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How Does the Rest of the World See You?
It's fascinating how little we know about ourselves. It's even more fascinating how much we discover we already knew once we have an expert tell us who we really are.
Sometimes we're just looking for affirmation or permission to be who we've always dreamed of being, but never truly stepped into.
If you're looking to know more about yourself, the DISC profile and the Myers Briggs personality test are where you start. But once you've equipped yourself with foundational knowledge of WHO you are, it's time to take the next step and ask how the rest of the world sees you.
It reminds me of the 5 Love Languages. I have a particular manner in which I prefer to be loved. I will also prefer to give love using that same language (acts of service, quality time, gifts, affirmations, and physical touch). But what my spouse needs from me is to be loved in HER language, not mine. Everyone I meet is the same. They need me to love them in a way that is most meaningful to them. I can know my love language inside and out, and while that might answer some questions I have about myself, it doesn't necessarily make interactions with this social world that much more effective.
In order to achieve some measure of lasting success in life, you'll do well to learn about what differentiates you from others, and how to leverage that in your dealings with other people.
A Book Worth Reading
Sally Hogshead has written a fascinating book and crafted an enlightening test on how the world sees you. The book is titled, How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination.
You can discover your fascination advantage by taking the test here. It costs $37 for the test and resulting report.
Sally spoke at Authority in Denver in late Spring of 2015. As a member of the conference, I received a free code to take the Fascination Advantage test and discover my archetype. I took the test twice to see what would happen. I got different results, but only because my primary and secondary advantages were juxtaposed.
After buying the book months later, I took the test a third time, just to be sure that I wasn't secretly more something else. I am not.
According to Sally's test, I am the Trendsetter. One person laughed at that when I told him. But I understood. While this is how the world sees me when I'm operating at my best, I have not been operating at my best in several years. So anyone who has met me since my move to Nashville would not likely see me this way at all. Yay, validation!
Take A Peek At My Results
It turns out, this rings true for me, but I haven't given myself permission to stand on these strengths, because the ideas of a Trendsetter are often very unpopular and even downright uncomfortable to other archetypes. In my own self-regulating attempts to be more "respectable", I've forcefully toned down my creative imagination and tried to apply myself at consistency and efficiency of routine tasks.
I would LOVE to be cutting-edge and elite. Those words appeal to me greatly. But, let's call a spade a spade: neither of those terms fit the way I actually live. At least, not yet.
Of my five specialty adjectives, Edgy and Progressive are much better fits. My Big Picture ideas work against the grain, and they look ahead to address issues most people aren't even concerned about yet. In order to be prepared, you gotta be ahead of the curve.
So What? What Do I Do With This Kind of Information?
Now when it comes to business, first impressions, online branding, and just interacting with people in general, I have a starting point for which foot to put forward. I bring something unique to the table that people actually need. If I focus there, I will be my most effective and helpful self.
My primary advantage is INNOVATION. Here's some helpful input Sally offers on innovation:
Rather than try to be the guy who grinds through the day to day routine work, I know that my energy is best spent solving problems, generating ideas, and brainstorming with others to help them accomplish their goals.
Even more importantly, this is what people want from me when I'm at my best. I can still go overboard and spend too much time in the theoretical, costing me the attention and consideration of others, but this is the value I bring to the table of any group or meeting.
My secondary advantage is PRESTIGE. This tells me what I need to know about prestige.
So I have high standards and set high expectations of myself and others. People come to me as an expert in my field, that is currently most true in the realm of blogging as a business and WordPress as a blogging platform.
This drive to seek the next level of accomplishment will elevate the end result of what we accomplish as a team. In addition to my primary advantage, these strengths are what people will appreciate most from me. Adhering to these strengths is the path to success.
I am weakest in TRUST, sadly. That feels like a chastisement without anyone even saying a word. But it really means that I haven't established myself in a particular way because I am more inspirational than dutiful.
So TRUST is my weakest advantage. Did you notice above "Why Using Trust Feels Like Quicksand"?
"You have an entrepreneurial approach to your career. At work, you dislike falling into ruts, or performing the same duties every day. You appreciate variety and actively seek new ways to accomplish a problem. When co-workers or clients bring you challenges, they know you'll help them find new opportunities.
Discover YOUR Fascination Advantage
How much time and energy might we save if we could be armed with this kind of personal data? Rather than constantly shoring up your weaknesses and feeling like a total failure (been there, hated it), we might actually do something worth the Life Energy we put into it.
If that sounds like a path you're interested in, and you'd like to know more about how the world sees you when you're at your best, I recommend ordering the book on Amazon and taking the test. Let me know what you find out.