Be You. One of the shortest sentences one can form. Yet one of the most powerful assertions. So what does it mean to be you? What if you don't know who YOU are? Today at work we had a mini offsite for our team that was meant for some team bonding and brainstorming. With only 10 of us, we all went through the book Strengths Finder 2.0 to see what our top five strengths are (or "themes" as they call them). It was so beneficial to go through this with them because when you're working so closely with a team, often times you're left disappointed, confused, or just plain annoyed because you don't know how to deal with them. Maybe you're wondering why they react certain ways to specific situations -- or why they don't react at all. It was so eye-opening to share our results with one another because now I know exactly why they operate the way they do. And most of all, where their top strengths lie. This way we now know how each member of the team can best utilize these strengths to contribute to the team. 

I highly suggest reading this book and taking the assessment (within a team at work, with your significant other, or just for fun between your family or group of friends). As soon as I finished I wanted to share my results with those around me and curious to hear the results of my good friends. 

Just for my own reference so I never forget these (and because I'm sure you readers are dying to know all about me!) ... lol, I'll be sharing my top 5, as well as the tidbits from each that stood out most to me. It's interesting because we actually had to read this book for a course I took in high school and I still have it at home. I was comparing my results to the ones I got today (almost 7 years later) and 3 of my 5 strengths have remained the same. The other two are completely new! And in a new order too. Here it goes: 

1) Empathy

People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.

What stood out most: Chances are good that you are attuned to the full gamut of human feelings. Whenever your own or someone else’s life becomes emotionally barren, you search for people and activities to fill the void. You bring people together. Because of your strengths, you frequently detect impending conflict sooner than most people do. Your keen awareness allows you to sense what others are thinking and feeling. Simply put: You have a gift for helping people find common ground. By nature, you pay attention to what others think. You make them feel valued. Typically people sense that you appreciate what they say. This probably explains why many people enjoy spending time with you.

2) Harmony

People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.

What stood out the most: You realize everyone sees opportunities, problems, solutions, and events differently. While you have opinions, you refrain from imposing them on others. You are good-natured — that is,you have a pleasant, cheerful, and cooperative disposition. Chances are good that you accomplish everything that others are counting on you to do. This is one reason why people admire you. 

3) Connectedness

People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.

What stood out the most: Driven by your talents, you sense that everything in life is somehow interrelated and interdependent. This idea fortifies you to calmly face most of life’s challenges and difficulties. ... By nature, you naturally build bonds that unite different types of people who have separate and often clashing agendas. You naturally identify with someone’s situation. You have a gift for helping people discover what they have in common. 

4) Consistency

People who are especially talented in the Consistency theme are keenly aware of the need to treat people the same. They try to treat everyone in the world with consistency by setting up clear rules and adhering to them.

What stood out the most: You might worry that chaos will reign when regulations or standard operating procedures are not uniformly enforced. Because of your strengths, you may have a reputation for straightening up certain types of things such as your desk, home, and personal items. Perhaps you have a detailed plan or schedule for cleaning, organizing, and maintaining your physical environment. By nature, you like creating familiar patterns of behavior. (dead on!) 

5) Communication 

People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.

What stood out the most: Instinctively, you very much enjoy the animated give-and-take of a lively discussion. You yearn to spend time with your friends. Their absence saddens you. It’s very likely that you are sometimes open and honest about who you are, what you have done, what you can do, and what you cannot do. Maybe your straightforward explanations and stories help listeners see you as you see yourself.

Perhaps your words and examples move them to action. Because of your strengths, you like to
amuse people with your stories. Your stories probably provide people with pleasant distractions from their daily routines and worries. Chances are good that you select the right combination
of words to convey your ideas or feelings. You probably express yourself with ease and grace.


That's me! Reading these strengths and diving deep into discovering them is one step closer into figuring out who I am and now the challenge is to BE me with no hesitation, fear, or care about who will accept and and who wont. It's liberating. 


Rant of the week: I'm annoyed because almost all of my shows were cancelled this week due to something. One of my biggest pet peeves is being so excited to watch your shows on DVR from the night before -- and then you get situated and lounged in front of the TV, only to find that none have been recorded! Gossip Girl, Parenthood, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, AND the Challenge were all no where to be found this week :/ Sure, I saved some time and was able to be more productive with my nights, but come on, we all know that TV is my mistress. Excitement of the week: Okay, done with the spoiled brat rant. It's officially NOVEMBER! My favorite month of the year. And no, not ONLY because it's my birthday month, but because it marks the official start of the holiday season, as well as good old Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, and maybe a part of it is because I feel like it's the underdog holiday that always gets shafted. I got my mail yesterday and I'm already getting catalogs from Macy's with Christmas tree decor deals. Starbucks' holiday cup is out with snowmen on it. People have their lights up. Christmas music is flowing. I for one, am the biggest fan of Christmas time, but come on people, let Thanksgiving shine too!! Haha, I am the biggest Thanksgiving advocate. I think it's just as important to take a step back and truly immerse ourselves in the season of 1) giving thanks for our blessings & 2) actually giving to others who are less fortunate. I wanted to challenge myself this month to get outside of the "me-me-me" mentality I tend to stick in. Instead, I want to challenge myself to do something every day for someone else. It doesn't have to be buying an elaborate gift for someone every day, but even sending a kind note, doing someone a favor, or even smiling at a stranger. Anything that involves me giving back to those around me and passing along kindness. That's why this is my favorite time of year. In addition to the leaves changing, the crisp fall weather, and the yummy home-made treats, we are entering a season where we can reflect and give back to those around us. We can take this time to step outside ourselves -- and wow, what a humbling, intrinsic reward that leaves us with.

Happy holiday season to all of you! What are some of your ideas in challenging yourself to give back this season?