The picture will make sense soon, I promise. Yesterday, during my first class of a "Writing for Magazines" course I'm starting, I felt very self conscious of one of my personality traits. I'm naturally an 'alpha' of any group, I have ideas to contribute, and I'm not afraid of talking in public. I lead. I dominate. During the class, I really tried to stay more passive, for example, keeping quiet when the teacher asked for input, and asking others questions about fellow students' ideas before offering my own. However, sometimes (actually pretty often) people just don't seem to have an idea they're willing to share, and I find the awkward pauses too painful, so I'm often the fallback to break the silence. In these situations I'm awkwardly aware of how loud I am, and that I often control the conversations. I try and remind myself that of course, some people are grateful that someone else leads the conversations, as it takes the pressure off, but I hate to think people are just annoyed with me.
Now for the bit of the story that explains the odd photo. Today I was with a family member who is the area manager of a chain of charity shops. We were grabbing a coffee, when were they recieved a phonecall saying the entire glass door to the charity shop had been shattered. We were only about 2 minutes away so went right over. What actually happened isn't what this story is about; how I responded to it is. I realised how naturally I take charge, which yesterday made me feel awkward and annoying, yet today it seemed so valuable. I asked for brooms, and for the staff to find me some gardening gloves (charity shops have the potential to have everything in them!). I managed the crowds, who seemed obssessed with just staring at the mountains of glass on the pavement and road, and the crowds who seemed to expect that they could still come in and shop!
I instantly felt proud of my ability to just take charge. I cleared all the glass (only suffering one cut!) and remained so solution-focused and calm. It wasn't my shop, yet I was so able to just step in and solve a stressful situation. I realised I was proud of how calm I remain in stressful situations, and how quickly I am able to think of ways to move forward.
A personality trait that had annoyed me yesterday, gave me pride today, and it made me realise that every strength can be a weakness, and every weakness a strength. If there is something about your nature that you don't like, perhaps you can focus on the times that it works as a positive instead?