A few years back I took a test called the Strength Finder 2.0. It's an online quiz with a book that comes with it. After you answer a series of questions, it tells you what your top 5 strengths are. It does this according to some very special algorithms - more advanced than the 1.0 version, of course. The idea is that you should always work in your strengths, instead of in your weaknesses, because it's a much straighter shot to success.
One of my strengths was Significance. The description reads: You want to be very significant in the eyes of other people. In the truest sense of the word, you want to be recognized. You want to be heard. You want to stand out. You want to be known." It goes on, but in a nutshell, this strength will keep you reaching. Reaching from the mediocre towards the exceptional.
I read this and was immediately like - how is this a strength?! I don't want this. It's pure ego. Does everything I do come across as ego?! People will hate me! AHHHHH.
After I processed it, I realized it was completely accurate. In truth, I love to be recognized. I mean, really, who doesn't? There probably are lots of people who don't, but my mind is so into being recognized, it's hard to imagine another way of being.
In case it's not clear, empathy is not one of my strengths ;)
Thinking back over my life, I began to see where this significance theme has been present through all of my choices. One of these was my college major. I had always loved to write and naturally, in my significant state, I loved being in front of the camera so it seemed appropriate to major in Broadcast Journalism. Or as it was called at UF… Telecommunication News. Towards the end of my last year, I decided I didn't love doing it (probably because I wasn't as good as it as I'd like to be) and decided to pursue other things I was passionate about that were totally outside my major. Like yoga and clothing.
Even though I changed my course, the Significance theme was still there. I still wanted to be heard, to be known, to share something with the world. That feeling lives deep within me. But I was scared. Teaching yoga allowed that theme to live out somewhat, but I've never been as good with spoken word as I was with written. I knew I wasn't conveying in my classes everything I had to offer. I needed another platform.
I had wanted to blog for a few years but I felt like it was too much about myself, that people would think I was so egotistical. I was also worried that I didn't have anything worthwhile to share. There was lots of noise in my head that kept me small for a while, a few years at least.
And then one day, I just said fuck it. I was tired of playing small. The stars aligned and Significance broke through. I started writing again. I didn't even know what I wanted to write about when I started this thing. But I knew there was power in sharing. Do I feel scared when I post a particularly personal blog post? Yes. I totally get vulnerability hangovers. Sometimes I'll wake up in the morning and think… "Shit. Did I really post that?" But the feeling I get when someone tells me that they love my blog or how a post affected them is so much more powerful than that. Vulnerability is strength.
We all have so much to share, and we put up barriers to keep ourselves small. What is in you to explore, to nuture, that you're worried you will be judged for? Please share it. This is your chance. Shine your light… you have so much to contribute to the world.