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.  

Playing to Your Strengths

This past week was the week of learning for me! I have’t done this much studying/training in…umm…I think 14 years since I graduated my Masters.

The week began with 4 days of intense training to become an MBTI certified practitioner, starting from 8:45 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. with lots of lecturing, case studies, and homework! I was so physically exhausted every day but, at the same time, surprisingly felt great and emotionally energised! I didn’t know it was possible for your body and mind to go in opposite directions but mine just did.

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I had one day rest and then attended a 2-day wedding cake class. Totally different subject, right? Haha…I wouldn’t imagine all these happened in one week but they just did! Another thing I didn’t expect was for the wedding cake class to even be more exhausting!!

I imagined a friendly atmosphere where you just did your handcraft, some chitchatting…everything so nice and relaxing! My Gosh, I was right except the relaxing part! Two days were hardly enough for so many skills that you learned, starting from covering your 3-tier cake with fondant. Then you prepared parts of the sugar flowers, which were soooo detailed. You also needed quite a number of flowers for the whole cake.

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I headed home that day with a nasty pain on my right bicep. So hungry, so tired, so blurry-eyed from concentrating on the flower details. By the way, the class started from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. We just couldn’t finish everything earlier than that.

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The next day started off with what seemed like a much lighter day.  We assembled the flowers and painted them. I couldn’t imagine how rush we had to be toward the end. The flowers took so much time. Then we had to hand-paint the cake with royal icing and decorate it with our flowers. I hated rushing through art work, but when I looked at the finished cake, I can’t help feeling so proud of what I have accomplished in such a short period of time.

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Besides all the knowledge and skills I have acquired this week, the most important lesson I learned is,

“When you work to your strength, or do something you love, no matter how hard it is, you still come out of it with positive energy…happiness, pride, and joy…”

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The next logical step is probably trying to get some return on investment on all those trainings…hahaha… That really does’t sound too joyful for me… 😛

Please share with me when was the last time you learned something new and felt really energised, excited, motivated, etc., and what the effects of such learning to your mind and body?