My Project Fascination Results

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In my last post I shared with you about the work of Sally Hoghead and her Fascination Project. Several people I know have taken the test and, like me, think their results are spot on. As promised here are my results from this assessment:

My Archetype

My ARCHETYPE from the assessment is The Veiled Strength (the idea that my strength is veiled tickles me for some reason). Words that describe me as The Veiled Strength are realistic, intentional, to the point, orderly and multi-layered (all of which are true). This is how the world sees me:

  • I command respect with a rational approach to problem solving (I love problem solving. Strategizing solutions is definitely my wheelhouse).
  • Independent and self-reliant, I have an unwavering confidence in my ability to find solution and reach goals (again true)
  • I prefer to base my decisions on hard data and quantitative information rather than gut feeling (mostly true although I’m learning to listen to my gut more these days)
  • My quiet demeanor hides a strong inner core (this the one I probably disagree with the most. I do have a strong inner core but I also think I have a strong presence about me that is not necessarily quiet. Calming? Yes. Quiet? Not so much.

Personality Archetypes

My Advantages

My Archetype is derived from the combination of my primary and secondary advantages. Mine are Mystique and Power respectively.

With Mystique as my primary trigger, I:

  • Intrigue others with understatement (not sure I agree with this one)
  • Communicates selectively and purposefully (agreed. I like to choose  my words carefully when speaking)
  • Rarely shows inner emotions (pretty much 🙂 )
  • Remains calm in situations of pressure (I can do this even if I’m freaking out internally)
  • Works independently without disclosing insider process (I like brainstorming and collaborating in a group but generally speaking I’m a lone ranger when it comes to how I work)
  • Subtle style makes every detail influential
  • Mystique is the language of LISTENING (LOVE this because I value my ability to listen well and be present with others)

With Power as my secondary trigger, I:

  • Enjoy leading projects and easily win buy-in with teams (I like to think this is true)
  • Direct individuals and groups with confidence and success (true story)
  • Set ambitious personal and professional goals (agreed)
  • Express opinions and makes complex decisions with unwavering conviction (yeah I don’t have any issues making my opinions known 🙂 )
  • Confront potential problems or obstacles immediately and decisively (I believe confrontation can be healthy when done right)
  • Lead naturally (pretty sure I came out of my mother’s womb telling the doctor what to do 🙂 )
  • Power is the language of CONFIDENCE

I’ve taken a lot of these personality tests (INTJ on Meyer’s Briggs; Choleric/Melancholy on Personality Plus; D/C on DISC assessment) and they have told me a lot about how I see the world. They’ve helped me know and understand myself better. What I like about the Fascination Assessment is that it speaks to how the world sees me.  This allows me to maximize the natural strengths of my ARCHETYPE while being mindful of the liabilities that can get in the way of me effectively communicating with others. It’s nice to be able to see these things about myself on paper and be able to say that I agree, this is how I am.

I don’t believe in using these tests to box yourself into anything. Instead, I encourage the use of them as a way to understand yourself better so you can move more confidently toward the best version of you possible. I want you to be MORE of who you already are and this test is a tool that can help you on the road to being you.

If you haven’t already taken the test, click here to access it. Use the code BL-kedamak and you can take it for free. You have until July 25 so don’t wait, go find out your fascination advantage. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on tests like this. Do you find them useful or more a waste of time than anything else? Share in the comments below.

Taking Risks

I’ve been a little AWOL from my blog recently. It hasn’t been intentional but it has been necessary. I’m in the middle of a major change in my life and my bandwidth has been a little lower than normal. In a few of my other posts I have alluded to the fact that I have been in transition and today I wanted to share some of the details. My OneWord for 2014 is Risk and boy am I about to take a really big risk.

OneWord365_RiskIn 2002 I moved to Charlotte, NC, where I currently live, to help plant a church. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I had a very clear directive from God that moving here to help was exactly what I was supposed to do. The last twelve years of my life have been the craziest, most insane years of my life. Folks, let me tell you, church planting is not for the fainthearted. But God is good and through His faithfulness the church has grown from 4 people meeting weekly for prayer to a thriving church serving hundreds of people every week. During that time my role shifted from that of Church Administrator to serving as the Executive Pastor, a role I have been in for the last six years.

At the end of 2011, I started to sense that a change was coming for me. I didn’t know what that would look like but suddenly my life stopped making sense and I went through a long wrestling period with God to figure out what was going on. It has been a long journey filled with lots of praying and fasting but now after 12 years, I am stepping down from my staff position. As of June 1, I will be transitioning into my own coaching and consulting practice.

I have this passion to help people live the stories they were born to live. I believe there is a unique seed of Divine greatness inside each of us. I want to help people learn how to rise into their unique greatness. In my coaching practice, I hope to serve those who feel as if they are meant for more but can’t figure out what’s keeping them from stepping fully into that more. The consulting arm of my services will be for churches and possibly non-profits that need an outside voice to help establish the systems and leadership structure they need to fulfill their vision.

The common thread for me in all of my services is people owning their voices and their story. People, business owners and even church leaders are prone to looking at those who are successful around them and then trying to imitate what that person, business or church did hoping to duplicate someone else’s success. I want to challenge you to discover YOUR unique seed of greatness so you can rise fully into that and become the best version of YOU possible. This principle works for businesses and churches too.

My website is in the works and as soon as it is ready I will share it with you guys. In the meantime, if you would like to be among the first to hear how things are coming along, including when my website is live, I would love for you to subscribe to my mailing list. My goal is to provide once a week updates to my subscribers until I’m done and then I will send you unique content before it hits my site so you can always be in the know.

Click here if you’d like to sign up. Thanks for following along with my musings so far. Hope to see you on my new adventures too 🙂

4 Tips for Fighting Fear {Coffee for Your Heart}

Fear Quote - Charles StanleyFear is a pretty universal emotion. All of us have that little voice in our head, telling us what we should or shouldn’t do based on fear of what someone else might think; or how someone might respond; or how things might change based on our decision. If not dealt with, fear can take the strongest, most competent woman’s legs out from under her. I want to share 4 ways you can fight fear, using the acronym F.E.A.R.

F = Feel It and Do It Anyway

Feel the fear and do it anyway – from my Life Manifesto

In our bodies, fear is  protective response designed to keep us out of harm’s way. As such, it isn’t always a bad thing to feel fear. There are times, however, when fear misreads a situation and thinking it needs to protect you, it causes you to avoid something that you really need to step into. In those moment, you have to make friends with your fear. Get curious about what’s really going on. Spend some time trying to figure out what’s behind your fear and then decide if what your fear is telling you is legit. If it’s not, then do your thing because fear is not serving you, it is only holding you back.

There are times, however, when what your fear is saying is valid but deep down you know you still have to make a move. For those times when you can’t get rid of the fear, you have to take it with you. Do what you have to do despite the fear and in the doing you just might discover that what you feared is not really as big of a deal as you thought it would be.

E = Embrace Failure

“Failure is an event not a person.” John Wooten

I believe failure is the thing most people fear the most. It is often seen as a negative thing but the truth is if you are not failing, then you are not trying. If you are not trying, then you are not really living life to the fullest. Failing doesn’t mean you are a failure, it means you have been taking risks and stepping outside what is familiar and known and there is nothing bad about those actions.

Learn to be comfortable with failure. See failure as a stepping stone on your way to your goals. Don’t allow your failures to cause you to step back, instead march forward more confidently because of them. As John Maxwell encourages, learn to fail forward. See failure as a friend and the voice of fear will not be quite so loud.

A = Acknowledge What Is True

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”Mark Twain

When fear is screaming in your head it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s a lie. You feel like you’re in a dense fog, unable to see anything around you. When that happens the best thing you can do is silence fear’s screaming voice with truth. Truth acts like a light piercing through the darkness of your fears. Remind yourself of what is true and right.

When I find myself in this place, I make a list. On one side are the things my fear is telling me, on the other are all the things I know to be true. This simple exercise has helped me move through more moments of fear than I can count. Know what’s true. The devil is a liar but God is truth. Hold onto truth at all cost because it WILL clear the fog eventually.

R = Remember You’re Not Alone

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.” Donna Robert

Fear isolates, it keeps us nestled in a cocoon too afraid to break out. Reaching out to your support team helps remind you that you are not alone. Name the cheerleaders in your life. Find the friends or family members who can help you remember who you are when your fears cause you to forget.

It doesn’t have to be a lot of people either. Jesus had the twelve disciples but only three of them were witness to His heart being sorrowful to the point of death. You don’t need a large inner circle, and actually I would recommend that it be small. But know who belongs there and then reach out to them when fear comes knocking.

Fear doesn’t have to be the enemy nor does it have to take you out. You can stand up to it and you can win the fight. Put one of these tips to use the next fear starts talking and watch it retreat in your head and heart.

From my heart to yours,

MakedaCoffee-for-Your-Heart-150This post is part of the Coffee for Your Heart link up with the lovely Holley Gerth, sharing a little bit of mid-week encouragement to help you get through the day.

Musings from Around the Web 04.19.14 Edition

04.19.14 roundup

My wanderings around the web this week were full of lots of “dang that’s good” moments. I could probably fill several posts with some of what I found but I’ll keep it to just a few today I promise 🙂

I don’t know that there will always be a theme but this week it’s all about being brave, vulnerable and unafraid of being who you are.

For the second week in a row, Arianna Huffington makes an appearance in the Weekly Roundup. I think she’s such a great role model for women and I just love the way she thinks. In this video she offers us some tips on quieting the voice of self-doubt that lives in all of our heads – “I had to really educate her and educate myself to realize that I am not that voice — I am not that negative fantasy or these doubts.”

The sheer brilliance of this post’s title is reason enough to read it but then the authors go on to deliver one of the best things I’ve read in a long time on the power of being our most authentic self – “The more comfortable you are – the less you are subjecting yourself to discomfort for the sake of others or appearances – the more you will draw people who really are interested in being there with you.”

Being vulnerable is hard, like really hard. It sort of feels like standing naked in a room full of people, all staring at you. That icky feeling you just got reading that sentence, yeah that’s what vulnerability feels like. But in this post, Jonathan Fields suggests that is exactly what we need to do if we are going to step into our best self – “Naked and silent is the place where your next better self takes root.”

I love Brene Brown! Her original TED talk set off a chain reaction in my life back in 2010 that is still reverberating today. I recently started reading her book Daring Greatly. The title is inspired from a quote by Theodore Roosevelt. In 2012 Brene gave a second TED talk where she shared this quote and expounded on it to address the issue of shame. An artist took the original quote and Brene’s words in her TED talk and created  this incredible poster“We look up and the critic we see pointing and laughing…99% of the time is who? Us”

I hope you were inspired by some of these. I’ll sign off this week’s roundup with a video from this season’s Britain’s Got Talent. Les Miserables is one of my FAVORITE musicals. I cry every time I watch it and what these guys did with the song Stars in simply breathtaking. Enjoy!

Dare to Tell A Different Story {Coffee For Your Heart}

playing a roleThere was a High School Musical marathon on the other day and being that I love all things musical (even the cheesy ones), not watching the movies was not an option. I loved them when they first came out and was pleasantly surprised to find that I still enjoyed them. What struck me as I watched them was the journey the main character, Troy Bolton, went on to embrace a story different than the one others had written for him.

Troy’s family and friends all had expectations of who he would become. Throughout the three movies, Troy struggles between being who he is supposed to be and who he might want to be.  In the end, he doesn’t choose either/or but he decides both/and is what is right for him. It wasn’t easy but ultimately he dared to rise into the story that was best for him.

For those of you who feel like you’re in a similar struggle, you have this story about who you are that you’ve been writing for a long time but lately something has been stirring in your heart telling you there’s more. Today, I want to encourage you that you can reclaim the narrative of your life and dare to write a different story.

Letting Go of Other People’s Expectations

“I just want my future to be my future” Troy Bolton

I’ve written before about how hard it can be to get out from under the weight of other people’s expectations. Well meaning family and friends tell you who they think you should be and for awhile you agree with them. But gradually over time it stops feeling right. The identity you’ve worn for so long doesn’t fit anymore and you’re soul is desperate for something to change. At the same time, changing feels nearly impossible.

But I need to tell you today that you have to dare to claim your own dreams. You have been given unique gifts, some of which may be only just beginning to come to the surface. You owe it to yourself and to the world to lean in and really discover who you are supposed to be. The One who is authoring your story just might have a plan for you that is bigger than you or your loved ones can imagine {hint: He usually does and by usually I mean always 🙂 }. Dare to believe that and then embrace the courage to step into what feels new and different.

There’s More In You Than You Know

“It takes courage to trust one’s instinct” Ms. Darbus

In the third movie, Ms. Darbus submits an application for Troy to go to Julliard. She saw more in Troy than just the boy who played basketball. He was defined by what he had always done but she saw the more in him that was hiding and she dared him to own that part of him too.

There is so much more in you than you know. So much more that you are capable of becoming and thing is, you know it. Deep down inside of you, where the truth of who really you are lives, you have the sense that you are more than you have become. I know it feels scary to look into those hidden places of your heart, full of the cobwebs of dreams long ago laid down. But if you can breathe in courage, take a deep breathe of the assurance that He who has begun a good work in you will see it finished, then what you find, as you look, just might surprise you. Trust that thing in you that’s telling you this is right. Lean in and discover the more that is lying dormant in you.

Don’t Be Afraid of Breaking the Status Quo

“East High is a place…that taught us to break the status quo and define ourselves as we choose.” Troy Bolton

All the really great stories out there, the ones we read or watch over and over again involve the main character going against what was expected. He faces a challenge that feels so much bigger than him but in that adversity he learns how to rise to the challenge. It is that rising to meet the challenge that turns an ordinary story into a truly extraordinary one.

Dare to challenge the status quo. Dare to decide that you will not live anything less than the very best life you are capable of living. Dare to believe that you can rise to the challenge of disappointing other people, if it means you don’t disappoint yourself and more importantly you don’t disappoint the Father.

I don’t for one second believe that what I am saying is easy. But I do believe in the end it will be worth it.

Will you take the dare? Will you dare to let go of other people’s expectations? Dare to embrace the more that is in you? Dare to break the status quo? Will you dare to rise into a better story? I know you can do it!

From my heart to yours,

Makeda Coffee-for-Your-Heart-150This post is part of the Coffee for Your Heart link up with the lovely Holley Gerth, sharing a little bit of mid-week encouragement to help you get through the day.

Musings from Around the Web 04.12.14 Edition

04.12.14 weekly roundupAs I was wondering around the web this week I came across some great content that I wanted to share with you guys. My goal is to do this on a regular basis because there’s some really good stuff out there. My thinking and assumptions are being challenged and I like it, a lot. I’ve decided to take y’all along on that ride with me too so you can look for one of these posts, hopefully weekly.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been leaning more and more into my passion to see women rise into their best selves, ESPECIALLY women leaders. As women, I believe we habitually diminish who we are and the value we have to bring in owning our stories and our voices. As women leaders, we think we have to do it the way men do it to succeed and I just happen to disagree with that thought process.

My findings this week are aimed at getting us women to think differently about how we present ourselves and our work to the world.

In this interview with Arianna Huffington, women are challenged to redefine success –  “…redefining success and what it means to live a life that matters, which will be different for each of us, according to our own values and goals (and not those imposed on us by society)

My friend Karen, penned this gorgeous post that reminded me, when it comes to the work I offer to the world, there is no right or wrong way, there is only my way – “because it’s not about doing more. or doing right. it’s about being you. and doing what you need to do based on where you are right now.”

After reading this article about a habit that lasts only 30 seconds, I have a found a little notebook to carry around with me so I can start implementing it – “it’s not note taking…it’s hard work…[but] it gets easier and more valuable.”

I LOVE Pharrell Williams’ song Happy. Seriously, how can you not get happy listening to that song 🙂 This post offers some clues on how to find your happy – “Instead of worrying about what others think you “should” be doing to find joy, they say, focus on finding your own unique path to happiness.”

I’ll sign off on this week’s roundup with Pharrell Williams’ video. I dare you not to smile while watching it. Have a fabulous weekend and may you discover your HAPPY!

You Do Not Have To Be Good

I was reminded of this poem by Mary Oliver recently. The entire poem is pretty amazing but every time I read these lines, it’s as if something in my soul just exhales.

Mary Oliver quoteI think, as women, we spend an awful lot of our time wishing away the things our heart and soul truly desire or worse yet numbing them away. We think we “shouldn’t” want the things we want because well it’s not “right”; thereby, giving someone else permission to decide what is or is not right for us. Our hopes and dreams are based on the expectations of others and not on what’s happening in our hearts. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it.

For too long I lived my life trying to be what people said I should be. I stuffed dreams and desires because they were not what was expected of me and somewhere along the way I lost sight of the me I was meant to be. I apologized for not being what “they” said I should be. I repented for not loving the things they said I should love or for loving the things I was not supposed to love. But then it got exhausting. It got exhausting trying to be what everyone else said I should be when I just wanted to be who I am.

I want to love what I love, without apology. I want to let this soft animal of my body just be what it is. I want to meet my body and my heart and my soul with kindness and grace. I want to do the things that feel right and pure and holy for me.

I want to embrace the sacred and the mystery of the Divine. I don’t want to have all the answers, instead I want to grow more comfortable with the questions. More than anything I want to stop living someone else’s version of my life and rise into the story I was born to live.

I wonder what it would look like if more of us women chose to be so brave. To let go of the expectations of others and just be who we are, without apology. To stand up and say this is who I am! This is the work I believe I am meant to offer the world! This is me claiming my voice…my story!

This is my heart’s desire, to see women rise up from under the weight of shame because the narrative in our heart doesn’t fit the one we are “supposed” to be writing. To get out from under the power of voices that tell us we are not enough and our story doesn’t matter. To rise above the preconceived notions about who we can become and what we can do because of our gender or our race or our economic status. To stand up against the forces that would demand that we play some part that makes “them” more comfortable.

I’m done watching us allow society and well meaning family and friends decide the outcome of our story. It’s time for us to take back our power. It’s time for us to own our stories and our voices. It’s time for us to remind the world that we are WOMAN!

HEAR US ROAR!!

What voices are you fighting to quiet in your heart? What expectations are you desperate to let go? I would love to hear more of your journey in the comments below.