June 27, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 5: Being an Intuition Type

How would you define "time"?

If you said, "A way of measuring your journey, keeping track of your experiences, or provides an opportunity to explore" you are likely an Intuition type ("Intuitive").

Again, as with the Sensors, this type is all about what we pay attention to.

As an Intuitive, you pay attention to:
  • Insights 
  • Patterns of ideas 
  • Possibilities 
  • What could be 
  • The big picture
This means that you prefer thinking about the overall scheme of things, looking for inter-related connections, exploring possibilities and opportunities. You are less inclined to notice the exact details or facts of a situation. Instead, thinking about what could be, what might happen, or what is possible is more appealing.

At work and play, the Intuitive:
  • Prefers adding new skills, dislikes doing the same thing 
  • Considers how things could be improved 
  • Looks at the “big picture” 
  • Follows inspiration 
  • Works in bursts of energy
The Intuitive likes following the rabbit trail to some extent. Once latched upon an idea, the Intuitive is happy to follow the threads to see where the ideas, information may lead. They my catch ahold of an idea and be unable to let it go until following it through to what seems like a natural end. They are innovative and can see all of the pieces of a puzzle.

Another key element of being an Intuitive is that you work in bursts of energy. I like to think of this as the “Intuitive’s Energy Cycle.” You will enter into a stage of high productivity, getting many tasks done, be filled with high energy, and be fully engaged. Then you will, sometimes quite literally, crash. Your motivation will wane, interest will decline, and energy dissipates making the couch your favorite spot to be.

One trap here is to interpret these drops as representing dysfunction, as a threat to your success or overall outcomes, or, in simpler terms, that you are loser who is never going to get anywhere. Our world is not really built for the energy cycle of Intuitives. The more accepted behavior is to go, go, go – do, do, do.

Still, don’t fret! Instead, it is important to come to an understanding of this cycle and embrace it rather than fight against it and to also learn to communicate with those you work and play with about these down times as being your way to rejuvenate and refill your tank so that further insights and inspiration can come again - and they will come again! You will recharge and get back to work.

Finally, when it comes to perception & orientation, Intuitives:
  • Rely on their “Sixth sense” (possibilities & inspiration) 
  • Focus on future achievement 
  • Are oriented toward changing & rearranging life
Intuitives love to shake things up. Patterns and routines are a major buzz kill. Instead, they love to explore new and unusual ideas. They are also motivated more so by future outcomes than immediate present rewards.

Intuitives can come across as ungrounded, disorganized, or not connected to reality. They can sometimes seem indecisive as well. So, it is important to develop the skill of following your intuition, creating space to chase an inspired thought, while being able to bring things back to the present so that your strengths of insight and perception can shine through.

If you are an S interacting with an N:
  • Use the N’s ability to sense possibilities and opportunities to broaden the playing field 
  • Allow N’s to explore ideas, follow their intuition – resist your temptation to distrust inspiration
If you are an N interacting with an S:
  • Provide details and information before asking for a decision 
  • Offer S’s some here and now benefits, facts, details – bring things back to the present
Next week, we’ll be talking about the next personality type, Thinking (T) and then, after that, the T counterpart, Feeling (F).

June 20, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 4: Being a Sensing Type

How would you define "time"?

If you said, "It's a system of measurement or a limited period or interval," you are likely a Sensing type ("Sensor").

Whereas the first dichotomy - E's & I's - was all about how we are energized, this next type is all about what we pay attention to.

As a Sensor, you pay attention to:
  • Practical facts 
  • Details 
  • Realities 
  • Past & present 
  • Specifics 
  • What is actual 
This means that in any given situation, you tend to first evaluate the facts, want to gather the details or specifics of the situation, and want to make decisions based on these facts and on reality. Sensors prefer to pay attention to what is right in front of them, relying more heavily on the present facts/reality and past experiences (learning) to make decisions.

At work and play, the Sensor:
  • Prefers using learned skills & an established ways of doing things 
  • Pays attention to details 
  • Makes few factual errors 
  • Focuses on what works now 
  • Distrusts inspiration 
Sensors are the people we go to when we need clear and concise information. They take pleasure in the details, can see things that others miss, and can develop solid systems and processes to get the job done.

One trap here, though, is that Sensors can become rigid and stuck in his/her ways once s/he has found (or has been trained in) a way of doing things. This can lead to stagnation and, worse, discomfort with or resistance to change. So, it will be important to cultivate some skills around flexibility and openness to change so that both your work and play life won’t become stagnant.

Finally, when it comes to perception & orientation, Sensors:
  • Rely on their 5 senses (on experience & actual data) 
  • Focus on present enjoyment 
  • Are oriented toward living life as it is 
Sensors are connected to what is currently happening and are oriented towards the past and present, which can be a real strength. They pay close attention to physical reality – what they can see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. As a result, they learn best by first connecting to the practical use (how the knowledge will be applied) and then by experience (doing) rather than being shown or told.

Sensors can sometimes come across as overly practical or realistic to the point of unimaginative. So, it will be important to develop the skill of embracing and encouraging the creativity and idealism of others around you, even if it may not seem to be of the highest importance to you.

Next week, we’ll be talking about the Intuition (N) personality type, the counterpart to the Sensing type and exploring how S’s and N’s can get along!

June 18, 2012

Beyond Surviving Workshop - Registration Now Open!

Did you know that 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys have been sexually abused? Even if you aren't a survivor, you know someone who is (even if they haven't told you so). In light of this, please take a quick minute to share this opportunity with your friends and community. You never know who might be looking for something just like this workshop.

Beyond Surviving™ Workshop

Recovering from Childhood Sexual Abuse

July 21st, 9a-5p, $35

1748 Market Street, San Francisco

Join me for this down-to-earth and transformational workshop.

If you are an adult survivor of sexual abuse and are no longer satisfied with simply understanding the impact of the abuse or the connections between your past experience and your present day life but are instead asking, “What do I do about it?” then this workshop is for you.

The Beyond Surviving Workshop was created for survivors of sexual abuse who are ready to challenge the thoughts and behaviors that result from abuse and want to bring about real change in their lives that is measurable and sustainable.

By participating in this workshop, you will:
  • Explore the effects of the abuse as they show up in your present day experiences
  • Learn techniques and strategies for breaking free of patterns of thought or behavior
  • Participate in experiential exercises and receive personalized coaching
I remember very distinctly the moment when I thought, “This is ridiculous! I don’t want to just ‘survive’ my life. I want to live it!” The techniques and lessons shared in the workshop are not just ideas I teach, but are what I used during my own recovery to reach a place that is beyond surviving.

Topics we will explore in the workshop include:
  • Obstacles that Keep Us from Believing that Healing is Possible
  • Identify What You Hope to Gain from the Journey of Recovery
  • Authentic Communication
  • Setting & Keeping Boundaries
  • Techniques for Challenging False Beliefs: Learn to Rewire Your Brain

Space is limited!

Not ready to register? CLICK HERE to receive a FREE download of Parts 1 & 2 of my guidebook: Beyond Surviving: The Final Stage in Recovery from Sexual Abuse

Meeting room located conveniently on Market at Octavia. Accessible by the MUNI F-Line, Van Ness BART Station, and various bus routes. Street parking available.

June 13, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 3: Being An Introvert

It's 7:00 AM. Your boss calls you at home and tells you to take the day off - everything is covered. What will you do with your unanticipated free day?

If you said, "Chill out at home alone, read a book, go for a solitary stroll," you are likely an introvert.

Being an introvert isn’t so much about being shy or not outgoing. It’s more about where you get your energy from.

As an introvert, you are energized:
  • By the internal world of reflection & contemplation 
  • When taking in information or ideas 
  • By quiet time alone
  • By thinking things through
This means that you are recharged and invigorated by time alone and prefer to have time to reflect and think things over before acting. Therefore, it is extremely important to carve out time for yourself during the week to get away. Introverts who don’t make time for reflection and solitude usually pay the price – they crash (either physically or mentally). Being with others drains an Introvert's energy level, so it is very important to set aside time to recharge!

At work and play, the Introvert:
  • Seeks quiet time for concentration & needs time to be alone 
  • Prefers interests that have depth 
  • Fore-thinkers 
  • Sometimes hesitates to act
One trap that Introverts fall into (aside from overscheduling) is that they spend too much time in reflection, become paralyzed, and find it difficult to get into action. They begin to think “too much” and get stuck. To avoid this trap, it can be helpful to set out a time limit for your reflection period (e.g. “I’ll make a decision on this by Friday.”).

Here’s an interesting article on how the workplace has changed over the last century in a way that puts Introverts at a disadvantage in many ways.

Finally, when it comes to communication, Introverts:
  • Pause before responding 
  • Process information internally 
  • Prefer written over verbal communication 
  • Prefer to work independently
Understanding your communication style is extremely helpful – especially when you are communicating with an Extrovert, who will prefer to talk things out, which can leave an Introvert feeling drained and overwhelmed.

Introverts can come across as distant or unengaged. So, developing the skill of being clear that you have heard the communication and then asking for time to reflect can be a real life saver for Introverts. Avoid the pitfall of trying to respond too quickly. You will usually regret your answer and have to do more work in the long run.

When it comes to E’s and I’s getting along, these two graphics sum it up nicely!

If you are an I interacting with an E:
  • Allow E’s to process with you
  • Understand that everything said isn’t acted upon
  • Offer outlets for stimulation and connection
 If you are an E interacting with an I:
  • Allow I’s time to think alone 
  • Don’t assume I’s aren’t thinking just because they aren’t talking 
  • Offer outlets for solitude and rejuvenation
Next week, we’ll be talking about the next personality type, Sensing (S) and then, after that, the S counterpart, Intuition (N).

June 6, 2012

It's Just My Personality - Part 2: Being An Extrovert

It's 7:00 AM. Your boss calls you at home and tells you to take the day off - everything is covered. What will you do with your unanticipated free day?

If you said, "Go out with some friends, catch dinner with some folks, plan a group outing," you are likely an extrovert.

Being an extrovert isn’t so much about whether or not you are outgoing or comfortable in groups. It’s more about where you get your energy from.

As an extrovert, you are energized:
  • By the external world of people, activities and things 
  • When trying things out 
  • By interaction with others 
  • By talking things out
This means that you are recharged and invigorated by social interaction and prefer talking through ideas rather than going off on your own to reflect.

One trap here though is to end up thinking that every idea shared needs to be acted on. I call it “extrovert overload.” As you begin "talking things out," you hit upon idea after idea - “We could do it this way..”, “Or how about this…!”

Before you know it, you have 20 ideas on the table and are feeling overwhelmed - either not knowing which one to choose or thinking you have to do it all. To avoid this, think of your “talking things out” time as a bit of a download rather than as an action list.

At work and play, the extrovert:
  • Seeks variety & action, can get bored easily 
  • Wants to be with others 
  • Prefers interests that have breadth 
  • After-thinkers
For the extrovert, alone time is still important, but it drains energy rather than restores. If you find yourself feeling run down, tired, or bored, re-charge by getting into action or going out and being around others.

Finally, when it comes to communication, extroverts:
  • Require less personal space 
  • Speak louder & more quickly than introverts 
  • Use more physical gestures & facial animation than introverts 
  • Like to meet face-to-face
  • Blurt! 
Understanding your communication style is extremely helpful – especially when you are communicating with an Introvert, who will prefer to listen to a few ideas, go off and reflect and then return to develop a plan of action.

Extroverts can come across as overbearing, intimidating, or overwhelming. So, learning when to turn it down a notch, to tune into the energy level of the person you are communicating with, and developing some skills to avoid blurting out whatever is one your mind are all good places to start for Extroverts.

Next week, we will be talking about Introverts (I), the counterpart to the Extrovert (E) personality and also exploring how E’s and I’s can get along!

Sign up for my free guide so you can stop spinning your wheels and instead navigate your way through each stage of recovery with ease and clarity. Get the support you need today