all comfortable with the usual. Changing is difficult. It has to be intentional.

It is interesting that the Hufflepuff descriptors are all-inclusive, patience, loyalty, and value hard work. It kind of sounds like my CliftonStrengths results. My #1 talent is Includer. My circle is very wide, I’m not too fond of cliques, and I desire to make sure that everyone understands the value that they bring. I have a unique ability to define the value of each person. I am #2 Responsibility. I often see life as black and white and am loyal. I am #3 Achiever. I like to work long, hard hours to make sure what needs to get completed, is finished.

All of this is good information to know, but if it stops at just good information, it is pointless. I have Includer high, and as defined above, you could say, “what needs to change?” I find that I don’t always use it in the best way. I have a tendency to include too many people in decisions that slows down the decision process. I have had to learn to include the right people for the right things.

Another thing that slows my personal processes down is that, if I know more information is available while I am trying to make a decision, I need to acquire that information. I like to include all the information. That results in lots of wasted time. I have to limit my time and define the best resources to look at, so I manage my time well.

Each one of my talents produces strength for me, but they can quickly and often create problems. I can hinder myself or people around me because I want to have good information without actually investing in the talents to get the best most consistent results.

Each talent needs to be invested in by adding knowledge and skills. Once there is a great investment, those talents we possess naturally and quickly will become something that will bring us consistent successful results. That is when we can call them Strengths. Until then, they can be our most significant problems.

What do you need to do differently to create success with what you already naturally do well?