One of the things I have learnt in life and ministry is that it is so important to understand stand myself and how I function. For a long time I thought it was self-absorbed to spend time figuring myself out . However I now see it is part of loving the people around me.
If I don’t understand how I work- I will emotionally vomit all over people, I will not function properly when people are depending on me and as a leader I will create an environment that is insecure and unstable.
So don’t think of it as naval gazing and for Heavens sake don’t get lost in working yourself out for years before you do anything – however along the way learn about how you function and how you are gifted so you can be most effective. I consider it an outworking of the parable of the talents- we need to work our talents and gifts – but how can we work them if we don’t know what they are.
Our gifts and talents function within our physical frame , our personality and our unique wiring. To best steward who God has created you to be – you need to understand what are your optimal conditions !
Here are a few things you need to know about yourself (some are very simple)
- How much sleep you need . I know I am an 8 hours a night girl. In peak times , or highly festive seasons I can do 6 hours for about 3 nights, any more and I can schedule the migraine.
- Are you an introvert or an extrovert. I know I am an extrovert – so a week’s holiday on my own sounds great in theory but in practise will send me into a downward spiral. However I know I am really happy exploring cities, seeing shows and going to art galleries on my own – in fact I LOVE it. Doesn’t make any sense with the rest of my personality but there it is. (the photo above is from the Met in NY one day in June)
- Know your personality weaknesses. I know I am a sanguine personality and so my greatest fear is rejection. Understanding this means I stay off Instigram when I know there is an event I am not invited to. Seeing the photos will hurt – I know I should be bigger than this by now but I am not. So better to guard my heart.
- What are your strengths . I did the strength finder test a few years ago and found that I am an achiever. I like to get things done. So even on a holiday week or rest day I will feel better if I achieve something. So I have learnt to turn finishing a book, cooking a great meal, watching a movie or hanging with friends into an achievement for the day.
- What is your love language. Mine is quality time. Knowing this helps me to talk myself through some tricky situations – even in my family. Just because they are not spending time with me does not mean they don’t love me! That is my love language not theirs.
- How do you handle stress – under pressure I turn into a choleric personality it’s not really pretty. I apologise to my staff in advance of big events. Knowing this makes me stop and deliberately soften my approach. One day I hope to be able to stop apologising and be kind under pressure – I am a work in progress.
(Wow just read that back- hope I haven’t scared you all away from my blog by my glaring flaws!)
Those are a few areas I think are important.
Any thoughts ? What did I miss ?? What else is important to understand about yourself ?