You have through Labor Day to enter my #HeinensGrill giveaway – click over to this post to enter a tote bag filled of grilling supplies from Heinen’s.
In participating a Myers-Briggs assessment at work during the month of June (ESFJ FTW), traits*** of my personality were revealed to me:
- ESFJs want decisions made early.
- They like to keep traditions alive.
- ESFJs dislike dealing with problems on a theoretical or philosophical basis.
- They are conscious of appearances. (you would never know this based on how often I wear yoga pants to probably not socially acceptable scenarios. #sorrynotsorry)
The process solidified some things I already knew:
- ESFJs lead very busy lives.
- Their parties are well planned and often lavishly put together.
- They value harmony and try to not offend or disappoint anyone.
- ESFJs thrive on being needed but can feel overburdened and stressed from taking care of others.
As July came upon me and I turned 31, I felt bombarded by a need to take care while being true to myself. I was inspired to take some helpful yet opposite-for-ESFJs actions:
- focusing on what I wanted to do and not what I “should” do
- not try to fix everything all the time
- learn to trust myself
- appreciate my positive qualities
- slow down my pace
It was apparent and I knew what I had to do. I declared AUGUST AS THE MONTH OF NO.
By mid July, I started telling friends, family, coworkers and random strangers that August was untouchable. If I didn’t have it scheduled by July 31st, I wasn’t doing it until September 1st. Some people didn’t catch on right away, and were thrown when I said “sorry”. But others completely understood — even congratulated me for holding firm. Friends started taking on the same mantra as me and they started messaging me pins on Pinterest.
So a month into this experiment what have I learned?
I adore having some alone time to myself. When I stumbled on this elephant journal “How to Love a Cancer” article, I practically shouted “YES!” when I read this portion: “Because she feels everything, a Cancer often craves alone time, either to be with her thoughts or to rejuvenate her soul from the constant taking in of all that surrounds her.” It sounds counter-ESFJ, but it explains why I’ve been gravitating towards those long solo towpath bike rides this summer.
I feel EVERY.SINGLE.THING. Each and every single sensation — physical and emotional — has been magnified. The happy times are happier, the depressive moments are somehow lower. Engaging strength in my arms during chatrunga has finally “clicked” — but as are my knees. And since I took advantage of all that free time by filling it more physical activity, I burnt myself out and I’m now on a PT suggested RX of rest, ice, compression and elevation. (More on this soon. Yes, Universe: I got the message — slowing down mentally isn’t enough, it’s gotta be matched physically.)
Declining is liberating. So what does all this “no” saying set you up for? Saying “YEAH!” to the things you really want to do. Saying “Sure!” to the things you never had time for before because you were bogged down with BS. And maybe – just maybe – saving yourself up for one very big YES exactly when you’re ready for it.
Will it be in September? As I rest my knee and my soul, I’ll just kick back, relax and see.
***These points are taken from a book that I photocopied but forgot to write down the title of. When I have access to the book again, I’ll update this post for the proper credit.