Living in My Genius
Guest blog by Rhonda Knight-Boyle
Several years ago, I learned some lessons about what it means to live in my genius.
Right after my father passed away, my brother and sister and I went through some of his personal effects and we dug through a box of memorabilia. Inside, we found old photos and documents and a few other things. Unbelievably, I discovered my second grade report card! And inside, I discovered that I had behavior problems!
“Rhonda can’t sit still,” said one notation.
“And she won’t stop talking,” said another.
And at the bottom of the page, the teacher wrote, “Rhonda is not living up to her full potential!”
Labels and Boxes
Now, at seven years old, I’m certain that I didn’t know what potential was, nor could I have spelled it! And already, teachers were labeling me and putting me in a box and unfortunately, I lived inside that box for many, many years. I never seemed to measure up to the expectations placed on me by the school system, by my parents, and by other well-meaning people in my life.
“What’s wrong with you?!” I heard often, and eventually that became a constant thought in my head. All through school, and later, as I entered the workforce, I really began to believe something was wrong with me. I was too loud and too noisy. I had trouble focusing for long periods of time. I wiggled in my desk and later — after I grew up — in my office chair. It seemed I was always in trouble with someone — a teacher, a boss, a co-worker.
Report cards were exchanged for Performance Reviews. Bosses over the years would spend five minutes telling me how great I was at something, only to spend the next 45 minutes telling me how poor my performance was in another area. I was put through the further indignity of a Performance Improvement Plan where I was required to work really hard on something that I was no good at in the hopes that I would get better.
That never happened.
Gifted and Talented
It wasn’t until years later that I discovered a simple tool — the StrengthsFinder assessment — that completely changed the way I look at things and the way I look at myself.
I was stunned when I got the results of the test and learned that instead of not being able to sit still and focus, I am gifted in a talent called Activator. I was born to be a catalyst for change and to disrupt the status quo. I am supposed to be constantly moving and shaking — I was born for it!
Instead of “talking too much” as that teacher of long ago had accused, I have a talent called Communication. I was born to be a storyteller and to be expressive and to be an effective communicator. Today, I write prolifically and do a lot of public speaking. It’s one of my sweet spots!
The day I took that StrengthsFinder assessment was the day I began to redefine myself by what I did well. The results of the test showed me where I needed to develop myself in order to be happier, where I would have greater success and where I got my energy. These were my Super Powers!
The results also showed me where I needed to outsource and partner with other people because I just didn’t have it in me to be anything but mediocre in those areas. Doing activities in areas where I’m not naturally talented drain my energy and lack excellence. Why I would want to do those things?
Not only did I use the results of the StrengthsFinder test to change how I looked at myself, after training and coaching, I launched my own coaching business. I now work with individuals, teams and companies who are interested in growing and developing themselves and their people into being their very best! And I train other coaches to add the assessment to their own toolbox as they work with their own clients.
It has been said that, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Isn’t it time for each of us to live in our genius and feel valued and appreciated? The way that will happen is for us to know who we are and where we will shine! And the StrengthsFinder assessment can help us do just that!
Be sure to download my free Tip Sheet to get the most out of the tool. Just go to Tips.RhondaBoyle.com and I’ll send it to you right away!
About the Author:
Rhonda Knight Boyle is a Gallup Certified StrengthsFinder coach and the founder of Rhonda Boyle LLC, a coaching and consulting company. The best selling author of Driven Success: Failures to Avoid and Wins to Go After and Dive into Strengths: An Exploration of the Very Best YOU!, Ronda uses Clifton Strengths and BP10 methodology to foster personal development and professional growth. She can be heard on the OklahomaTalkingCo podcast network and is the host of the Activate Your Strengths Show.
Check her out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/232463083754435/