This can be difficult to explain and understand. The IAF is typically loved by all, to a certain level. However, when the IAF is hurt personally or professionally, a deep seed of offense can be planted. But because the IAF desires to be so compassionate and is willing to sacrifice to see others happy, the offense is either stuffed and becomes a time bomb waiting to blow, or the IAF is completely unaware of how his or her actions are negatively influenced by the hurt. Therefore, while the IAF has few enemies, the necessary reconciliation to prevent alienation can be extremely difficult. The IAF needs to learn a reconciliation process no matter how emotionally taxing or counter-intuitive it feels.
Because of your ability to look at what is and envision the full potential of what it can be, it can become frustrating if you do not have the time or resources to fulfill the level of excellence you know is possible. In business, it is important to understand when something needs to be good, and when it is good enough. This fundamentally grates you to your very core, but your success in the personal and professional arena depends upon incorporating the principle of the good and the good enough.
You abhor the notion and pain of seeing others potentially hurt by your action. The temptation is then to emotionally anchor into environments or social structures where people do not get hurt. Another temptation is to sacrifice what is good for an entire group because of the pain of a single individual. This, of course, is unrealistic, not to mention unhealthy. For people to mature and the organization to grow, consequences and pain are natural and necessary. Another negative bi-product of this is consistently trying to micro-manage and rescue others from making mistakes. This is because of your vision for excellence and your attention to detail. The potential is for “nagging” and “nitpicking,” and if in leadership, your team becoming discouraged and disengaged.
Because you intuitively sense things, you do not necessarily have the language or data to support your conclusions. This can be extremely taxing for both you and your colleagues and lead to de-synchronization of projects and teams. How do you create a language for intuition? That is a great question and the constant struggle for the IAF. The key is to develop credibility and respect so that others are willing to help unpack your gut feeling and decipher your instincts.
The temptation is to believe, “If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.” The reality is that this is not always true. The IAF is often fueled by previous painful experiences, or the unnecessary emotional burdens of others until, finally, personal offense and avoidance of conflict become a negative factor. Inability to process emotions properly is what leads to difficulty moving forward or refusing to accept correction. Another result can be passive-aggressive behavior with superiors and co-workers. The IAF person resists what he or she is experiencing but does so in indirect and subtle ways.
This self-gratification is often justified as the pursuit of happiness, and sometimes is expressed by avoiding tough projects or conflicts. It includes doing all the wrong things to shelter others from pain because of how it makes the IAF feel. It is important for every IAF to understand that feeling happy is not the point—being fulfilled is. Happiness is the natural bi-product of fulfillment. Those with this MDNA must understand that professional challenges and personal pain often lead to discovery and provide the opportunity to develop potential you might have not known was even there.
In order avoid rejection; the IAF can fall into a pattern of avoiding risks. Sometimes the IAF can even feel unworthy of having a greater vision for life. This causes major internal turmoil because the IAF is naturally wired to envision potential. This can develop into a cycle of victim thinking that is made even worse by the inability to clearly articulate emotions.
This scale was created to rapidly and clearly illustrate the spectrum of extremes of an individual’s intrinsic motivations as a CVS. This scale can then be used for coaching or consulting.
Complete alignment of personal purpose, passion and potential to achieve social value and transformation through life-giving ecosystems.
Helping entire communities recognize and maximize excellence.
Leading others to discover their niche and empowering them to contribute to the organizational culture and fulfill their callings.
Understanding that the right response to pain will always lead to personal and professional gain. Sees problems as opportunities for development.
Explores and takes risks when it comes to personal character and calling. Is willing to deal with the issues.
Understands and accepts that overt self-sacrifice is unnecessary to gain favor and achieve results.
Security and significance is derived from the opinions and favor of others. Lacks boundaries.
The pursuit of “feeling happy” becomes more important than investing in personal calling and professional excellence. Settling for mediocrity.
Refuses to make decisions based upon actual reality. Makes decisions based upon fear and avoidance of pain and conflict.
A victim mentality that is a hundred percent based upon emotional context with the inability to resolve personal offenses and take the smallest of actions.
Complete neutralization and inability for even basic performance. Social value and legacy are non-existent.
The following statement represents the thought pattern that triggers a Legitimacy Gap in an IAF. Believing this thought and acting on it leads to shortchanging the purpose, passions and potential of your MDNA.
“I only have self-worth and value when I earn favor from others through self-sacrifice. I am legitimate because of my self-sacrifice.”
It is a fact: you cannot always make everybody happy. Yes, you are wired for deep empathy, but happiness is a subjective term that means different things for everybody. And, yes, sometimes sacrifice is important. However, there is no way you can sacrifice enough for each individual’s happiness. Even attempting this impossible task will leave you exasperated and lead to bitterness and resentment. Unfortunately, it is in human nature for others to take our self-sacrifice for granted, especially if that sacrifice becomes commonplace and is not done within proper boundaries. Worse yet, disengaged IAFs will naturally default to blaming themselves, whether justified or not, when others are unhappy.
The IAF thinks in a circular fashion not only when it comes to details, but with time as well. What does this mean? More than any other MDNA the IAF, when focused on a situation, challenge or vision, can reference both past and future at the same time. For example, when facing a current situation that requires taking a risk, the IAF will reference past failures and future potential for failure and respond with a fear-based reaction, all without looking at current realities. In other words, the disengaged IAF can get lost in past and future time.
The IAF must learn to engage with current reality without letting the past or future cloud the right decision in the present. Only then will you know whether sacrifice is necessary. To close the legitimacy gap, the IAF must learn to accept present reality despite the past or future.
Learning to do what is right based on principle is also important, especially for the disengaged IAF. Because the IAF is the most emotionally intuitive and complex of all the gifts, the tendency is to make decisions based upon emotions alone. Unfortunately, to do so is like operating a ship without an anchor. You will never guide a vessel to a destination without the ability to drop anchor when necessary.
Emotions are like ever-changing winds and waves of the oceans. Principles are like anchors and allow you to make the right decision despite the feelings and circumstances of others. Learn to embrace principles and you will always do what is right and never sacrifice to gain the favor of or happiness for others.
The simplest and most highly recommended method to develop your Intrinsic Motivational Design is to find legitimacy, your personal sense of self-worth, outside of your professional status and performance. Remember, you are a human being and not a human doing.
Ask yourself this question: “If my professional status and ability to perform were abruptly stripped from me, how would I account for my self-worth?”
Most people reference family or personal endeavors as the reason or source for their feelings of self-worth. If you did not have a solid answer to the question, you may need to make a serious investment of time to figure it out.
Next, you need to evaluate your priorities.
As yourself this: “Outside of my professional status and performance, is my personal character truly reflective of where I know it should be?”
This is where we must ultimately arrive before true development can begin. We must become honest about our true character outside of work. Are you the same person with every social circle, or does your character change depending upon the people you hang around with? If your professional accolades did not count, would the people around you still celebrate your character?
It may sound counterintuitive to approach re-synchronization as a professional by starting with Life outside of work, but this is the launching point that will get us to where we desire to be. So with a mindset for personal character development, here is a simple four-step process. Taking these steps will help you close the Legitimacy Gap and keep on you the path of success and fulfillment.
Become aware of where you are feeling insecure professionally. What are your fears? Where is the anxiety? Write down whatever comes to mind. Do not judge what you write. Simply explore what may be there.
Do you find yourself wanting to unnecessarily protect others from pain that could lead to productive growth and change? Have people accused you of being an “Enabler?”
Do you find yourself compromising more than you like in situations? Do these compromises involve extreme generosity and sacrifice that leave you disappointed and lack the results you need to move forward?
Are you so non-confrontational that you tolerate being treated unfairly and even exploited?
Do you find yourself unable to take decisive actions because of fear and worry? Do you suffer from constant anxiety because of it?
Do other people feel that you will only act out of self-gratification and pursuit of personal happiness? Is your personal comfort so important that you have settled for mediocrity?
Take time to really define who you are designed to be. What are you designed to do? What are you not designed to do? Clearly define your boundaries and make a commitment not to sacrifice beyond them.
Using the above exercise as a foundation, identify where you have been wounded. Give yourself permission to be honest. You have to accept the current reality that you are hurt and that is OK.
Again, using the first exercise, try and identify your niche. Recognize that you have been given a very special skill set to solve very specific problems. What do you feel you could really focus on and be effective professionally and personally?
How can you help others find their own niche? Look for individuals in your life that need to be compassionately accepted to become who they were designed to be.
Make a list of areas in your life where you have been treated unfairly, yet you have been true to who you are despite the injustice. Also, clearly document where you were “compensated” despite the pain. In other words, how did it work out for the best? Take a moment to celebrate those situations and analyze why you were still successful.
Make a conscious choice to operate at all times without opening yourself for resentment or bitterness. Live with an expectation that despite what others are capable of, things will work out and you will see the bright side of any situation.
Find an individual, preferably a mentor or a group, to stay accountable to during this process. Remember the IAF needs to pay attention to principles. So find a mentor that specializes in teaching principles over emotion. Ask yourself three questions and share your plans:
Spend some regular time every week considering the following about being an IAF.
You are a masterpiece. You have a calling that belongs to you and you alone. But until you live that calling, you will not feel fulfilled. The gift of fulfillment is in knowing exactly what you were called to do and not compromising whom you are to do it. This is the essence of true fulfillment. Remember, fulfillment and happiness are not the same.
Just because you look or feel unhappy does not mean you are not on the path to fulfillment. Popular culture wants to define happiness as the absence of problems (or the ability to pay someone to make them go away). The primary goal of Life is not your happiness and it is not making others happy either.
Whether you have no problems, have nothing but problems, are happy or feel absolutely miserable, there is always a calling to fulfill. The only way to truly walk the pathway of fulfillment is to embrace what Life gives you and live it to the fullest. Of course, there will be challenges. You are designed to recognize the challenges for what they are, learn the necessary principles and skills to face those challenges and finally be content and enjoy Life while navigating through it all.
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