“To avoid dealing with the emptiness that would soon follow these pseudo-relationships. I buried myself in my business and my personal development…I planned my days better, which helped me prepare meals for my boys and structure my household to enhance my success. I became more caring because I no longer felt rushed. I enjoyed life a lot more because I had more control over my emotions, my household, and my finances.”
Excerpt from Red Alert: Is He the One? Pocket Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life Tanya E. Hood
When we decide we are finally tired of whatever has been hindering us from reaching our next level, we change. We want to change the people that are causing the havoc in our lives, but deep down we know that we really can’t change others. So, we either change ourselves or change our environment.
That desire to change is what brought me to this moment that I shared in my book. After my 11-year marriage ended in divorce, I needed to reset my life. I knew a change was needed, but I didn’t know how to achieve it because I no longer truly knew who I was.
One way of discovering who you are is to see the character traits you share with the world. Some character traits show your values and you find those by looking at the way you behave. Our behavior can be a window into our motives and values. I decided to take a closer look at my behavior to ensure the character traits I believed still resided in me truly existed. Because I was stuck in survival mode for so long, I no longer knew.
I was irritable and irritating. I was so guarded even the store clerk tried to get me out of their line quickly. Not to mention the emotional roller coaster ride I was taking my children on every other day.
I have heard it said that you will know a tree by its fruit. Once you see what is revealed you will know an apple tree from an orange tree. The fruit that I was showing definitely was not what I knew had been planted in me.
I know I have a strong desire to be supportive, but I was not displaying any of those characteristics. If you find yourself in a similar position, here’s something you can do:
Gather as many examples of positive character traits as you can.
Read some great books to help you recognize what great character traits look like so you can start implementing them.
Find people that display the character traits you desire and spend time with them.
By learning more about character traits through observation, you can also develop richer character traits in yourself.
Here’s a bonus that really helped me. Proverbs 31:10-31 gives a great synopsis of a noblewoman that has it all together. She has a strong character, great wisdom, and a flourishing marriage. This woman was a project manager (v.15) and a realtor (v.16). She was a lucrative business owner because she was energetic, strong, and a hard worker (v. 17). To top that off, her children adored her (v.28). While studying her, I discovered there is never any mention of her appearance. Her attractiveness came entirely from her character. It was her outstanding abilities that caused her to be “more precious than rubies” (v. 10). This was a God-fearing woman (v. 30). Her amazing achievements came from her reverence for God. I became awestruck with this woman.
She became my new “Shero”. I wasn’t sure I could do all she had accomplished, but I knew I could start working on one or two things. If all else failed, I would be a better person and, hopefully, successful in my business venture.
So, what are your 5 best qualities?