The day my orange personality rose to the surface and threw me off balance
Athenian moral philosopher Socrates once said “Man know thyself” and till this day there are very few truer sayings.
Beyond being a lawyer, doctor, auto mechanic or janitor, we all have our true personalities – the real us. Some people have a predominant blue personality or a predominant green personality. In my case, the orange personality was in charge.
As a certified Real ColorsⓇ facilitator, I can say from experience that regardless of how much we try to, it is a futile attempt trying to limit, hide or suppress our true nature. I tried for a few years to suppress mine and it didn’t exactly pan out right. In fact, it went exactly as it would for anyone attempting to refute the reality of who they truly are.
Here is my story about the day my orange personality rose to the surface and threw me off balance.
As earlier stated, I am a certified Real ColorsⓇ facilitator. I have a high orange personality which for many years I’d tried to suppress because I feared I would come off to people as flaky, a goof-off, or not on task. I took jobs that although they let me show a little of my personality, there wasn’t enough room for me to thrive in my personality. It just didn’t feel like I was in the place where I was meant to be, a place where I found balance.
Soon enough, my orange personality was fed up with being suppressed and decided to take matters into her hands. Truth is, even though I tried to give my best, my brain cells were dying on the job. I wasn’t growing and there was little to no room for growth.
When I tried to seek higher attention I was smacked down with the fury of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades on their father Kronos when he tried to escape exile. I was sent back to my cubicle wondering what my next move would be and when.
My true personality (orange) saw this as her way in or out should I say.
Although I had a predominant orange personality, I thought to suppress it as I looked to my blue personality for comfort and consolation. This way I could continue to do the “right thing” and soldier on in what I later realized was a dead-end position. It didn’t take long for my orange personality to abandon this sinking ship in a bid to push me towards going in the direction of my heart’s desire. She whispered sweet notes of a new job – one that did not leave me so brain dead all the time. Hence I set out to find jobs that would fit what I was passionate about, jobs that worked with the youth.
The Orange Takeover
Somehow I kept seeing the same type of positions for teaching. Yes, I loved teaching and dabbled in teaching while between jobs – this was something I could do. Looking back, I should have been suspicious because my orange personality smiled and pushed harder for these positions.
I interviewed and was offered positions immediately and it felt good to be wanted. In green mode, I had a short term plan and a long term plan and it made sense to me. I was on board 1000% and made the leap!
Mid leap I began to have doubts. I suddenly found myself thinking that perhaps I should have taken a closer look at this, but as you know, it can be a little difficult to make a u-turn mid-air. I landed and took off running to prove that I had done the right thing. The faster I ran, the more I realized that I’d actually made a mistake.
Now I was neck deep in a new job that was less money albeit with the promise of a big payday at the end. But the end that was near was not the end I had envisioned.
Same problem, different job
After three months I was told that I was not meeting expectations and would be put on an improvement plan for 4 weeks. If at the end of that time I was not measuring up, I could be let go. That information mixed with new health issues caused my orange personality to giggle like the mad hatter. After my fifth or seventh or fifteenth sick day, my doctor threatened to put me away and not in a good place. I was literally making myself sick. I was going to be jobless and sick – this was not a good situation.
At this point, my gold and blue personalities came to the forefront, suppressing my orange personality yet again. In characteristic fashion, the gold personality immediately went into panic mode and began calculating finances, expenses, savings, eviction, homelessness, and how I was going to keep the regular Sunday dinners going.
My blue personality, on the other hand, cried and cried and hugged everything, wondering how I would help the kids who so depended on Sunday dinner, laundry services, baby birthday party planning and just having a mom that had answers to all of their questions and problems.
At this point, it seemed as though my green personality was the only one that had it together and thanks to the fact that she stepped up, I went into research mode and found an array of jobs that I could apply for in the field that I truly loved – Higher education!
Conflict of personality interests
Working with college students was hard but so rewarding. Especially when they graduated and sent invites to weddings, baby showers, or requests for references.
I remember rocking in my career in Higher Ed but I had to relocate to be with my husband. I left my career and followed him in hopes that I would find something in the field where we were. A part of me (most likely the orange part of me) is still mad about that move. I digress; now back to the orange take-over. My orange knew that she had to do something so drastic that I would shock myself to the point of making changes that would let the orange out.
If I had to, I would describe my orange personality as a free spirit or a 60’s hippie that wanted to touch the universe and was trying to find a way to do it. Being on stage and in front of people was where she thrived. On stage, out front, exploring, learning, and interacting with others.
My predominant personality, being the orange personality simply loved showing her saucy side. Oh, and she was mad. While my orange and I were in a John Woo standoff waiting to see who was going to give in first, my gold personality was adding to the fray – she didn’t want to be a renter again and loved our kitchen. On the other hand, my green personality kept suggesting jobs that I needed to apply for ASAP. My blue brought baked goods.
Finding the right path
My orange pointed to my toolkit that was full of resources that I could use to create opportunities that would not only let my orange shine but also took all of my colors with me. I called my mentor and unloaded. He hit me with the Four Agreements and told me to continue. I went through my thought process and what I wanted to do and what I saw in front of me.
He told me to sit quietly and listen. I rolled my eyes because I would have to hide from the grandbabies who think that Nonnie is the best human ever. When they went home I went to my office and sat in total silence for what seemed like six lifetimes but alas it was only 10 minutes. I stopped trying to force it and focused on the life I wanted when someone looked at my headstone and wondered about the dash. When I did that my mind opened. I was receptive to His voice and finally sat down and listened.
4 Lessons I learned that gave my orange balance
What is the one job you would wrestle Jesus for if he tried to give it to someone else?
Think about it this way. If we suddenly had to live in the Giver and had one job for life, what would that one job be? I had to think about what that would be for me. I want to facilitate/train people. The tagline for my life and business is “Activating voices, one life at a time.”
What I truly wanted was to help each person find their voice and speak into existence the change they seek. My orange personality loved meeting new people that she calls “friends I haven’t met yet.”
No, not the movie – the job!
I left the job sooner rather than later because I was not only hurting myself, I was hurting the people that I was supposed to be “teaching”. I needed to be in an environment that allowed me to move and explore.
Eric Thomas says it so eloquently “You believe in sleep more then you believe in grinding!”
I heard this over and over and had to check my grindstone to see if it was working. To me, grinding is the friction between what you want and putting action behind getting what you want.
If you want something but you put no action behind it, you are dreaming while wide awake.
Make the ask
Ask yourself and the world around you about the career you are considering:
- Will I be able to use my greatest talents on a regular basis in this career?
- Will I be able to build strengths in this career?
- Is this career consistent with my deepest values and beliefs?
- Will I have an opportunity to do what I love to do in this career or because of this career?
- Will I have an opportunity to fulfill my sense of destiny and my sense of personal mission because of this career? If I couldn’t answer yes to each of these questions I must then ask…
- What business do I have even considering this career?
Never give up, never say die
As long as you have another day above ground you have a chance to try again. Do what you love as a side job until you can make it the job. When you do that you will forget that what you are doing is work because you will love it so much.
We all want something. Your goal is to find that something and make it work for you and make your life amazing!
Oh, and rubbing a naysayer’s nose in your success isn’t a bad perk.