Remember the song by the Dixie Chicks back in 2006 titled “Not Ready to Make Nice.” Well, without going into the politics of that song I actually like the message that sometimes it’s just not necessary to try to make everyone else happy.
In fact, the negative labels that people have used to describe you – often provide the clues to your unique genius. Common examples of negative labels may include “loud,” “flighty,” “unfocused,” “sloppy,” “shy,” “quick-tempered,” “opinionated,” “intense,” “unsociable,” “nerdy,” “stingy,” “artsy,” “jabbermouth,” “day-dreamer,” “pushy,” “soft touch,” “aggressive,” “antagonistic,” and “self-righteous.” You get the idea. You may have been hurt by some of those terms being directed at you. But there may be a silver lining.
In order to see the clues to your genius, you must ask yourself what you were trying to accomplish when you were perceived as annoying to the person who gave you the label.
Here’s a 3-Step process for discovering your extraordinary value on the other side of being called names.
Step 1: List the negative labels that others have sent your way: (I’ll use myself as the example here.)
Yes, I could go on but I’ll keep the list short for this demonstration.
Step 2: For each of the labels in Step 1, describe what you were trying to accomplish when that term was applied to you:
- Impatient — Save Time
- Blunt — Not easily deterred by excuses
- Insensitive — Able to see the core issues quickly
- Opinionated — Cut through the unnecessary garbage
Step 3: Now look for a common denominator in all of those situations. What I see from my list is the desire to cut to the chase. I don’t like lengthy committee meetings, complex government regulations, whining about what happened 20 years ago, blaming others, or any kind of indecision or procrastination.
So if I had to write a summary statement of what those “negative words” say about me it would be something like this:
Gathers information and moves to solutions and action plans quickly.
Yes, that’s part of my genius. Does that mean I always “make nice” with everyone around? No. But that has served me extremely well in many, many situations. It has been the pivotal key that has allowed me to write with clarity, speak in a compelling manner, get paid extremely well as a coach, and start new businesses.
Now, it’s your turn. Make your list of “negative” things people have said about you – and clarify your genius. You may be “shy,” “introverted,” “bold,” “messy,” “unorganized,” or an “air-head.” What is that short statement that makes you remarkable? Just maybe, “making nice” has been burying your genius. Share your genius statement here. It will reinforce your acceptance of those traits – and it will be an encouragement to others.
Incidentally, it seems the Dixie Chicks may have gotten over the “not nice” season of their career. They are doing a major 2016 tour and are selling our arenas months in advance.