Lately I've been listening to some art podcasts and something that I find very interesting is the fact that so many of us want to help someone else, whether through supportive and encouraging words or through advice. No matter how well intentioned the advice, I have come to realize, both from a receiving and sharing end, that it tends to come across as a criticism. No matter the motives for the advice, I realize that we all have our own path to follow and our own form of expression that is really quite personal to each one of us.
When I think of following advice, I often bump into information that might not be directly related to what I'm doing now, but seems to connect in some way. Recently I flipped through a book at our local library called 'True Fit' which is about finding work that you love and that is true to you. I made some notes as I found it to be quite interesting:
"Play to your strengths. Keep improving what you're already good at doing. Stop trying to be someone you're not."
~ Jim Beqaj
"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Understand who you are:
1. What should you pay me for?
2. Who do I work best with?
3. How do I like to resolve conflict?
4. What's my perfect day?
5. What is the opposite of your perfect day?
6. What kinds of people can you not tolerate?
7. What is the best & worst things that someone has said about you? This isn't about criticism but rather to help direct each of us to our 'sweet spot'.
These are some of my answers:
1. I'm really good at creative thinking, organizing, decorating, developing new systems, planning, researching & sharing information.
2. I like to work with people who trust me, who are organized & follow through, who give me autonomy & feeback, who I can learn from, and also with teams of collaborative people while working independently.
3. I like to collaborate and compromise in order to resolve conflict but am challenged when working with people who are loud and combative. I'm not good at staying quiet when I see a problem.
4. My perfect day is quiet & calm, and working with confident & kind people. I like planning, researching and completing a project that I'm responsible for without interruptions. I also like a beautiful, clean, organized environment with natural light and working on my own. I like to be part of a team and to have input.
5. The opposite of a perfect day is full of loudness, chaos, and disruption as well as unproductive meetings.
6. I cannot tolerate people who micromanage, who are loud, dismissive, condescending, refuse to discuss compromise or don't trust an employee or co-worker to make decisions on their items of responsibility. I need calm conversation and communication otherwise I feel threatened instead of heard.
7. The best things I've been told are that I'm dedicated, reliable, passionate, intelligent, creative, and friendly. The worst is that I talk too much as,I do tend to get excited and passionate about things but that just made me feel as though my experience, opinion and contribution weren't of any value.
"Your value does not decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth." ~ Hindi proverb
AIRdirondack Art Project