DISC Personality Profile: Putting It All Together

You have completed the tests and have a better understanding of yourself through the DISC personality profile having gained new insights as to your strengths and weaknesses. But how does your profile fit with others?  How does it relate to your spouse’s profile, your co-worker’s profile or your child’s?  How can the pieces fit together to form a functioning group dynamic?

Each personality profile in DISC: dominating, influential, steadfast, and conscientious, are different pieces of a whole package.  The goal is not to become all things rather it is to recognize the value in each part, utilize your strengths to achieve results, and supplement your weaknesses by working with people who are strong where you are weak.  When you do this you will discover how much more enjoyable life can be, how much less anxiety you will have, and a huge reduction in everyday stress as you will no longer be trying to be something that you are not.  Setting boundaries in your life based on your strengths will now become easier and you will no longer be as tempted to take on tasks that are outside your strengths.

Positive attitude.  If you are a dominating or influential person then seeing the glass as half full will come more naturally.  Having fun and getting things done now are all about the positive possibilities in the moment and what can happen in the future.  This of course does not mean that a person in either of these profiles will not be negative on occasion because when a dominating or influential person is stressed, they tend to become almost aggressively negative and angry.  However it does mean that their natural tendency is to have a positive attitude.

Negative attitude.  If you are a steadfast or conscientious person then seeing the glass as half empty will come more naturally.  This is because no one else in the room cares to do things as right as you do or cares as much about keeping the peace.  Both of these tendencies are isolating in nature as more people just want to get things over and done with instead of being careful and more people stir up conflict then try to keep the peace.  Of course you can train your brain to think more positively however, this will not come naturally and will require more effort on your part then for a dominating or influential person.

Task-oriented.  Both a dominating and conscientious persons are task oriented as opposed to people oriented.  For them, people are a means to an end or a necessary evil to accomplish a goal.  A person in either of these groups will usually prefer to get the job done alone as other people tend to muddy the waters and require too much precious energy that is better served accomplishing the task at hand.  However lacking their people skills might naturally be, they can learn to incorporate others into the task at hand to help elevate some stress.

People-oriented.  Both an influential and steadfast persons are people oriented as opposed to task oriented.  For them the whole purpose of work is to do it together and their relationships at work are more important than their tasks.  If a person is struggling with a personal problem, they will forgo a deadline in order to help the other person out because the relationship matter more than the work.  However difficult it may be to keep an influential or steadfast person on track, they can learn to see completing tasks as a way to preserve relationships which will matter far more than a deadline.

By looking at how all of the pieces fit together you can begin to see the value in each group.  For instance, if your spouse is relational and you are task oriented, then they should be in charge of setting the social calendar with limitations on the frequency of outings.  Or if your co-worker is constantly seeing how things are falling apart, then having them work together with a person who looks on the brighter side of work is a healthy balance.   Opposites attract and complement each other making all the pieces work together is a cohesive manner.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

When Your Spouse Wants to Separate and You Don’t

One of the hardest words to hear from your spouse is the request that you separate for a while or possible even divorce.  Sometimes these words are expected but they are never fully realized while other times these words catch you by surprise.  It is hard to hear and even harder to understand the reason why the separation is necessary as the most obvious reason is frequently not the real reason.  Trying to understand everything before you move on can be a fruitless process as you may not be dealing with the complete truth.  Yet, if you will open yourself up and work past the pain, this can be a time for growth and healing.

Get thinking.   Your time is best not spent making a list of your spouse’s faults and failures, more than likely if they wanted to know your thoughts, they would have asked.  Quite possibly they may already know what you think and are not interested in being reminded of their failures.  Instead of focusing your energy on them, you are far better off focusing your energy on yourself and what you can change.  You cannot change your spouse, otherwise they would be a different person by now and you would not be in this position, but you can change yourself.

Get real.  Do an inventory of yourself making a list of your strengths and weaknesses.  Do not let your spouse or others to make the list, instead compile the list yourself.  Once you have made the list then take a couple of days off and reevaluate the list adding and subtracting as needed.  Having a better perspective of yourself allows you to see things differently and perhaps brings to light some of your failures in the marriage.

Get personal.  Identify the areas that you have failed in your marriage and take responsibility for your faults.  This is a time to ask for forgiveness for mistakes not only from those you have harmed but from God and yourself as well.  This is an extremely difficult process and should be done with great care without expecting any results.  This is not a time to compare faults and decide whose faults are worse; rather it is a time to deal with your issues.

Get moving.  Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself will not help the situation.  Your life has changed and it may be a temporary change or a permanent one but nonetheless it has changed.  You need to adjust to your new situation, new environment, and new reality as soon as possible.  One of the best ways is to try a new exercise routine, volunteer at a homeless shelter, or help a friend with their problem.  By doing something for someone else, you can gain a better perspective on your own life.

While this list may not keep you from feeling depressed or sad due to the separation, it can help you to change your focus off your spouse and onto yourself in a more positive way.  However, prolonged depression should be addressed with a medical professional or counselor.  You can change and you can grow even through some of the most difficult times in your life.

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

Now What: Recovering from the Negative Emotions of Bankruptcy

Filing for business or personal bankruptcy is one of the more difficult decisions you will make.  Combine this decision with the unexpected negative emotions and at times things can seem to be overwhelming.  See the article titled, “Surviving the Emotional Side of Bankruptcy” to help identify some of the negative emotions that are often experienced.  Once you identify the negative emotions the next step is to cope and then finally to overcome the negative energy and look for what you can do.

Regain control.  There are many factors that are completely out of your control during bankruptcy but there are some factors that are within your control.  The economy, the value of your home and in some cases the prospect of a job in your area of expertise is beyond your ability to change.  However, your spending habits, budgeting, taking care of yourself physically, and increasing your income potential are within your control.  Place your energy into evaluating your current situation and begin to look for even the smallest of changes that you can make.  Making many small changes can help to change your overall situation.  For instance, you may begin clipping coupons, shopping at discount stores, garage sales or thrift stores for your needs instead of going to your usual stores.  In addition, taking care of your health, eating right and exercise can help to reduce future medical costs.  Look for the small things that you can change instead of the large things you cannot change.

Focus on the positive.  It is easy to become focused on all of the negative things happening in your life right now as filing for bankruptcy makes them all too clear.  The temptation is to allow the negative emotions to overtake you and focus on them instead of the positive.  Bankruptcy has a way of taking a half-empty glass and making it three-quarters-empty (or more), yet there is still something left in the glass.  However small the amount, give thanks for what you still have.  Your possessions may no longer be in monetary form but they may be in relational form such as good friends and family or in physical form such as good health or spiritual form such as a strong faith in God.  Whatever you have left, be grateful and give thanks daily.

Learn from past mistakes.  The challenge of learning from past mistakes is to stop beating yourself up and stop dwelling on the same issue over and over.  Replaying the moments of poor decisions again and again like a tape running in your head is not productive rather it is destructive.  What is worse is labeling yourself as a loser or a failure for having made the mistake in the first place.  A better solution is to write down the mistakes, evaluating each one separately to see if you really could have made a better decision.  For instance, if you found yourself in an overvalued house before the crash of the real estate market, how much could you realistically have foreseen?  Even the financial experts did not predict such a crash and certainly the mortgage industry was off as well.  But you can learn from this event that what goes up can come down and buying a home well under your current income level is better than buying a home at your current income level or slightly above.

Make a new plan.  Only after you have confronted the negative emotions, regained control over what you can control, focused on the positive things you still have and learned from your past mistakes can you begin to make a new plan.  Trying to make a new plan without the above information will not provide you with the proper perspective.  Making a new plan is about looking forward to what is a more realistic expectation for your financial and personal life.  You may choose to go back to school to advance your degree or work towards a vocation that you enjoy.  You may choose not to buy a home until you can put 50% of the money down, choosing to save for the event.  You may choose not to purchase any new or used cars on a payment plan and instead save the money out of cash flow.  Whatever the plan, write it down and refer to it regularly to keep your perspective in the proper place.

Use the negative emotions from bankruptcy to form a new way of looking at life.  The American Dream does not have to include massive amounts of debt rather the American Dream is about freedom from the tyranny of debt.  By choosing to live your life differently, you will begin to see the lessons learned from bankruptcy as a blessing instead of a curse.

For more information, watch this video. 

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.

How to Destroy a Marriage: Get into Debt

It seems that our culture encourages the concept that after you say “I do” at your wedding, you also say “I do” to a house payment, car payments, new furniture, nice honeymoon, and each other’s debt.  Here is new thought, the ball and chain in your marriage is not each other, but rather the debt you both carry around.  Think about it.  The debt becomes like an additional partner in your marriage as you can no longer separate without bringing the debt with you no matter who in the marriage contributed to the debt.  The debt controls what you can and cannot do, where you can and cannot go, and how you can and cannot spend.  The debt becomes part of your every conversation, the cause of great anxiety and increases your stress as each of you takes a stand against the other in the blame game.  That is why there is no quicker way to destroy your marriage than to go into debt.

How did we get here?  In the movie, “The Company Men” there is a scene in which Ben Affleck depicts the façade that everything is fine by going to play golf in his expensive car after he has lost his job and is on the verge of losing his house and his marriage.  He falsely believed that appearance was everything and all he had to do was do what he always had done and everything would be fine.  He was wrong.  Debt traps you into the belief that you will never lose your job, that you will always be in perfect health, and that the economy will work in your favor.  This is not true, it is a lie.  There are no guarantees for the future and tying the hopes of your marriage and future into being able to pay off your debt is dangerous.

Who are you trying to please?  Is it your spouse?  Is it you?  Is it your neighbor?  Or are you already trapped into trying to please your lender?  Too much emphasis is placed on what you need to do to make and keep your lender happy and loan you some more money.  Is this really the emphasis you want in your marriage?  Do you really want to spend excessive amounts of time keeping a stranger at a bank or credit card company happy with you so that they will loan you some more money?  It is difficult enough to manage your and your spouse’s expectations without having to manage the expectations of your lender.  Your lender becomes like a third wheel in your marriage demanding more and more of your time and money.  This is not what a marriage should look like.

So now what?  Realizing the strain and stress that debt has already placed on your marriage is the first step in your recovery.  Identifying your debt as a problem in your marriage and agreeing that it needs to be removed is even harder to digest as it goes against your old expectations.  The next step is stop adding more debt right now, today, at this very moment no matter how hard this may be.  Change your expectations from having a debt ball and chain in your marriage to freeing you and your spouse.  The only way to remove the debt ball and chain is little by little, dollar by dollar, pain by pain, but the benefits to your marriage will be significant.

No one goes into a marriage with the attitude that they are going to destroy it, yet that is precisely what happens with a debt ball and chain.  The burden becomes too much and one person wants out no matter what the financial cost.  It is never too late to turn around and choose a different path, a path that does not have a ball and chain but rather freedom to live, fail, and succeed.

For more information, watch this video.  

Repairing, restoring, and rebuilding relationships takes time, energy and effort.  If you find yourself needing more help during this process, please call our offices at 407-647-7005 to schedule an appointment.  Or you can send me a quick email at chammond@lifeworksgroup.org.