A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Know thyself

on March 25, 2015

At work, I was asked to participate in a leadership development program. I really don’t see myself as someone with leadership roles and don’t really have much interest in taking on leadership roles at this point, but I said yes because a) I was pretty sure my boss would want me to – I was right about that – and b) I thought my participation might help the administration see that people like me, who are less visible than some others in the organization, could still contribute to leadership and development. The first thing they had us do was a series of personality tests, sort of Myers-Briggs-ish. I’ve done a lot of personality testing in my day but I spent part of my flight to California for the Rebel Challenge reviewing the 4 books of results and interpretations that this one came with and was surprised by how well the testing captured some of the issues I struggle with in life in general, not just in terms of my leadership capacity at work.

  • I got really low scores on recognition, with comments that about how uncomfortable it makes me to be recognized publicly for my accomplishments. It’s funny because I am very achievement oriented (also correctly tagged me with that one in this analysis) but once I’ve achieved the goal, I don’t want anyone to call attention to it. That was very much an issue for me with weight loss, in that I was very driven to lose weight and get healthy, but wanted to sink into the floor any time anyone commented on it or heaven forbid, congratulated me on it. I can be socially awkward on my best day (and the “reserved” thing came up more than once in discussion of limitations in personality in terms of leadership potential) but those interactions always made me look like a blithering idiot because I had no idea how to respond appropriately. I talked more here about how to respond to comments gracefully, so you can handle it better than I do. 🙂
  • My problem with recognition comes into conflict sometimes with altruism, which was correctly picked as one of my primary drivers. I really do want to make the world a better place, as touchy-feely as that seems. In talking about my personal story of weight loss and running and healthy changes, I struggle with not wanting to call attention to myself and feeling like my story is nothing special versus putting my story out there because it might help someone else. I know reading stories of people who had over a hundred pounds to lose was hugely helpful for me when I finally took the plunge and joined Weight Watchers, and yet those stories are few and far between. I even sometimes feel a little self-conscious talking about myself here in this space and have to remind myself that a) it might be helpful for somebody and b) it’s really just a diary that a few hundred people read, so it’s no big deal right? I sometimes see the “How I Did It” and other features in magazines like Health and contemplate sending in my story, but the idea of thousands of people looking at me makes me shy away from that. My leadership coach (yes, I got assigned a leadership coach and she’s an uber-extrovert who loves recognition and self-promotion so it’s an interesting dynamic) wants me to step up and take opportunities that scare me, so maybe I’ll put my story out there more broadly this year.
  • The assessment noted that I prefer to communicate in writing and that I’m generally good at that, which I thought was funny given this blog. I definitely find writing to be a useful tool in sorting out my feelings, which is why this blog has been so helpful for me in maintenance beyond the accountability piece. As an introvert, I really need to spend a lot of time mulling over things in my own mental space and having the ability to write things down and re-read them over and over is crucial. I find myself writing about things I would never talk about in a Weight Watchers meeting or with another human being period, so it’s a much needed outlet.
  • A weakness highlighted in the assessment was my tendency to be overly self-critical and focus on the negative about myself. That has definitely been true for me in a lot of things in terms of my relationship with the scale, my body image and my running speed. One of my big goals for this year is working on that, at least from the body image and scale perspective, by focusing more regularly on non-scale victories and positive thoughts about my body. Apparently I need to start doing this at work too. I have a white board in my office – maybe I need to start writing one good thing I’ve done each week up there (Don’t worry – I won’t do that, what with the whole lack of self-promotion and avoidance of recognition thing. Plus it would make me look nuts)

I also liked that I scored a ZERO in mischievous. 🙂 Apparently I am very careful, responsible and socially appropriate. If the survey people had ever seen me respond to a compliment, they’d take that “socially appropriate” part off of the list. I also only scored a 4/6 on a section titled “likes people.” My immediate mental thought was “but I love people,” but then I had to admit that I love people in controlled amounts so long as I keep my own space.

The whole reason they had us do this for leadership training was to “know ourselves” better so that we could address our weaknesses and maximize our strengths. I think this is also key in making healthy changes in life. I needed to spend a lot of time in self-reflection at the beginning of my weight loss journey to figure out what my drivers were, what would work with my personality and my flaws, and I’ve had to re-assess that frequently as I added running and added races and entered maintenance. Knowing yourself may sound touchy-feely and hippy-ish (and boy does it when an earnest guy in a suit is talking to you about how important it is at a dinner session in a hotel, which is where this happened at work), but for me it was definitely worth some of the uncomfortable moments of honesty.

Speaking of honesty, here's to being open with weigh ins: no change this week, which is okay. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Speaking of honesty, here’s to being open with weigh ins: no change this week, which is okay. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Have you ever had to do any kind of personality testing? My husband applied for an IT job in Omaha when we first moved that had a required “personality test” that really just appeared to be screening for sociopaths. He didn’t get that job, but we’re going to hope it isn’t because he failed that test. 🙂

 

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6 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Know thyself

  1. I’m glad you aren’t mischievous! And man your poor hubby! Hope that he didn’t fail that test at least LOL

    • It was a job at one of the hospitals I work in and I am so glad he didn’t get that job. It would make it much harder to complain about their IT if he was one of them. 🙂 (I promise I don’t generally complain about IT – they’re just horrid)

  2. This is really interesting! I’m pretty sure I would also rank zero in mischievous. The only personality test I’ve done recently was also for work, but it was more about personality as it relates to a teams environment to recognize & be able to work better with different personalities. Your test sounds much more thorough.

  3. Anna says:

    Super interesting! I would probably have rolled my eyes at having to take a personality test, but reading your post kinda makes me want to see what I would learn. I can really relate to a lot of your description. I wonder if personality issues play a significant factor in the initial weight issues.

    • I think personality issues may be why different approaches to weight loss work differently for different people. It makes sense that knowing yourself a little better would help you to find a program that fit your needs better. I kind of wish I’d done something like this a little earlier. 🙂

      On Sat, Mar 28, 2015 at 8:40 AM, A Little More Each Day wrote:

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