Saturday, June 29, 2013

Strength or Distraction?

I love using StrengthFinders 2.0 to help my clients discover their strengths. And it has finally sunk into my brain that strengths can also become distractions. Thanks to an understanding of polarities, I am able to see the flip side of the coin of Strengths.

In the thinking technology of managing Polarities, There is not only the polaritiy of seemingly contrasting intentions, but even within a focus there is the polarity of extremes, of good and bad, as well as where we apply our strengths.

Example: a baseball glove works well on the ballfield, though using it as a glove for cleaning snow off the car might be a bit awkward. OK, that one is a bit extreme, but it gives you an idea about application.

So lets apply this to the way we live our lives.

One of my strengths is intellection. Yeah, a funny word. What it means is that I like to analyze things, examine the parts, put them back together, find the source of thoughts, ask the questions that get to the core of your greatest potential. I've found (and others have, too) that this is a very powerful strength for coaching. And yet, it can have some drawbacks when applied in less useful places in my life, or when applied as a default modality, if I'm not thinking about it.

When it runs amuck in my business life, it can cause stagnation and indecision. Paralysis by analysis, if you will. When looking at options and opportunities, I can examine and question and analyze until I'm blue in the face. Decisions need to be made. Some decision are better when relying more on intuition.

Sometimes I find myself drawn into intellection when there is other work to be done that requires more focus. That's when I find myself staring off into space (or the computer screen) for minutes at a time. Distraction. Can you relate?

And unfettered intellection is certainly a handicap when it comes to centering or meditating.

The realization of this strength as a distraction allows me to now be aware of when it is happening. Sometimes. This awareness of my default tendencies is a new muscle that I'm exercising, so I'm not beating myself up when it doesn't happen all the time.

Awareness is the first step to self-empowerment, and then we can choose again.

What is your distraction?

When is it your strength?

Those are the polarities that we can manage. Doesn't that feel better?

Affirming your greatness,
Larry Watson

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out the sometimes not so obvious polarity of our strengths and distractions. One of my strengths is organization, yet at times this can become an obsession which, at that point, is a distraction from what I had intended to accomplish. I find it so easy to slip into this obsession/distraction which releases me from any real thinking!

Larry Watson said...

Isn't an eye-opener?! Since I became aware, I see it over and over, and, sometimes, I can release it and get back to my work!

Selective application. Like selective hearing... lol.