Well, it wasn’t just the day, it was my quality of life, living my purpose, and restoring my energy. The other day I had an epiphany! Not only am I stressed in generally predictable ways by the current pandemic and turmoil, I am stressed by my own Essential Motivator core needs not getting met. For years, I’ve been training practitioners, coaching and consulting with clients, emphasizing the importance of getting our core psychological needs met. I even just created a short video about different kinds of needs. So why was I not applying the knowledge I share with others? I really don’t know, but I know it was a post by one of our Mentorship Circle members in a discussion on ‘control.’ She stated that the control she primarily seeks is control over herself. Mastery and Control are some of the descriptors of the Theorist core needs as well as the need to be knowledgeable and competent. So, what I discovered was that during all this stressful time, the biggest stressor of all is that I haven’t had control over myself! I have been distracted by challenges with grocery shopping during the safe-to-shop times while fitting the time in with our on-line sessions; not being able to just go get something at less safe times; and worst of all, the lure of comfort food. What this insight gave me was the push to go back to my healthy eating habits and exert some self-control. And wow, my energy shifted, and my head cleared almost instantly!
I share this with you because I want you to recognize the powerful impact asking yourself that important question when things are not going well: Are my core needs not getting met? Often, it is enough to just remind yourself that they are not and then accept the things you cannot change. However, there is usually something you can change to get them met, even in a small way, so ask yourself: What can I do to get them met?
Once you look to the essential qualities of the Essential Motivator™ pattern—Core Needs, Core Values, Talents and Behaviors—you can find some clues to remind yourself of your talents. Usually, if we can find a way to use our talents, they will scratch the itch that our core needs create. Let’s look at the talent words for Theorist:
- Mobilizer or Director
- Inventor or Designer
- Theorizing Strategist
- Systems Thinker
Skills (I changed these to gerunds to indicate activities):
- Differential Thinking
I had been doing more of the Inventor or Designer roles for InterStrength work and engaging Analyzing, but mostly overusing it. And with this crisis and massive changes, how could I really Strategize? What I did not do was Marshaling, especially Marshaling my own energy. And I did not take the role of Mobilizer or Director with myself! Once I made that shift, I found many more ways to energize myself and stick to the healthier eating practices that I had abandoned.
I will admit that getting off sugar played a physiological role in the energy shift, but I had to marshal my own forces and mobilize myself to make the changes. In this way, I found a way out of some of the stress that had me immobilized.
We used to call this personality lens ‘Temperament’ as it is based in the work of David Keirsey. As we used and applied the model, we found it was less about ‘temperament’ then it is about our deep motivations and the core values, talents, behaviors, and perspectives. It is about patterns of interrelated qualities that we can use to find our internal strength and develop interpersonal strength. I hope you dive deep into understanding yourself and others to reap the benefits of this powerful lens on four different drivers of our thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. It can be life changing and learning this lesson recently has reminded me that I need to apply what I teach!