7 Benefits of Getting to Know Yourself Better

Last week was a pretty intense week for me personally and business-wise.  That’s not uncommon for someone playing 3 quite different roles, i.e. full-time mom, part-time cake decorator, and part-time human capital specialist.  When things are easy, I almost feel meaningless.  When things get busy on all fronts like this, it can be very exhausting.  

Again, referring to my previous post “Playing to Your Strengths“, even though you feel so physically, and sometimes also emotionally, drained, you still come out of it with positivity.

The most thought-provoking activity I did was joining the 3-day Hogan Certification Workshop.  I was fortunate enough to join the course with several other experienced, some of them highly-accomplished, professionals, whom I have learned a lot from. 

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Besides becoming a certified professional on the personality assessment tool, I have also discovered a great deal about myself, i.e. my perceived behaviors, my derailers or what I tend to do when I am under stress, and my values.  As I became more self-aware, I have discovered a few benefits of doing so:

  1. Understand the past: When you are more aware of your own behaviors, your reactions to stress, and your underlying values, you will start to be able to answer some very puzzling questions about why you did something or made decisions the way you did in the past.  It explains a great deal why and how you’ve become who you are now.  
  2. Make better decisions: By better, I mean decisions that you likely won’t regret.  Now that you understand yourself better, you become more confident about what are really important to you.  Therefore, you are able to make better-informed decisions that go with your values and strengths, while going against your weaknesses.  
  3. Develop to your potential: Since the Hogan results are in comparison with the global norms (N.B.: My opinion on grouping people in a normal distribution curve is a different story altogether.), you will be able to see quite clearly your strengths and weaknesses, especially in business situations.  Learn to appreciate your good points.  Look at your great potential not only through something you’ve already done well but through something you can develop and do better.  The opportunities are endless now that you know!
  4. Be humble and kind to others: Learning about your dark side helps keep your feet on the ground and feel humble about who you are.  No one is good in everything.  We are flawed in so many different ways.  It would be nice if we learn to accept that and be understanding to people around us.
  5. Appreciate the loving people around you: This may sound irrelevant but I do feel so when I learned about my derailers or negative behaviors.  When I look back on some of those times when these behaviors came out, I feel really appreciative of the loving people around me, who put up with and tried their best to understand me.  
  6. Fake it to make it: Specifically for your career, now that you know your shortcomings, you have a chance to develop what you lack but is required in your career advancement.  Sometimes we just don’t have much choice other than faking it to make it, as it was once said, “The difference between who you are and what you want to be…is what you do.”  Just make sure you don’t lose your identity, morality, and values along the way.
  7. Balance your life better: With a clearer understanding of your own needs and values, you can choose to do the things that make you happy and not put yourself under too much stress.  

These are the 7 things I have learned from learning about myself through the Hogan reports.  I understand there are many different ways to raise self-awareness and I’m not saying this is the ultimate tool.  I just happen to experience it and personally find it one of a useful tools for my own development.  

One thing I believe should be handled with extreme caution regarding the interpretation of these personality assessment tools is DO NOT limit yourself to what the reports say about you.  Learn from them not about your flaws but how you can get better.  As Nelson Mandela once said, “May your choice reflects your hopes, not your fears.”

 I would love to learn from you as well whether you have had any experiences that help increase your self-awareness and how do you feel about it.  Please do share.  

Farewell to Cupcake Carousel

There is a saying in Thai, “No party never comes to an end.”

It’s time for me, again, to close a chapter of life and move on with a new side step but still toward the same old passion, i.e., the beauty of cake decorating.

Due to our personal obligations and directions in life, my partner and I, who founded and have been managing Cupcake Carousel together for almost 8 years now, have decided to go separate ways in business, but certainly not in our friendship. While I guess her strengths lie in restaurant management and sales, backed up with extensive experience in the industry, I prefer the production side and always love to get my hands on the actual decorating myself. Therefore, in this transition, I would continue to do what I love…in my own small, personalized, and manageable ways.

However, this blog is not about the new direction but a tribute to Cupcake Carousel and our fun in creating, nurturing…with falling downs, getting ups, and jumping arounds in the process…until now putting it to rest. The decision is hard and so sad for me personally but I know it is the most practical and realistic one.

So…I’d like to thank my partner for going through this unforgettable and most valuable chapter of my life with me and wish her a great success in whatever she decides to pursue in her personal and career life. Thank you, all friends and family who have been our great support. Thank you, all our current and former employees who were certainly an important part that made all these happened. And last but not least, thank you, all valued customers who have made it possible for us to be where we are.

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At least this party ended with long, good memories that I’ll cherish forever.

Now I must organize a new party on my own. Please stay tuned to my blog and social media channel for your invitation soon!