I was speaking to a friend about my blog and at first he did not think it applied to him at all. This friend has enjoyed much success and I think it largely has to do with the fact that he is a deep thinker – an introvert. He did not like the introvert “label” at all.
On another occasion I was speaking to a woman I know well. She said that she thought she was an introvert and her husband was an extrovert. She did not really understand the true definitions, and thought that being an “introvert” was bad and “extrovert” was good. The funny thing was that as we talked it was apparent that she was really the “extrovert” (more externally oriented) and her husband was the “introvert” (spending more time in his head). Neither are good or bad, but having an accurate description of how you interact with the world around you can be helpful in discovering your individual strengths.
Labels, whether from others or from assessments, are only useful as they help you identify your strengths – never to place limits or box you in. You are the best judge of this, not the label. Marcus Buckingham in Go Put Your Strengths to Work describes strengths as “those activities that make you feel strong…”
Buckingham goes on to say:
“You don’t need a manager or a performance appraisal or even a psychologist to tell you what your strengths are. You may need help spotting the signs last week or capturing your reaction to your activities this week, but so long as you get this help, you are the best judge of your strengths… You know which activities keep your interest and your concentration with almost no effort. You know which activities leave you feeling strong, fulfilled, powerful.”
What makes you feel strong?