Do you ever feel like your ‘true’ self is not exactly the ‘right’ way to be? Maybe you dismiss certain personality traits as not important or useful. Or maybe you act a certain way to please others, whether it’s at work, with family or friends.
I know this is a bit heavy. But it’s important. And I want to talk about it.
I listened to a really interesting podcast episode from Lewis Howes the other day. He interviewed Sally Hogshead, whose ‘Fascination Advantage’ personality test reveals how the world sees YOU, rather than how you see the world.
Sally believes that we each have a strength (‘advantage’) that is true to us. She has identified 7 different advantages: innovation, passion, power, prestige, trust, mystique and alert. She says that when we communicate using our specific advantage, we have a much greater chance of influencing others and achieving success.
Curious as always, I took the test.
I discovered that my ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ advantages are ‘innovation’ and ‘passion’ respectively. My resulting archetype is “The Rockstar”, who is BOLD, ARTISTIC and UNORTHODOX.
So what does that mean? If I can communicate to you that I am BOLD, ARTISTIC and UNORTHODOX, or that I can help you become these things, I have the greatest chance of being effective, memorable and influential.
This did not come as a surprise to me.
I’ve been told a lot that I’m creative, and that I do things ‘differently’ but – and it’s a big BUT – I had never thought of using it as my main selling point. I didn’t know how it was helpful.
In fact, I OPPOSED it.
I didn’t WANT to be the ‘crazy creative podcasting girl’. I didn’t WANT to be seen as ‘bold’ or ‘artistic’ or ‘unorthodox’. I guess I thought that people wouldn’t take me seriously.
Instead, I wanted to be seen as ‘professional’ and ‘polished’ and ‘focused.’ Because I thought that’s the sort of person other people want to hire.
But, frankly, those things are not me. I mean, I wear crazy printed leggings to meetings, and costumes to conferences. There are YouTube videos of me doing burpees and eating herring and doing ukulele covers and all sorts of silly things.
If I tried to convince you to hire me because of my professionalism, polish and sharp focus, it wouldn’t work! Because it would be totally inauthentic of me.
“Different is better than better”
Hearing Sally’s perspective made me realise it’s ok to embrace your strengths. And to not just embrace them, but to LEAD with them. As she says: Don’t change who you are. Become MORE of who you are.
So I challenge you to think about what YOU’RE good at.
Are you the balanced, consistent team member who works behind the scenes and gets shit done? Maybe you’re the big ideas person who can fill a room with energy. Or maybe you’re a strong team leader who can motivate anyone.
Whatever it is, embrace it. This is your advantage. Your strength. The way that YOU can stand out and make a difference. And when you learn to accept it, you can start to become MORE of this.
As a result, this will make you MORE valuable to others – whether it’s your team, your company, your clients, your peers or loved ones.
Plus, you will be more productive, motivated and happy. And who doesn’t want that?
“You don’t have to be everything to everyone”
When you become more of who you are, it also means you can become less of all the things you’re not. It’s liberating to know that you don’t have to be everything to everyone.
For example, let’s say you’re super detailed and organised. It’s really difficult to be detailed, organised AND come up with brilliant ideas AND be strong team leader.
When you try to be all these things at once, you can’t devote your attention to just one thing – and instead of being super amazing at one thing, you become mediocre at a few. So don’t stress and put pressure on yourself to be everything.
That’s what friends, team mates and outsourcing are for :)
Want to discover your advantage?
If you’re having trouble figuring out what your strength or advantage is, I encourage you to take Sally’s ‘fascination’ test. Click here and enter the code ‘schoolofgreatness’ for free access. It only takes 5 minutes or so.
If you do take the test, leave a comment below and tell me what your advantage is!
If you want to learn more about confidence, relationships and effective communication, subscribe to my podcast ‘Stand Out Get Noticed’. Get it in iTunes, Stitcher, on your Android device or via RSS feed. Rock on!