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  • Writer's pictureJudith Ostronic

Paint Lessons

Updated: Apr 24

For the better part of a year (maybe two?), our guest room looked like a place where old furniture went to die. The walls were white, punctuated with a row of uneven squares painted in subtle but distinguishable hues like Sea Fog, Rice Cake, Alabaster, and Merino. 


I had been applying paint samples over the course of many months, and the splotches had started to resemble street art. That is, if the artists had used the walls of our guest room to test their spray cans.


I had been hoping to inject some warmth into an otherwise cold and mismatched room, but didn't want to rush our choice before I checked on the impact of sunlight, or if the bed linens didn't quite work. I feared we would make our choice, only to want to change it later.


It wasn't indecision that was holding me back. I was overestimating the potential consequence of a possibly bad, even if minor, decision.


In considering the cost, the time, and, eventually, the look and feel of a room where I knew friends and family would be staying, my attention to detail had morphed into something less positive, and left my husband looking like the subject of Munch's The Scream.


My question this week is about what happens when something positive – like a skill or a strength – is no longer working. What happens when your strengths are overplayed?


Is it possible you're relying on the skills you know you have, at the expense of developing or honing others? 


Has your attention to detail turned you into a perfectionist, or a procrastinator? Are you a great planner, but less great at execution?


Perhaps you're a patient listener, but your own thoughts are often left unspoken. Maybe you're the friend everyone turns to, but now you need to ask for help. 


As your coach, I'll offer questions that require a close look at the strengths you have, and ask how you want to be using them. My job is to help you develop awareness around your own behaviors so you can determine what is working, and what is not.


It can be difficult distinguishing how everyday behaviors impact our desired outcomes, but don't paint yourself into a corner. Let's get to work!  

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