The photo in my last post was a good representation of my brain state that day. Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies. It’s like the story about the cheese sandwich. Two co-workers started eating lunch together daily. Each day one of the workers looks into his lunch bag and sighs. It’s another cheese sandwich. He complains that he hates cheese sandwiches – they’re dry and boring. This goes on for days until the other worker gathers up the courage to say, “Why don’t you just tell your wife not to make you cheese sandwiches every day?” The other replies, “I don’t have a wife.” Perplexed, the other asks, “Well, who makes your sandwiches?” The unhappy cheese sandwich eater says, “I do.” (Thanks to James Martin for this gem!)
So here I was, caught in a fog of overthinking, choking on a cheese sandwich, and not taking time to stop and just breathe and feel. It’s amazing what taking the time to look back at my Strengths Themes to see how I wasn’t “feeding” myself did to lift the fog and bring insight into what kind of “sandwich” I really wanted to have.
My top theme, Learner, wasn’t getting fresh exposure to new things and new experiences. I realized that all the reading I was enjoying was maybe masking a little frustration in my Responsibility theme. I felt like I was bringing dependability and loyalty to others, but I wasn’t filling the theme’s need of having the freedom to take on ownership. I could look at all my other top ten themes and see that I was stuck in what I was bringing, but not so much on what I was needing. So, I fed Learner by switching things up and diving into the Gallup Strengths Coaches Learning Series sessions which, as always, brought insight into how to work with others and ourselves. Not surprisingly, one gem shared related to conflict was, “Change is always preceded by awareness.” We easily forget that sometimes that awareness has to be our own.