Yesterday I had one of the painful experiences at work that I usually inflict on other people: going through feedback from peers and managers.
I’d taken a self-assessment, and the same questions were answered about me by peers on teams with me and by my managers. The very knowledgeable consultant who went through the responses with me also looked at another assessment I’d taken. (The Birkman, if you’re a nerdy development type.)
So the feedback itself wasn’t all that bad, it’s just the painful process of confronting how far your external habits fall from your internal perspective of what you do. There were also some pretty large indicators that I have existed and worked in a stressed-out way for far too long, and it’s coming across loud and clear and not in a nice way. Ick. So I have something to work on.
One of the most interesting things for me, though, was the consultant’s perspective and interpretation of the “Areas of Interest” in that Birkman assessment. These 10 categories (Artistic, Clerical, Musical, Literary, Social Services, Mechanical, Numerical, Outdoor, Persuasive, and Scientific) have nothing to do with talent, but seem to express my need for behaving in a certain way or interest in certain things.
My top area of interest? Like, 99 out of 100 points? Music.
As the consultant said, “This is what you need for healing. You need music, whether it’s listening or performing, to make your soul whole, particularly if you’re in this stressed place so much.”
What do I have almost none of in my life right now? Music.
The only music I tend to have right now are the songs I listen to while running.
So today, while I am trying to get through a ton of work and re-group from weeks on end of stress and manic behavior, I am drowning myself in music. Christmas, classical, “hipster Christmas music” (kill me now) … whatever I can soak in.
* * *
Another thing I’ve started doing for soul-healing and stress-relieving is acknowledging that there are simply some things in my life that I don’t like. I have been a people-pleaser my entire life, trying to be fair and not project favoritism. I’ll eat that cookie, even if I don’t like it, because YOU made it. I’ll listen to that song and try not to have a favorite, because it may cause conflict if we don’t like the same thing. I’ll try to be friends with everyone, even if I don’t like them, because that’s what good girls do.
So now I’m trying to acknowledge when I genuinely just DON’T LIKE or REALLY PREFER something or someone. It’s not a license or excuse to be rude or crabby (darn) … it’s a relief valve so I can acknowledge my true feelings and go on with the best way to behave while not being stressed.
I don’t like snickerdoodles or oatmeal raisin cookies at all.
I love chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies.
I don’t like this or that person.
I will be kind to them because someone I love loves them or because they simply deserve respect as a human being.
I don’t like The Little Drummer Boy.
I love Silent Night.
I don’t like Mariah Carey’s version at all, but I’ve listened to this version three times today.
Heal your soul a bit, if you like: