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{a joyful discovery}

01.09.13

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I am a total sucker for a good self-help book, so when my friend recommended StrengthsFinder 2.0 to me, I couldn’t resist checking it out.  The book is about the idea that so much of our society and World focuses on the weakness of a person.  You’re not good in math?  Go to a tuter, stay after school and get extra help from your teacher, put in as much effort as you can to be good and even excel at math {or whatever subject or area of your life you aren’t the best at}.  With so much emphasis on the our areas of weakness, we forgot to think about our strengths; and not just think about them, but to actually develop them, enhance them, nurture them, share them, know them.

I’m the type of person who knows her weakness very intimately.  In fact, those are the things I share about myself first.  I would honestly say that I can’t {or couldn’t prior to reading this book} state one strength of mine other than the one people always say about me, “You’re so nice!”  Don’t get me wrong, I love being known for being nice.  But a girl could really use some help seeing the other strengths she has {because I am starting to believe I only have one true strength}  An access code come with the book and allows you in to the many other areas of the research behind the book.  Also, you have access to the test that, once completed, will give you your top 5 strengths based on your gut reaction answers to the questions {you only have 20 seconds to answer each question}  Though I am extremely nervous about tests, and even have struggled my way through school with testing anxiety, I was glad the results were based on your gut response.  I read the first chapter of the book and then sat down for 30 minutes and took the test and got the results.

Seriously. Changed. My. Life.

As I saw the results and then read more about each of my strengths, I couldn’t help but start crying.  My entire life I have been frustrated with who I am, how I do things, and that things just seem to be a little bit harder for me.  As I read through the descriptions of my strengths according to the book {restorative, learner, achiever, context, positivity}, I realized that the parts about me that have frustrated me the most and that I have so desperately  wanted to change, were actually some of my strengths that had just been being viewed from the wrong angle.  I did feel a little less crazy or bad about the fact that I had always struggled with my tendencies, because some of my top 5 strengths are actually the most easily turned to weaknesses compared to the other 34 possible strengths.  They ride the fence and it takes work and effort to develop them into more-often-than-not strengths.

Also, the combination of some of my strengths actually cause me to stall out when overloaded.  So with the immense pressure, demands, & stress that owning a small farm business and running a decent sized homestead has, my achiever, restorative {fixer of problems} and learner self is literally on overload.  You know when you have too many applications open on your computer and you get The Spinning Wheel of Death {or the timer that never ends on a PC}?  Well, that’s me.  And that is how I can best explain how I have felt the past 4 years since moving onto this farm.  I’ve just had too many cylinders trying to fire all at once.  No wonder I have been overwhelmed. No wonder I have felt like I wasn’t getting things done- it’s because I literally wasn’t mentally able to.

I felt like sharing this huge revelation because I am not exaggerating when I say that it has been life changing for me.  I have answers to questions I have had my entire life!  I have a new perspective on myself!  I have a game plan!  I am seriously so incredibly happy and so looking forward to what awaits in 2013 now!

 

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17 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephanie E. permalink
    01.09.13 10:32 AM

    I love a good self help book too, will have to check this one out!

    • 01.09.13 6:00 PM

      I think it’s definitely worth a try, Stephanie. If you do try it, I hope it is as encouraging to you as it was to me ;)

  2. ella permalink
    01.09.13 10:32 AM

    That’s so cool! I want to read it now :)

    I like your spinning wheel of death analogy…it makes a lot of sense.
    Whenever I see the spinning wheel of death, it makes me think of this: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/05/sneaky-hate-spiral.html
    (Come to think of it, farm frustrations might be a little like this from time to time…)

    Love you!

    • 01.09.13 6:06 PM

      That was WAY too funny!!! I would say that 2 years ago, that was me- everyday… glad it only happens about once a month now ;) Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I love you too!

    • Robbin permalink
      01.17.13 8:52 PM

      Ella, You’re welcome to borrow it after Alicia. :)

  3. 01.09.13 10:34 AM

    Sounds like a winner! Blessings as you travel God’s path for you and yours.

  4. 01.09.13 10:44 AM

    First of all Happy New Year! Second – thanks so much for sharing this book and more about yourself:) I have been struggling myself lately, especially professionally and am going to get this book and see what my strengths truly are versus just the weaknesses that are pointed out to me on a weekly basis at work lately. Have a Great One:)

    • 01.09.13 6:09 PM

      Happy New Year to you too! I am so happy to hear that you are inspired to check the book out. I hope that it brings you as much insight and encouragement as it has been so far to me. I’m looking forward to the application :)

  5. Allie permalink
    01.09.13 2:53 PM

    this is awesome!! how wonderful to discover what you once considered weakness to actually be a strength in the unique way God created you!! don’t forget to give yourself grace as you almost see yourself through brand new lenses : )

    p.s. you do an AMAZING job of blogging about being a farmer’s wife – the pictures you take on the farm are breathtaking and I OFTEN wish we lived closer so we could share in the bounty that you and Farmer Jones work so hard at every day. let me know when you start delivering eggs and turkey to Sacramento : )

    • 01.09.13 6:13 PM

      You are so very kind, Allie!! I truly appreciate your words of encouragement. I was having a little bit of an “I really don’t want to blog and I just want to pout and sulk about my life” phase but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and looking forward to having a bit more joy in my perspective.

      It would be so great if you lived closer- for many reasons. If you are up visiting in the spring/summer and the whole fam feels like an outing to Corvallis, let me know, because you would be more than welcome :)

  6. farmgirlontheprairie permalink
    01.11.13 7:32 AM

    Sounds like you found the perfect solution to changing your mental attitude and turning things around! You should know that I have so impressed with your accomplishments to keep up a blog and take photos keeping your followers up to date with the daily happenings on the farm. I wish I could make it look as easy as you do! You have a lot to juggle managing a farm. It’s so easy to start those projects and even easier to drop them when things get too crazy! I have yet to keep any kind of journal for more than a month. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    • 01.15.13 2:48 PM

      You are so very kind, farmgirlontheprairie ;) I appreciate hearing those encouraging words. I am known for being too hard on myself; and I can never hear the advice enough to remember to not be so hard on myself. I have high standards for myself and I am trying {but not always succeeding} to allow myself to enjoy the process of retraining my mindset. Truly, your words mean a great deal. One of my love languages is words of encouragement, so thank you very much for taking the time to say them to me.

  7. 01.12.13 6:17 PM

    We did the Strengths Finder test at work a few years ago (back when I worked in a corporation). GREAT tool for finding out why you are the way you are, and how to look at yourself positively. It helped my coworkers go from “why do you have to ANALYZE everything? Why can’t you just let it happen?” to appreciating my analytical skills – once I took my Strengths Finder and realized my #1 strength was Analysis. :-) It helped me to learn how to preface my comments, too.
    Get your loved ones to take the test, too – it helps in lots of areas besides business!

    • 01.15.13 2:51 PM

      I’m thrilled to hear that Strengths Finder was such a great help to you too! We are planning on having all of our staff {which is just Tyler, our farm hand, and our administrator} take the test. I’m looking forward to seeing how it helps us as individuals and as a team. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience with the book. Here’s to our strengths- and being happy with them! ;)

  8. 01.24.13 2:26 PM

    I love this! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m going right out to find the book!

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