Playing to Your Unique Strengths
One of the most important things we can learn in life is what our unique strengths and talents are. Why? Well for one thing it allows us to figure out where we fit – and sometimes where we don’t fit – with regards to our careers, our relationships, and our families. Knowing what our strengths are also gives us the confidence to stand up and say “I can do that!”, or “I don’t think that’s for me”. It’s an act of self-realization that honors both our own time and energy and the time and energy of those around us.
We are all Unique!
No two of us are alike, no matter what career path we take we will all navigate it slightly differently, so knowing exactly what your strengths are is key to making sure you don’t waste time comparing yourself to others, or trying to fit a mold that doesn’t belong to you.
I learned this the hard way, spending many years assuming I knew what my strengths were, and living in frustration when things (and others’) didn’t fit into my assumptions!
A case of mistaken Self-Identity!
I always thought I was an “A” type personality. An “Action” personality. I was a racecar driver in the NHRA, a snowboard instructor, a rock climber etc. I did a lot of “exciting” and ‘challenging” things, especially for a girl. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t do, and nothing I wasn’t at least willing to try. I was an extrovert, I loved being around people and socializing, I was a singer and performer and had no issue getting up in front of thousands of people on a stage.
All those things reinforced (to me) that my strength was “Action!”.
Discovering my true self
At 33 I became a Mom, and my life slowed WAY down. I’d committed to attachment parenting, and as such I spent a ton more time at home. I spent a lot of that time reading and studying things I’d always been interested in.
I’d always been an encyclopedia of sorts as a kid, and had apparently read every book in the elementary school library by age 9, but I never, not once, thought my “brain” was my “strength”. Knowledge just came easily to me, like how some people are “good at reading maps”, or “cutting hair”. I didn’t think of it as anything more than that.
I noticed over time that when people would ask me about something I was studying I could actually feel my brain “accessing” the file really easily, and I could open it in my mind, and pull out the info. It was a fun realization, and something my friends said I needed to “do something with”. “Well I would” I thought, “If it were something one could do something with!’. It didn’t seem like a character strength at the time, it just seemed like a hobby I was good at.
Learning about the 4 Personality Types
About 2 years ago Trina introduced all of us at Blumvox to a Marketing concept and product called B.A.N.K. The founder, Cheri Tree, had discovered (through a series of her own sales pitfalls) that there are FOUR distinct character personality types, based on the Four Archetypes of Hippocrates. Those four personality characteristics, as she reframed them, are
B – Blueprint,
A – Action,
N – Nurturing,
and K – Knowledge.
Without getting too much into each one here (I’ll leave a link at the end of this article for you to go looksee), we are each all four of these to various degrees, but one is always most prominent. Think of it like your “language”, or the “code” in which you speak.
When you first get introduced to B.A.N.K. you take a survey to determine exactly what order the archetypes show up in within you, and though I was 100% SURE I’d be some order that started with “A” (cause I’m an Action and all!), I discovered to my amazement that I am actually a “K” personality. K for “Knowledge”. What amazed me further was when I dove into the traits of a K-type personality I found again and again that I was indeed, at my core, SO much more K than anything else. It was totally mind-blowing to learn this at 41 years old, and it changed my life instantly!
Self-Realization leads to Self-Acceptance! (and letting others off the hook!).
When I discovered my strength is Knowledge I began to not only accept the part of myself that often gets frustrated by others’ LACK of knowledge (insert “logic”, “reason”, “rationale”, “research” etc here), I also had a whole lot more compassion for those that had to deal with me! K-types are one of the hardest personalities to get along with, because they think they know so much if you disagree with them you’ll often be beaten down with wikipedia excerpts, logic and empirical proof (with examples), rather than just being told “nope I don’t agree”. We make great debaters (I was on the award-winning debate team in High School), and it’s very hard to get us to see other than what we “Know”, cause you know, we KNOW it. Spock is the quintessential K-type personality.
Knowing Yourself can help your Family!
My daughter on the other hand is a true “A” type personality (because as they say “God’s got jokes”). “A’s” are an almost exact opposite of a “K”, it’s a personality type that drives “K’s” mental. She has ZERO time for logic, order or reason. She is purely in the now moment and actions her way through life regardless of the logic behind any of it. I can be in the middle of deep and serious conversation with her about something she KNOWS she needs to pay attention to (that may even mean life and death safety etc), and she will be distracted by a bird flying by the window and forget EVERYTHING I just said.
It once drove me mad, until I came to understand the fundamental differences in our personalities. Now it just makes me laugh and let go of my own perturbation as best I can. What once frustrated me to no end now makes me smile more often, as I truly “see” her, including where HER strengths lie. I also have a deeper understanding of my own reactions and why they are what they are.
This is deep people, if you can “see” not only yourself but those you love and live with, there is great freedom in that, for you all.
Now with this deeper understanding of myself as (in order) a KNAB – Knowledge, Nurture, Action, Blueprint, I can honor that and play to that strength while simultaneously understanding my reactions to the different personalities around me.
Playing to my Strengths within Blumvox
Today in my position with Blumvox I play several different roles that 10 years ago that might have seemed to me like rigidity. When we have a team meeting for instance, I pull my notes together into color-coded and headlined To Do Lists, letting everyone else know what they said and agreed to do. I’m responsible for reminding everyone on the Team of what has been done and what still needs to be done each week, and to checking in so I can check things off the list.
As Steve’s Assistant I’m often introduced as “the person who organizes his life” – at least with regard to his working life. That’s because Steve is an A/N, an “Action/Nurturer”, he’s far too busy “doing” and “caring” to be “organizing” and “listing”. This is a place where I play MY strengths and that helps HIM. If I truly were an “A” and doing this job, this working relationship simply would not work. This is a case where opposites are a good thing, and those differences are ones that we can both see, laugh and be grateful for!
I’m also the person that writes out the Rules for our Community, the Classes, the Presentations, etc using my K-brain to gather all that we want to say as a Team into something of reason and logic that is easily understood (though it can be incredibly long and detailed and I apologize to some of you A’s for that!). My K is followed very closely behind by N – Nurturer, and in that you can often feel that though I just laid down the Law and we expect you to comply, I also really do care about you and your safety and happiness here in our Community.
Can we go without knowing?
Of course we can! But it can make things so much harder and more frustrating than they need to be! For instance: If I didn’t know that I was a “K/N” I would still be in a mental struggle with myself, having SELF-identified as an “A” type personality for much of my life.
- I could easily be telling myself (with my busier than normal brain) that I’m being “too myopic”, too “wordy”, too “much” in all this.
- I might even be resistant to doing and providing the very things that I do for the Team and the Community that bring benefit.
- I could easily look back into my past and lament that I’m not off “doing” something exciting like I used to, because I’m an “A” dammit!
Not understanding who we really are, and what our strengths really are, can often make us spiral downward, as we compare ourselves to others around us, or even to a former version of ourselves that we no longer are, or misunderstood ourselves to be!
I see a lot of people playing to the strengths they WISH they were, rather than the strengths they ACTUALLY are.
The ability (and willingness) to not only see who we truly are, our true nature, but also to LET GO of who we might have thought we WERE, in order to accept who we are, is the very heart of self-realization.
You are uniquely YOU, even within this simplified acronym of four letters and four archetypes the percentage of each is unique to you. What you bring has never been before, imagine what is possible when you truly understand what it is you bring, and to “play to THAT”, instead of anything else you might have thought you needed to be or do or play to.
It’s SO Freeing!
Trina and I often use the acronyms to understand (and laugh at) ourselves and others, and you’ll often hear us say “Oh wow that’s SO K!” or “That’s because you’re an N!, hahahaha!”. If you guessed that Trina is an N – Nurturer, you’re right on the money ;-). The ability to laugh at ourselves for all the ways our true nature shows up (and acts up!), and the ways that we interact with people we work with and share our lives with is really important!
No matter what blend of these 4 archetypal characteristics YOU are, there is always a way that you fit into the mix with others. There’s not ONE personality type that is better suited to do this thing called voiceover, as there are all personality types doing all things in the world. As I’ve said a few times in class and in the community, I did VO promos for 10 years, and still do occasionally.
What IS important however, is you knowing what your strengths are, and playing the game of life with THOSE out front.
A really good place to start is by understanding your B.A.N.K “Code” as we call it, ie: the order that the Four Archetypes show up as within you. If for no other reason than because it will help you (as it did me) gain new insights about yourself you never knew before.
If you’re interested in finding out more about B.A.N.K. you can “CRACK YOUR CODE” here: https://www.bankcode.com/blumvoxstudios
And if you have questions about B.A.N.K. and want to delve depper into trainings with them etc, Trina is a great resource for that! While B.A.N.K. is presented as primarily a Sales tool, the biggest benefit I’ve found from it is in LIFE, and in understanding the people I love most and those I work and interact with on a regular basis.
You’ll get a chance to understand yourself in a deeper way by discovering your code, and the codes of those around you, and I hope you enjoy what you find! I’d LOVE to hear any epiphanies you have once you do!
Play with your Strengths out Front, there really is no better way to do this thing called Life.
Arohanui (Big Love!)
Reirani – KNAB