Free to be Me!

The month of July always starts with a reminder of our freedom.  As citizens of the United States, our essential freedoms are granted to each one of us the day we are born.  Simply put, we have freedoms that allow us the right to act, speak, and think as we want without hindrance or restraint.   We also have the right to be who we are.   For many of us, this right - the right to be who are we - is powerful.  We do not have to be “well rounded” or be great at everything that we do or that is expected of us.  Rather, we should seek to be the best version of ourselves and apply our natural talents to make an impact in our world. 

Developing self-awareness is the foundation for experiencing the freedom to be who you are.  Whether you have the opportunity to discover your strengths through the CliftonStrengths assessment or you pay close attention to the thoughts, behaviors, and actions that bring you enjoyment and energy and are done with ease and with excellence – it is essential to understand and appreciate the best inside of you.  Repeatedly, individuals have shared a sense of relief and freedom by simply understanding, embracing, and aiming their talent towards what is important to them in their lives.  It’s a “this is who I am, what you can expect of me, and how I can add value” mindset.

But, what about all of the other expectations or responsibilities that are laid upon us that may not be as well aligned with what we do best?  How can we really focus on our strengths when we are called upon to do things that we are not good at?  The answer is partnerships.  The additive value of knowing our own strengths is to also understand the talents that fill our gaps.  Complementary partners – those individuals whose talents complement our own – are strong allies with whom we can lend and borrow strengths.  A leader who understands and owns that they are not as strong at strategic thinking but who surrounds themselves with strong strategically-minded partners can be freed up to focus on what he or she does best.

This month, entertain the notion that you have the freedom to be just the person you are.  Take time to explore the nuances of your talent, declare your strengths to your team or loved ones, and find a trusted partner that can help you shore-up some of your areas of weakness.  A sense of freedom should follow! 

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