Do You Really Know You? …What are Your 4 Dominant Characteristics?
What is one word that best describes your most dominant characteristic? What would it be with two, three or four words? Before you continue reading, STOP! And think about the questions! Stay with me. This is not a test…… Now, how quickly did the descriptive words of you by you come to your mind? Was the answer immediate, or did the questions make you go, “Hmm?” How many words did it take to describe you? One, two, three or four? Was it difficult to describe them? What was the first word about you that came into your spirit? Was it negative or positive? Were the descriptive words all positive? Why? On the flip side; were the words all negative? Why? Think about it. Do you really know you? What is your view of you? Is it time for a self-examination?
I recently posed the four word characteristic question to my friend/sister and her husband. She immediately said, “Me! Me! Me! and Me!” Her husband just scratched his head. Some time ago, I posed the one word characteristic question to a group of ladies at a Women’s Leadership Conference. There were diverse answers. One person said, “Real.” Another said, “Pure.” Another said, “Focused.” Another said, “Energetic.” I said, “Perseverance.”
What aspects of your life experiences contribute to your description of you? Was it initially hidden; then it bloomed after others described you to you? Sometimes negative descriptions of you by others; whether true or untrue; help you to bloom. I remember walking into a meeting years ago, and the facilitator of the meeting said to the others, “Be careful, sometimes people will come in and take over your meetings.” Because I knew that this person was referring to me, I initially started thinking, that I had a takeover spirit. Later, I prayed about the subliminal accusation to see if it was correct. The Lord told me to think about what happened in the meeting. When the facilitator posed questions or talked, many of the people in the meeting looked at me to see how I would respond. He also told me to look at my responses and interactions when I’m in meetings; but discern someone’s intimidation.
The learning experience: Don’t be quick to own and wear what people say about you. Pray and learn from their opinion; do a self-examination, hear from God; make adjustments when necessary, and grow. And by all means, do not allow someone else’s opinion of you to silence your voice. Have someone ever labeled you and caused you to silence your voice, or to shy away from what God has called you to do? Think about it. What does God say about you? Talk to your trusted God-fearing leader and see what your leader says about you? What do you say about you?
Sometimes, what people say, helps us in a different way. Though in the Women’s Leadership conference, perseverance was my one descriptive word of my most dominant characteristic, it wasn’t always perseverance. Several years ago, while I was in my exit interview for the completion of the Master’s of Divinity degree, my academic advisor asked me to name my dominant characteristic. The first word that came to my mind was, “procrastination.” After the meeting, I read what the advisor listed as her observance of my most dominant characteristic. It was “perseverance,” which made me a bit perplexed.
At the time, I didn’t see what the professor saw in me. But after praying and reflecting, the Lord spoke and said, “Rochelle, think about all that you have come through.” My questions to the Lord were, “Why did I initially view my dominant characteristic as procrastination. Though I did have a tendency to procrastinate, especially when it came to writing papers and completing assignments, clearly perseverance was present throughout my life? What wall blocked the view of perseverance and illuminated procrastination?”
When we experience a plethora of mishaps, trials and storms, we can often develop a darkened view of how we see ourselves. Brick by brick. a wall of self deficiency erects due to one bad experience after another. Continual bad experiences become the norm and the wall of not feeling good about ourselves and the lack of expectancy stand firm. Let’s look at an example. How would you view yourself if you experienced the following life events?
A woman, that we will call Lea grew up watching her dad beat her mom practically every day. Her mom continuously tried to commit suicide. When Lea was 20, someone shot and killed her oldest brother. At 26, Lea’s mother ran from the law and Lea had no clue of where she was, if she was alright, had food or shelter. That same year, Lea grabbed her 7-year-old and 11 month old, walked away from the home that she was purchasing and ran for her life from an abusive crack addicted babies’ daddy. While Lea’s 16-year-old daughter was driving, she and Lea’s 5-year-old son were in a deadly car accident. Her daughter’s tongue lacerated, son’s leg broke, the driver in the other car died and her daughter stood on trial for man-slaughter. While Lea’s 11-year-old son was playing in the parking lot of their house of worship, a rolling fence cut off his finger (it was re-attached). She experienced her wages garnished, eviction and had to sleep on a mattress on her cousin’s kitchen floor. Her first cousin put Lea and her children out on the street even though she paid her cousin $250.00 every two weeks. At 43, Lea’s mother died and someone consented to her body’s cremation without her knowledge. 9 months later her last brother died from a brain aneurysm. When she was 46, Lea’s father died; and at 48 she had a brain aneurysm and four brain surgeries.
I guess by now you’ve concluded that Lea is my middle name. But the focus is on our view of ourselves. Think about all that you have come through in your life. Though you are not bitter, nor do you hold any grudges against anyone, why would you not consider perseverance as a dominant characteristic? Perhaps it’s because one tormenting trial after another over the years has created a wall of blaming your self. But; the mere fact that the Lord brought you through whatever you have been through and you didn’t become addicted to alcohol or drugs or haven’t gone out of your mind is perseverance. And if the Lord brought you out of an addiction to serve Him, that is perseverance also. In actuality, each time the Lord brings you out in your right mind is a form of the blooming process. You may not see it, but you are blooming and expanding RIGHT NOW!
Have you ever walked down a cement sidewalk and there are sprouts of weeds in the cracks? Some see that as an eyesore. But think about it. A horizontal wall buried those plants’ seeds that needed to spring forth. We don’t know how long they were pushing their way through, but they did. I believe it is the rain that caused them to bud and sprout through the cracks. Our current characteristics can sprout from the rain of wounds and various experiences. But much more in a better way from the nourishment and watering of the Word of God.
What dominant characteristic is in you screaming to spring forth. Have you experienced people viewing you in a more positive way than you see yourself? And to the contrary, do others see areas in you where you are thinking too highly of yourself and you can’t see the opportunities for improvement? Why don’t you see what they see?
Life lessons peek through into our lives daily. Sometimes they even come through those who we work with on our jobs and serve with in ministry who have difficulty working with a team and just have to prove their place? I was in a situation where my fellow teammates and I concluded a meeting with takeaways. We all had specific tasks to carry out. One of the teammates started querying persons who were on my list to contact. As a matter of fact, I had already contacted the two persons that the teammate contacted. I was screaming on the inside for wanting to tell that person about my opinion of their actions. But, the Lord said. “No!”
How would you handle this? I understand, perhaps this person has a need to prove their place and show themselves as having power. But why is it bothering me so much? Could another dominant characteristic be temper? Could it be pride? Could it be judgmental, timidity, tenacity, humility, steadfastness, caring? Could it be loving kindness? Where are our positive dominant characteristics and where are our areas with opportunities for improvement? What hindering walls are cracking and life-enhancing characteristics are trying to spring forth?
My last questions to you are, “Do you really know you?” “Where are the hindering invisible walls in your life?” and “What are your 4 dominant characteristics and how are they blooming and expanding?”
Join the conversation. I’d love to hear from you. Your thoughts are important. We’ll talk soon.
Originally posted 2015-10-19 14:17:17.