Your blind spot Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Saturday, 21 October 2017 18:18
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“Let go and give yourself permission to be who you truly are and give this to the world in everything you do, at all costs, no exceptions.”

So says re-branding agent Lisa Pool. Now I’m sure that this is what most of us are trying to do but it’s often easier said that done. I mean, how would you describe who you truly are?

Most people give a one-word answer to this question. They say, I am a wife, an athlete, a chef, a mother. Actually you are a wife because you have a husband, an athlete because you practice athletics, a chef because you cook food, a mother because you have a child. So, every single thing you believe yourself to be, is dependent on something else. Then who are you when that ‘something else’ isn’t there?

When asked who we are, we describe something we do because – from a very young age – we’re nudged in certain directions based on measures such as our aptitude. We adopt what-we-do as our identity with no idea that it’s merely a role we’re playing.

What happens when the role, to which you’ve tied your entire identity, changes? What happens when the workaholic ends up unemployed, the athlete is seriously injured, the children leave the nest or the husband divorces you?

If you get your identity from your primary life role and that role changes, you’ll probably end up feeling lost and confused, suffering from a humdinger of an identity crisis.

Nancy Marmolejo writes that the best way to become more self-aware is trying to find out what it is that drives you. Everyone works within a system of values that guides your decisions and determines what matters most to you. We’re talking about concepts such as freedom, integrity, order, individualism, efficiency, honesty, self-determination or flow.

When you figure out which values resonate with you, you get a better insight into what it is that’s really driving you and how it works in your life. Nancy uses the term ‘deep genius’ to explain what it is to operate from your own authenticity. Nope, we’re not back at defining a role we’re playing. She says you should peer beyond the standardized assessments, the job title, the company jargon, the school, university or performance review.

So, how do you find this deep genius in yourself? Take a look at your innate skills, those things that you’ve been born with. Think of your uncanny ability to solve puzzles, your natural artistic sense or your patience in listening to others. Chances are that they line up with your values.

It’s not uncommon to overlook your most valuable skills, simply because they come so easily to you. Also, you might miss them because you’re probably trying to find a term that would be recognisable as a role.

You’ve most likely heard the story of Steve Jobs and his love of beautiful lettering. He’s a computer guy, but took a calligraphy class in college and learned all about different types of fonts. As a result, today we can open up a document on our computers choosing whether we’ll work in Times New Roman, Avant Garde or Arial.

Ever since I read what Nancy wrote about deep genius, I’ve been puzzling over mine. I think I know what the answer is, however odd it might sound to you. I’m a born traffic regulator. It’s what I do with paragraphs and sentences, with research; it’s the point duty I do in publishing and even when washing dishes. I move things around as quickly as possible so that there can be an efficient flow: Short left for this one; carry on straight for the other; you stop and wait while another goes; okay, now that one’s turn.

We all have things that come to us easily and effortlessly. We can’t see them because we’re searching for the wrong words – journalist, wife, engineer, husband – when what we should be looking for is a style of doing things.

You have something you’re naturally extraordinary at: the way in which you approach life, never mind the role you’re playing. Your deep genius usually sits in your blind spot, but you can search for it by looking at your values.

And girlfriend, when you’ve unearthed it, give yourself permission to be who you truly are. Then give this to the world in everything you do. At all costs. No exceptions.

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