I’ve been on a training course for the past six weeks, spending both my Fridays and Saturdays in a room learning about the business and leadership skills.
It’s been tough, admittedly, especially when I have to wake up before 7am on Saturday mornings. I don’t sleep well on week days and love sleeping in on weekends, so by Sunday night, I feel flat and tired.
But besides the fatigue and excessive imbibing of caffeine, it’s been a great ride so far. I’ve acquired knowledge, made great friends and more importantly, I’ve gained insights about me along the way.
During our first session, we did the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. I first did the test when I was 16 and unsurprisingly, my results were the same – I remain an Introvert iNtuition Feeling Perceiving. Basically, it means that I internalise my thoughts, prefer to add context and meaning to things, look at human emotions and feeling when making decisions, and am open to changes and options.
But what really helped was seeing how my preferences (that’s what they call it – preferences rather than personality) has affected the way I handle situations. I’m not very easy to get to know, I don’t give myself credit (I see everything good that I do as “accidental”) and I tend to get emotionally blackmailed into doing things I don’t wish to do, a chronic weakness of mine. Now that I understand how and why I do the things I do, it makes it so much easier to wield my weaker arm and learn to approach situations differently.
When we were discussing career goals in another session, my immediate reaction was, I have ZERO ambition. I had no clue where I wanted to go. I only knew that climbing the corporate ladder was not my objective in life. I wrote that I wanted to be happy with my work, whatever I was doing. I had no idea what whatever was.
But during the session, when we were forced to think hard about it again, I wrote down the following: To become a yoga teacher. Or write a children’s book. To be a better photographer. And then I realised that yoga, writing and photography were the three things that I had repeated quite constantly when talking about what I liked and wanted to do.
It was like a light had suddenly shone on my cobwebby mind!
Now all through my adult life, I have hated my speaking voice. I CANNOT listen to my voice on my voicemail without cringing (which is why I no longer record voicemail messages). It didn’t help that when I was 17, I found a note with a handwritten exchange between two choir mates bitching about how crappy my voice was.
But today, as we were forced to stand in front of the class and speak at length, my instructor and coursemates told me how nice I sounded. That I had a musical tone to my voice. That it carried across the room effortlessly. That I had a voice like an announcer’s. That I was such a convincing presenter that they wanted to sign up for yoga classes (my topic) IMMEDIATELY.
You wouldn’t believe how that made me go WOW? REALLY?
Just goes to show how little I think of myself sometimes. I shouldn’t even be surprised at how good at something I am.