“We have lots of problems, none more debilitating than lost identity.” Chet’s words here are right on. I lost my identity once in my life. Good news is it’ll never happen again. I’ve been doing some writing around identity lately and have learned more. Here’s a peek under the hood, so to speak.
One of my fellow builders recently challenged me to write more about my signature strengths. What they look like when they’re overcooked or undercooked, and what they look like when they’re Core-centered. I struggled a bit with the undercooked part and then had a lightbulb moment. My strengths are never undercooked, always overcooked, with one exception in my life. A time period when I lost my way – couldn’t figure out who I was or where I wanted to go. My strengths during that time were decidedly undercooked. Rather than decisive, for example, I was hesitant and second guessing myself non-stop. Very unlike me. I felt like a stranger in my own skin.
Prior to that rough period my strengths were usually somewhere in the overcooked arena. I had never really lacked for confidence. I knew who I was and where I wanted to go. The overcooked showed up in that I rarely paused to check for blindspots and I had little use for anyone that wouldn’t get on board and move as fast as I did.
The beauty of that rough period I alluded to is that it forced me to slow down, build an actual Core and figure out who I really was, what I really believed and where I wanted to go. There’s great comfort now in knowing that I’m no longer winging it and I’ll never lose my way again. I’ll hit rough patches, no doubt, but I’ve got unshakeable clarity and conviction. Rooted not in my past results or my tendencies but in my strong Core.
My strengths are now Core-centered, and frankly, borderline overcooked. I’m good with that. I want to be just on the edge because I know I’m at my best there. I’m sharp, challenging, confident, convicted. AND I pair that now with curiosity, clarity, and love. Game changer.
What do your strengths look like when they’re overcooked, undercooked or Core centered? Where do you need to get more clarity and build a little more discipline? Where do you need to get back to being YOU? Write and then take decisive action. Get after it.