With all the awesomeness that the holidays bring… food, gatherings, decorations, goodwill, movies, music, pumpkin-spice everything… there is also one un-awesome tag-along that affects so many of us.
Marketers do a phenomenal job of telling us how our lives should look… what will make our lives better… what will make us trendy or unique… and that what we have now isn’t good enough any more.
But because we each have different personalities, we respond different and have different expectations and triggers. My friend Cheri is going to unpack that with us today.
Look for yourself in the list she offers below. Once you know you better… it will help you stay grounded rather than fall into the pit of discontentment during the holidays.
Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. I know if we lived closer to each other, we’d be BFFs. Yes, she is THAT amazing. And she is on my blog today talking about ways we can combat consumerism by making a decision now to choose contentment.
“…be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’.” (Hebrews 13:5b NIV)
But what we really need is internal fortitude to resist the external forces ganging up against us.
I’m not suggesting that buying things we need or want is inherently bad. Not by a long shot.
What I am suggesting is that we combat consumerism by intentionally choosing contentment.
Wonder what your personality type is? Click HERE to take the quiz and find out. And here are a few how-to tips, customized for each type.
An Expressive’s #1 goal is to have fun. We buy a fabulous new outfit or tickets to a big event, thinking, “This is going to be so much fun!”
But as the fun fades (as all fun does), we’re tempted to keep spending money to keep the fun coming.
The key to fun isn’t funding: it’s learning to trade expectation for anticipation. Rather than getting caught up in how much fun an event is supposed to be (followed by disappointment when it isn’t), we can choose to anticipate and then find the fun in each one.
This personality’s life goal is to achieve perfection. It’s so easy for her to get an image of a “picture perfect” holiday in her mind and think, “It isn’t truly Thanksgiving/Christmas unless the ______ (house, meal, tree, etc.) turns out just right!”
When perfection becomes our only conduit for contentment, disappointment is guaranteed: for ourselves and those who feel like they’ve let us down.
Instead, we can choose to re-define “perfection” as “good enough” (no matter how much of an oxymoron that may seem to be!) and look for perfect moments to truly enjoy.
For Drivers, whose life goal is control, it’s very easy to treat the entire holiday season as one giant list, moving from one thing to the next: check, check, check. We had that last night, we have this today, and soon it’ll be tomorrow when we will…
The danger in this approach is never being present in the moment.
Detaching contentment from achievement may require taking an eraser to the calendar. We may need to say, “No way. I can’t be fully present for every single one of these. I’m just going to be hopping and skipping and jumping but I’m never going to actually be there.” Slowing down and making space for relationships may feel less productive, but it’s what creates true contentment.
The Amiable’s life goal is peace. Always. Between all people.
This can be tough at the holidays. Put a bunch of people with different personalities together, add some travel, throw in gifts, mix with fatigue, and Peace on Earth is not an easy goal to achieve.
It helps to remind ourselves that sometimes the messiness, chaos, and even conflicts of life are normal.
We can focus on being grateful for those who have gathered together, even when they aren’t getting along perfectly. Even when the people around us aren’t exactly peaceful, we can still choose contentment.
Visit Cheri’s blog to read the full article.
Did you find yourself in one of those four personality types? Can you see how the holidays might trigger the uglies in you? Did you also see how understanding what makes you tick can help keep your tinsel from being tangled?
Cheri Gregory is a teacher, speaker, author, and Certified Personality Trainer. She is a frequent presenter at women’s retreats, parent groups, and educational conferences. She has contributed to or coauthored a dozen books, most with Kathi Lipp, including The Cure for the “Perfect” Life: 12 Ways to Stop Trying Harder and Start Living Braver and Clutter Free.
Cheri has been “wife of my youth” to Daniel, her opposite personality, for twenty-seven years. She is “Mom” to Annemarie (24) and Jonathon (22), who are also opposite personalities. The Gregory family lives on the central California coast.
Cheri’s passion is helping women break free from destructive expectations. She writes from the conviction that “how to” works best in partnership with “heart, too.” You can visit Cheri’s website and connect with her on Facebook.