Give the Gift of Noticing

Today starts a four-part series on Self-Awareness and the role it plays in crafting lives that shine.

At House of Shine we spend a lot of time talking about being aware of our Strengths, so we can design lives that allow us to use them daily. One irony to understanding Strengths, though, is that they come to us naturally and that can make spotting Strengths hard to do.

Planning and organizing projects is fun for me, but as a young person I would never have thought to identify myself as Strategic. Once I understood the attribute then I could get busy building a life around finding opportunities to do a lot of it.

My husband is naturally confident and, while I am sure he’s run into his fair share of people who have called him “arrogant” or “cocky”, he might never have assigned himself the attribute of being Self-Assured. And it stands to reason that if he has never explicitly thought of himself as Self-Assured then he’s probably never thought about all the ways this attribute serves him.

My youngest son, Jack, was on safari with us for the past couple of weeks and one of our guides repeatedly commented on his innate ability to identify and frame interesting pictures. The guide himself was a professional photographer, so his observations of Jack allowed Jack (and me) to see a talent that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

One final example.

Many years ago, while working in higher education, I read an article underscoring the importance of using the label “leader” when introducing involved students to other faculty and staff on campus . The article asserted it might be the very first time many of these students have ever had the word “leader” assigned to them and hearing it could help these students see themselves in a new light.

I did that one fall day at Bellarmine University while standing in the hallway talking to the University President and Vice President for Student Affairs. The student I was introducing them to was Katie Kolkmeier. She was a first-year student, a little homesick, and the newly appointed student chair of our Family Weekend events. Fifteen years later and now an integral part of House of Shine’s team, Katie is a shining example of what it means to know and use your strengths.

How can you help someone you love become more self-aware of his or her talents or strengths? Consider being generous today and complimenting someone for an attribute you observe in them. It might just be the first time someone’s ever pointed it before and the gift of awareness is one of the greatest gift you can give.

Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 8/14/19 8:00 am by Claudia Beeny in: Uncategorized

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