In the past, I was a master of creating a list of what areas I have to develop myself, etc. I heard a lot about how important it is to become better and better. And what did I feel? The fact that I still have a lot to do, that again I did not manage to climb where I planned, that I do not know how others are able to do this or that. And where could I find motivation? I am glad that some time ago I said goodbye to this strategy. Today I create a list of what I want to develop in myself, focusing on strengths (first of all I had to get to know them, of course!). Today I am giving myself the right to let go of those areas in which I am not the greatest – and I will not be, and I do not want to be, and that’s OK.
To confirm the effectiveness of my strategy, I invited Monika Lorenc, a certified consultant DISC D3, living in Iceland where culture supports this attitude.
Monika, how did it happen that you live in Iceland?
It happened quite accidentally – it was not the first time in new country so I even thought that I walk too often in random ways. However, this is not entirely true, because when one pursues a goal, new opportunities and chances constantly appear on the way. I try to look this way at every change in my life. And I moved to Iceland just for my maternity leave and also because of my husband’s work, but I stayed for longer …
What living in Iceland gives you? Has another culture changed you?
Contact with Icelanders gives me a lot. They are able to look into themselves. They are aware that their thoughts and feelings are very important. I think that it is very difficult for Polish people to identify with this idea. They are busy with work and everyday life, and listening to themselves is pushed away or is forgotten at all. From the Icelanders I learn a deeply understood self-esteem, respect for oneself and others, not rejecting facts, inner peace.
So is it also that you find your values by listening to yourself?
That’s exactly how it is. My DISC D3 competence report helped me a lot as well. Realizing the facts about ourselves makes us open for new possibilities. This made me sure that I would manage to change my career path. Many of my relatives are assuming that safety is only guaranteed by full-time work. But the fact that I have raised up in that kind of thinking, can not be an excuse, to not do what is really my passion (team development). By analyzing my potential, I know that I am able to do many important things. And that I will simply deal with them, because the courage to look at things differently and trying new strategies are something natural for me.
Our experience with entering a different culture and changing the view of the world are quite similar. Much depends on our approach …
I have always tried to have such an open and positive attitude, but while living abroad this attitude becomes natural. In a clash with another culture, I noticed that self-price yourself is OK and I do not have to be ashamed of it. I have the right to say that everything is going fine in my life. I also have such experiences from living in the USA or Spain.
And what would you say to people wanting to live their lives consciously, including professional life? What lessons would you give to others?
For me the most important lesson in life was that I could make mistakes. So often we do not give ourselves a chance for that. In Iceland, the approach to learning from mistakes is praised. In schools students’ strengths and weaknesses are treated quite different then in Poland. All talents – not only those related to strict objects, but, for example, talent for drawing or dancing – are praised and used.
So it is very consistent with what we are working on with DISC D3 tool. You know it well. We focus on the use of strengths and not on the pursuit of perfectionism. Do you observe this approach in Iceland?
Definitely. The exact mind is not better here – artistic souls are equally important. We’re looking for what’s good and developing in us – strengths, not in what we’re probably never going to be the best.
I think that a good summary of our conversation will be what you said some time ago that everyone should take responsibility for own life and happiness.
It is true. First you have to make a decision, yes – I take responsibility for myself – and then define my goal, plan of action, look around, in which areas I can need support, in order to finally achieve this goal.