I haven’t felt strong since May 15.
If you don’t know about the tragedy in my life, brace yourself for devastating news.
My husband died in an airplane crash. And his death changed me, forever.
But when needed, I can be strong.
I channel the strengths I had before May 15, and I can do anything I could do before he died.
But in order to channel your strengths, you need to know them. There are lots of ways to determine your strengths. I’m sharing an easy, fun way today.
What words would you use to describe yourself?
Take each letter of your first name and think of a word that starts with those letters that describes you. First responses. No censoring.
Use a name that’s at least five letters long. If your first name is Lori, add the first letter of your last name and use LoriK.
Use descriptors that represent you that are positive.
These are off-the-top-of-my-head responses from several years ago.
M – Master Planner
A – Assertive
R – Risk-taker
G – Goofy
I – Imaginative
E – Enthusiastic
I don’t feel those strengths too often. Not since Tom died.
Here’s how I feel:
M – Missing Tom
A – Authentic
R – 'rong – Everything is wrong without Tom here.
G – Gutted
I – Inescapably Sad
E – Erasable – Like I’m not here. Because it seems like Tom got erased.
Clearly, those aren’t strengths. They’re feelings.
They’re honest feelings. I’m authentic about my life-changing loss.
That’s a sad, sad, sad list. I am inescapably sad. And that’s okay for now.
Don’t worry about my emotional state. Don’t worry that I came up with the word erasable.
Bad things happen. Any of us can be erased from this world at any time. And that’s the only E word that popped into my mind. I was authentic and shared it here.
Considering the catastrophic loss, my emotions are right where they need to be.
Back to focusing on strengths. I can access my strengths, use them, and feel stronger.
Three weeks after Tom died, I taught a week-long class for West Texas Writer’s Academy at West Texas A&M University.
You may be thinking WHY?
I didn’t have to teach that week. Everyone understood. No one would have been upset if I’d cancelled.
But I needed to prove to myself that I could do my life. That I could go on without Tom, even though part of me wanted to stay in bed and never leave my room.
I turned on my teaching brain and did my Margie thing. And the following week I taught an Immersion class in Dallas.
My strengths got me through each day.
M – Master Planner – I was prepared. Teaching materials, loaded handout packets, and millions of on-target examples.
A – Assertive – I took charge.
R – Risk-taker – I pushed myself to be there, to teach two weeks in a row.
G – Goofy – I laughed and joked around. That’s who I am.
I – Imaginative – Deep editing techniques and teaching methods.
E – Enthusiastic – I shared my passion for helping writers make their writing as strong as it could be.
I had most of the feelings in my list for those two weeks. I missed Tom. It felt wrong to not call him, to not hear from him. At times I felt gutted. When I wasn’t teaching, I felt inescapably sad. But I didn’t feel erasable, I felt valuable.
I don’t feel erasable now. Please don’t worry about me.
Okay – now it’s your turn.
Write the letters of your name in a column and throw down the first descriptors that come to mind that start with those letters.
Choose words that describe your personality, your approach to life. Not short, near-sighted, and chocoholic.
BE FAST, FAST, FAST!
Don’t take more than 10 seconds to come up with all of your descriptors.
You may be oh-so-creative. You saw how I used R for wrong. So wrong, but right for the list.
How do your strengths work for you?
Can you channel your strengths even when you don’t feel strong?
Please share your list of strengths in the comments. I’d love to see them.
Who Are You? is one of the exercises in my Defeat Self-Defeating Behaviors course. It’s packed with dozens of ways to get your writing career on a smart track and keep it on that smart track.
THANK YOU to the WITS gals for hosting me again. Love you all!
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Please post your WHO ARE YOU? list, or just say Hi.
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Lawson Writer’s Academy – October Courses
Margie Lawson — editor and international presenter — teaches writers how to use her psychologically-based editing systems and deep editing techniques to create page turners.
She’s presented over 120 full day master classes in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and France, as well as taught multi-day intensives on cruises in the Caribbean.
To learn about Margie’s 5-day Immersion Master Classes, full day and weekend workshops, keynote speeches, online courses through Lawson Writer’s Academy, lecture packets, and newsletter, please visit: www.margielawson.com
Interested in inviting Margie to present a full day workshop for your writing organization? Contact Margie through her website, or Facebook message her.
Interested in attending one of Margie’s 5-day Immersion classes? Click over to her website and check them out.
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