Normative to You, Distinctive to Others [Vol. 1.7]

F A T H O M || T R I B E

Tell me about yourself.
What are your strengths?

These have to be two of the most asked and feared prompts in an interview.

One of the most helpful ways to understand who you are as someone uniquely created by God is to consider that which is normative to us and distinctive to others. Or, to put it another way, what are the things you seem to do naturally well that impress others? In our own lives, these things have almost always been pointed out by others in offhand comments such as, “How do you do that?” “You’re amazing at ________” “I could never do that (fill in the blank).” There are many times where we find ourselves, commenting back to them something like, “I don’t know, I just do it.” When it is something that is so normal to us, we don’t often have language to explain the how or why, it just is something we do without thinking much about the steps it takes to accomplish the task. This is true for everyone. We often have no idea it was distinctive until someone else pointed it out.

If the things you do are normative to you, but distinctive to others, pay attention. You’re getting a true glimpse as to who God created you to be.

Try this simple two-step approach to help you pay attention:

1. Take time and space to look within yourself and really take stock of what you do well.
2. Pay attention when people observe distinctive things about you. Don’t simply dismiss them.

We often notice uniqueness in others precisely because it is something we can’t do naturally and find ourselves having to work hard to accomplish. When we pay attention to other trusted voices, we gain new insight into who we are. It could be another acknowledging how you can naturally strike up a conversation with everyone they meet. It could be someone marveling at how you seem to anticipate exactly when someone needs encouragement. Or it could be someone telling you how naturally funny you are, and your humor brings relief to tense situations. It could be someone in awe of the way you can fix a car. For some it may be taking care of small children—you intuitively know what to do. For others, it may be an effortless ability to connect with middle or high-schoolers.

Find a few family members or friends you can ask. Or have a place where you can jot down notes when someone makes a comment about how easily do something.

Worth Reading: The poet Mary Oliver had a birthday this week. Enjoy her Morning Poem.

Worth Watching: What is God’s dream for humanity? Watch this short video by Jean Vanier.

Worth Pondering: “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken”–Oscar Wilde


**Pre order Drew’s book (co-authored with Jess Fankhauser) Ready or Not: Leaning into Life in our Twenties, by clicking HERE. #ReadyorNotBook

***Know someone who you think would appreciate this TinyLetter? Share love and send them this link:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: