For a Monday morning, the fog outside gives the appearance that it’s much too early to leave the bed. I’m drawn to stay under the covers with my heavy lids closed for just a bit longer. But the clock doesn’t lie and the pets wanting food don’t care that it’s Monday or foggy.
I’ve been taking my time with a lot of things lately and I’ve probably been more introspective than I have been before. There’s been some deep introspection along with a lot of evaluating what I’m doing — where I’m going — and what I really want. Have you ever been there?
I’ve been thinking… “I know I want different but what does different look like?”
I have a habit of taking the last week of a year and reading through my past year’s journals — evaluating where I’ve been and what I learned.
Last year, my One Word was Perseverance. In some ways I persevered and in other ways I floundered. I have been wrestling with that for a while and thinking…
- Did I accomplish my goal of persevering? I don’t know — What does that accomplishment even look like?
- Did I grow in perseverance? Absolutely!
- Did I perfect perseverance? Not at all!
2017 held some different things for me. I learned new things about myself, my personality and my leadership ability that has been revealing. I won’t say it’s been all fun but it has been a learning experience.
As a staff this year, we looked at personality types and leadership styles. At the beginning of 2017 we went through a Bill Hybels series of “The Intangibles of Leadership.” A key idea I walked away with was “Leaders need GRIT” – a passion & perseverance over time…. a tenacity and steely determination to expend all effort to overcome any obstacle in their way. And guess what I learned… I don’t have a lot of GRIT. I like the easy solution. If it seems insurmountable it probably is so why attempt it.
I will push through if it’s necessary but it’s not my natural way of things.
The second idea Bill talked about is SELF-AWARENESS – knowing what drives or causes behavior. And that’s where the whole personality type came into play. Guess what… in the whole DISC analysis I’m a high C. Now to those who know me this doesn’t surprise them at all but for me, I was a bit disappointed and I didn’t really like my results.
(For those who are completely lost let me give you a quick synopsis… the C personality is: Reserved and Task-oriented — Cautious, competent, calculating, compliant, careful, contemplative.)
It has taken me awhile to be okay with this whole idea. I’m learning to ask myself the hard questions.
- Am I cautious? Yes… it takes a lot for me to take a risk. I like to have all the plans and details laid out and I want to know the probability of success.
- Am I contemplative? Yes… probably to a fault. I think long and hard about things, weighing the possibilities and outcomes so much that I can “think” the idea to death before it ever has a chance.
- Am I critical? Yes.
And that’s where I’ve been struggling. I can be so critical of myself and others that I don’t see the potential in myself and others. I look to the negative and negate the positive. I’m learning I don’t like that about myself.
In my mind I’m yelling at myself like Bob Newhart in the MAD TV skit…. “STOP IT!”
So how do I stop it?
I have been fashioned this way and there are many “C” characteristics that are important to the make-up of me. It’s what makes me tick and what makes me ME.
My attention to detail is a good thing when…
you’re married to a big picture visionary that doesn’t always see the details. But it can also bog things down before the idea gets off the ground.
My desire for excellence and quality work is good when…
I’m decorating and putting together an event. But it can be a hindrance when I hand over the reigns and it doesn’t come out quite like I envisioned it. I’m learning to be okay with not always having it my way. You’d think at my age I’d have that down but — not so much.
I’m working on looking at my strengths in a positive way while managing my weaknesses in better ways.
I can’t get it all right all the time —- which is actually something C’s try to do. It’s a perfection weakness. If I can’t get it done perfectly than I’m not going to do it. Which is a huge downfall because very rarely are we ever going to reach perfection and sometimes the job just needs to be done —– And not done perfectly.
I’m learning contentment in imperfection and what that looks like. I’m learning gratitude for those in my life and the things in my life.
2018 looks like more perseverance… developing GRIT and learning to be “led” more than driven. It’s funny how you think you’ve got one area down and then God says, “Let’s visit this again.”
Twenty-two days into the new year and I’m still laying out plans, building better systems for living and going after some kind of semblance of order while moving forward with more determination.
It’s a bit like this fog in the morning. I know there’s adventure and life beyond the fog, but right now it’s a bit cloudy.
What I can’t see now doesn’t mean it’s not there.
If I move through the fog in that direction, the path becomes clearer. The fog can close in around me and I may feel disoriented and lost — but that doesn’t mean I am.
In this new season, I’m learning to be “led” instead of pushing through and clearing my own path. I’m learning to slow it down, be more intentional with my decision-making and listen better.
As a task-orientated, C-type, detail-orientated, have to have it just right type of person… I’m learning to listen more to the direction God is leading me.
I’m leaving behind some habits that trip me up and moving forward through the fog of tomorrow and taking steps of faith.
So what about you? What are you learning in this new season? What is just a bit scary, exciting, or just complete steps of faith?
I would love to hear from you. Jump into the comments below and let me know how you are.
I’m praying for you, sweet friend, as we leave behind the old and move into something new.