Grief puts this veil over your face. When you're bogged down emotionally, it can feel like a chore to make it through the day, much less connect emotionally with others (or yourself). Once you address the emotional weight, little by little, you see potential where you saw heartbreak. You feel connection where you once felt disconnected. And you recognize the only limits placed on yourself, or others are those imposed by the mind.
*This episode is connected to last week's episode, which is titled Ep. 150, What It's Like Working With Me*
In today's episode, you will learn:
* How YouMap was the missing piece in finding the language for who I am and what I offer, but more importantly, in my work with clients and understanding them better.
* How YouMap can help you find your purpose in life.
* Grief Recovery and Youmap are a beautiful marriage of transformation.
Did you know that only 1 in 33 million people will have the exact same five strengths as you? Yes, that is a fact.
In this episode, I discuss what the YouMap® is and how It helps individuals understand their unique strengths, values, interests, and personality traits and guides their career choices and life goals accordingly. By clarifying these aspects, individuals can make more informed decisions and find greater fulfillment in their personal and professional lives - thereby experiencing less (self-inflicted and unnecessary) grief.
If you are looking for YouMap® Coach to help you discover your unique gifts and skills and how you can show up to the world, I am here to help and guide you.
If you are struggling with grief due to any of the 40+ losses, free resources are available HERE.
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CONNECT WITH VICTORIA:
This episode is sponsored by Do Grief Differently™️, my twelve-week, one-on-one, in-person/online program for grievers who have suffered any type of loss to feel better. Click here to learn new tools, grief education, and the only evidence-based method for moving beyond the pain of grief.
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Victoria Volk: Hello. Hello. Thank you for tuning in to grieving voices. I am your host, Victoria. And today, I want to dig into a topic I think is not really talked about as it relates to grief. One thing that I've learned in the years since becoming an advanced grief recovery specialist and working with clients in those first couple of years, there was a piece missing for me. People would work through their deepest losses and it was kind of like this now what feeling? Even I felt it or had that sense. And so I was looking for something to that could be kind of this roadmap for people moving forward, like moving beyond.
Victoria Volk: Okay. I've addressed all this icky stuff and I've swept my doorstep so to speak. And now what? What do I want for my life now that I've addressed how this very important person has passed away from my life or the relationship came to an end, whether it was divorced or estrangement or whatever it may be, there's this once we repair this gap and this hole that we have felt. What do we fill it with? We can fill it with purpose. With meaning, things like that. That's what I was looking for as a missing piece for my clients that I was working with.
Victoria Volk: So when I came across Youmap, it was the answer to that very question for me. I went through it for myself and it was very life-affirming that I'm doing exactly what I am to be doing in my work with grieving clients in energy healing. I'm utilizing my strengths and really honoring my values of personal growth. And bringing that to other people's lives to make lasting transformational change. And that's really what the Youmap helps us do. It becomes our lighthouse. Any opportunity that comes our way, we can put it up against our Youmap and say is this align with my values? Is this going to get me into the shore? Is that going to guide me where I'm ultimately wanting to take my life? Based on my values, based on my strengths, based on what I really want to be doing based on how I'm wired, just who I am as a person and as a human being with all of those things combined.
Victoria Volk: And so much misunderstanding happens among relationships, especially and it can be, I was gonna say, especially family and friends, but I was going to say even in your work relationships like people that you don't necessarily wouldn't call up at three o'clock in the morning, but you see them every day. Just having this background knowledge and information of how different we truly are. And but yet how grief is the commonality for us all? Like grief is it knows discrimination. It doesn't matter what your skills, values, and strengths and all of that are. It doesn't care. Grief doesn't care. But when you understand these things about yourself, it can really help pull you out of a deep hole that you feel that you've been in. After we address the root of the issues of your emotional dis-ease through grief recovery.
Victoria Volk: And so this is why these two combined brief recovery and Youmap are such a beautiful marriage of transformation for my clients and why I believe that they needed to be together. And so I put them together in my program Do grief differently, which is twelve weeks long. And it flies people. Like that twelve weeks, it goes so fast. But it really has shifted how my clients move through grief recovery as well because they're making these connections for themselves and through my assistance of course, making these different connections to how these misunderstandings are happening, why they're happening, and how to move forward with them. Right? Because as long as we have people in our lives, we're going to have grief. And that's just a fact.
Victoria Volk: So today, I just want to dive deeper into two of the four pillars of the u map, four pillars are strengths, which is I mentioned last week in the episode briefly, but just for a recap, Strength is pillar one and that's it's what we prioritize. It's how we work. So the there's different kind of buckets that the strengths fall into, and we use the Clifton Strengths guide for this, that assessment as part of the Youmap assessment. So it's not secret knowledge or anything like that, but it's the Clifton Strengths, the values, the skills, and the personality type that all combined make the Youmap.
Victoria Volk: So yes, knowing your strengths is great information to have, but by itself, it's not giving you the whole picture. And what's really mind-blowing about the Clifton Strengths is that only one in thirty-three million people will have the exact same five strengths as you. Isn't that crazy? That is absolutely bananas to me.
Victoria Volk: So it really just speaks to how unique all of us really are. And how we bring different things to the table in our relationships in our jobs or careers, in our philanthropy work or in our volunteering work, And again, in our relationships. And so it's important to understand ourselves in this way because as you can see if you haven't figured it out already, it can cause a lot of grief, not knowing who you are, what do I want? We often ask ourselves for so many years, what do I wanna be when I grow up? Sometimes even in our thirties, we're still asking ourselves that, or it feels stuck in our career because we followed a life path that someone else paved for us. Maybe both of our parents were doctors or had construction business or something. And so we felt like we had to follow on their footsteps or keep the family business going it can be the same for farming operations. Maybe you don't wanna farm, maybe you don't wanna come back and take over the farm as an adult.
Victoria Volk: And so there's a lot of grief that can come about as I'm sharing with you today in not understanding ourselves or sacrificing who we are in order to please other people. And where does this all happen? Why does that happen? Maybe somebody's bringing their own values. They're pushing their values onto you. They're projecting what is important to them. It's important to me, so it should be important to you. Right? Or this is how I do things, so this is how I want you to do things. And yet, we all do things differently because we're different because we bring different strengths. Because we have different values, because our skill sets are different, because our life experience has been different. And we're just uniquely ourselves that we are unique in our own right based on our personality, like, when we were born. Right? So there are so many influences that affect and have an impact on who we become and what we do with our lives.
Victoria Volk: And why we do them? What's motivating us? So this is why this stuff is so important. And again, if you can't tell now, maybe you've related to some of the things I've already said and you've experienced grief as a result, This is why I am encouraging you as a listener to take a look at understanding. Be open-minded to understanding that maybe you don't know yourself exactly as you think you do. Or you don't know how you don't have the language to communicate that. Right? And so often too, that's where misunderstandings happen is we don't have the language to communicate why we do the things we do, how we do the things we do, why we do it that way. Right? So what the Youmap also does and through grief recovery is you find the language to express to others why you do what you do. So for example, like, I'm one of my top five strengths is strategic. And but not only do I have strategic, but I also have input and intellectually. So input, intellectually, strategic, three thinking themes.
Victoria Volk: So I spend a lot of time analyzing the world in my head. So I'm not necessarily gonna be the person that's going to be openly communicating my thoughts or being upfront about what I think about something I'm going to read the room. I'm going to take in what everybody else is showing in their body language and what they're saying. I'm gonna read the room and assess and reflect on what I think about that before I communicate. And when I do communicate, I'm gonna communicate with connectedness and empathy. I'm going to that's how I relate to people in relationship. That's how I create relationship building is through empathy and connectedness, helping other people see the connections. Right?
Finding helping other people see the purpose.
Victoria Volk: So often, I have felt grief or experienced grief in careers and different jobs or in with other relationships with people because I didn't understand why I was doing something. I need to know, tell me why I am doing this. If it doesn't make sense to me or if I don't see a point or a purpose with that connectedness again. If I don't see a purpose to the madness, I'm going to not be a very happy employee or a happy friend or what have you. Right? So I need to and so it's helping me know that about myself so that I can communicate that because I know that not everybody has three thinking themes like I do. Right? And so, again, this is why this stuff matters.
Victoria Volk: So today, again, we're gonna talk about strengths a little bit more and then values. Values explain our why. It's based on what's most important to us. It's why we work. Again, tell me why I'm doing this. Right? So if I value personal growth like I do, I'm going to want clients who also value personal growth. That is going to be aligning with my values. And often some values are reciprocal. Right? So honesty is almost always reciprocal. If I'm if I value honesty, which I do, I expect honesty in return. Sometimes that doesn't feel good. Right? But I would rather there was a quote once I heard. I would rather take an ounce of truth over a pound of lies any day. And that's absolutely true. Tell me the truth, chances are with my empathy. I can kind of pick up on BS anyway. But again, it comes back to reading the room. Right? But or the body language or the tone of voice or what have you, those social cues that because of how I grew up in an environment that it was really and you can go back to the last episode where I talk about this a little bit, but when you grow up in an environment that's kind of chaotic or emotionally charged like you really learn especially if you have empathy as a strength or you're empathic because not all people have both. Like, you're not you can be empathic but not have empathy as your top. Strength.
Victoria Volk: So I just want to make that clear. But as an empath or highly sensitive child, this is it's no surprise to me that I developed empathy as my strength because I see I grew up seeing many different emotional responses from people in different scenarios and situations and learn through my own, right, that became not healthy responses to life because that's what I was around, that's what I learned, and so that's how I responded to life. In life's challenges sometimes in an unhealthy way. Emotionally. Right? So Anyway, I'm kind of all over the place I feel like, but I get really excited about this because, again, it comes down to knowing yourself? And what grief does is that I've said this so many times to clients and this podcast, and I'll say it again. Grief puts this veil over your face and you really have a difficult time seeing yourself clearly. And because you have this veil over your face that this mask that you're wearing your whole self isn't shining through. Right? Because you're burdened by grief. So you're not seeing yourself clearly. You're not living your life fully. So, therefore, you're not seeing other people clearly either. You're not seeing what they're bringing to the table. You're not understanding that they're trying to support you maybe or what have you. Again, it comes down to misunderstandings, which are oftentimes at the root of a lot of grief too in relationships is just misunderstanding. Again, because we all do things differently. And view life differently and have had different life experiences that shape our personality and shape our skill set.
Victoria Volk: So there are again four buckets of strengths. The relationship-building strengths which explain how people build connection with others. There are influencing strengths which explain how an individual moves. Others to action. And there's executing, which is what pushes an individual towards results. And then the last bucket is thinking. And it explains how a person analyzes the world.
Victoria Volk: And so let's say you're married to somebody who has more executing strengths than you do. Let's say you have none. I don't have any. I have zero. I have zero executing strengths. But let's say that person has discipline as an executing strength. And you have harmony okay? So as a relationship-building strength. But the person executing doesn't have harmony. Someone who is has executing as their strength. They are going to be diligent about time frames and deadlines, take a vacation with someone with discipline. It might be great for some people. Like, yep, handle it all, take care of it all. I don't want anything to do with all of that. But then at the same time, let's say you have adaptability. For example, adaptability might show up like when things don't go right, For this person with discipline, things don't go as scheduled. They might be struggling a little bit. But here, when with you and adaptability, you can come in and swoop in and kind of put out the fire a little bit. So this is how in marriage, in particular, it's really great to know each other's strengths because you can understand why certain conflicts happen the way they do. And for someone like me, I have a lot of thinking themes. I'm not going to necessarily be the let's sit down and communicate. Like, my every thought right now and share every thought. That's not me. That is not how I operate in the world. But someone who has more relationship-building strengths, let's say my spouse had more relationship-building strengths, he was he'd probably be more keen to share every thought he has upfront.
Victoria Volk: It's also important I think I just wanna mention. It's great to know all of your strengths because it's great to know your bottom strengths because we can also look at the and there's you can think of these as weaknesses, but when we talk about Youmap, we don't discuss them as weaknesses. These are just strengths that just are not ours. Right? But when we're building a team, let's say you have a business and you're building a team, you probably want people on your team who have some of those other strengths that are not yours. This is where it's also important to know about Youmap. And implementing Youmap, especially if you have a business or, you know, a large company, a lot of conflict can be resolute. I don't know if that's a word resolute. But you can really eliminate a lot of those issues if you are placing people, first of all, in their strengths and skill sets in in the right role, first of all, if they're feeling like they're in the right role for them in within a company, they'll be happier employees. And that's good for everybody. Right? That is good for everybody. So if you can match your future spouse, exactly who you are, what you're looking for in someone else, you can become a really great team for the long term, for the long haul because and I'm not saying that if you don't match with some maybe I should do matchmaking with Youmap. It was an idea. Anyway, it's just so important, and I think you may have gotten the point by now.
Victoria Volk: But relationship building and influencing together these are what we call people-facing strengths. And the executing and thinking themes are the inward-facing strengths. They're the task-oriented people. And so a lot of executives, you'll see a lot of executives or CEO's probably have either executing or thinking themes. They're more of the top the person that comes up with the ideas and it's the purse the people below that implement them. Or see them through to through to fruition. And, again, your strengths, your skills play into that as well. And your personality. So again, it it it it all ties together. All there's this constant through line in the Youmap. And when people are telling me different stories that, you know, they've experienced as a grief client, Actually, I'll just say this real quick. So someone, a client of mine, valued honesty. And so we'll get into values right now because I'm gonna share the story. But again, values are why we work, like, why we do the things we do. But she valued honesty and yet she didn't have honesty on her list of values. But I heard enough stories and enough, she shared enough with me through working with me in the grief work that I'm like, well, there's honesty again. Like, you value honesty, but yet you don't have it listed as one of your values. And that was a big aha for her. And the thing about honesty is, again, it's reciprocal most of the time. If we value honesty, we want to receive that back. And so we can dishonor our own values. And this is exactly what she was doing. She was dishonoring her own value of honesty. And a part of it too is not being honest with herself, so you can dishonor your own values, yourself, if you value personal growth and you're not doing anything to grow as an individual, you're not learning and taking in information to become better than you were yesterday, you're dishonoring your value of personal growth. That was a lot. Well, that was a lot of information within twenty-five minutes. And I feel like I barely scratched the surface. I hope you can see now how important this really is.
Victoria Volk: Let me just share a little bit more deeply about each of the some of the examples from each of the different buckets of strengths. So again, relationship-building strengths explain how people build connections with others. So people with this theme or mostly have strengths in this theme, build connections with people one on one, but those connections are made very differently depending on which strength you have. So the relationship currency that you have with people is largely based on your theme. But if you don't have relationship-building themes, you can compensate with some of the other strengths. So some examples of how some of these relationship-building strengths can play out is Like I mentioned, empathy. Empathy understands where they get people. Harmony, they're the peacemaker. They find common ground. So if you got a bickering table of, you know, employees, you're and you have harmony, that's a wonderful strength to have on your team because you can that person can help the team find common ground.
Victoria Volk: Individualization. I love this one. This is great for like coaches to have, but they appreciate the differences in people and they recognize individual strengths. Relator, they're real and genuine makes connections easily with anyone. This is like the friend of the friend, like, there's they know a they know no stranger anywhere. Like, there this is where a lot you might see a lot of people, especially because again, this is a people-facing strength. So you'll see these are the people that exude warmth and inviting energy, I would say. So connectedness, they help others see purpose and believe that we are all connected, which I do. I have connectedness, and I totally believe that. Another influence or excuse me, another people facing strength is the influencing strengths. And these explain how an individual moves others to action. So some business people, business owners, might be just appointed like I was at first that I had no influencing strengths. I have none. There's one in particular Woo, which means winning others over. And people with Woo, it's almost like they can sell ice to an escomo. It's yeah. So a lot of business owners can feel discouraged when they don't have some of these influencing strengths.
Victoria Volk: But people with influencing strengths persuade or move people to action differently, based on the strengths that they have. They tend to work through people to accomplish goals like unlike relationship-building themes who form deeper connections. So again, you know, the relationship building, they want deeper connections. People with influencing strengths often prefer working with a variety of people. They tend to prefer a broader network versus fewer deeper connections like the relationship-building themes. And people with a lot of influence and strengths may tire of working with the same team of people day to day. So if you have a lot of these themes in your top five, maybe this is you, maybe you are kind of burned out from working with the same people. I do have maximizer in my top 10. But people who lack and I I think this is important to note. People who lack influencing strengths tend to be uncomfortable influencing or persuading others such as sales or fighting to have their voice heard, raising my hand or influencing people without any authority.
Victoria Volk: So for example, project managers are accountable for the results of people that don't report to them. If project team members are missing deadlines, Someone without influencing themes likely not would likely not enjoying, enjoy motivating others to complete their deliverables. Right? And so when you see this translating onto a team of people at a company, that doesn't bode well. And so this is where it is. Again, I come back to under standing yourself and understanding the importance of understanding others because as a manager or as a CEO of a company, it's so important to have people in the right roles and this is why. This is a huge reason why because it does affect your bottom line. Right?
Victoria Volk: So the next bucket is executing strengths, the inward facing, the first of the inward facing. Or explains how an individual pushes towards results. And some examples of those are Achiever, arranger, belief is actually my sixth strength. I think, yeah, belief in maximizer are after my top five. Consistency, discipline, focus, responsibility. So responsibility is huge too because if you have responsibility, you are likely a someone who has takes that that takes responsibilities very seriously. Who probably, to their detriment can be a yes man, yes woman, yes a yes person and over commit themselves and then burnout. But people with executing strengths are the doers. Who like to get things done and put plans into action. Again, you're motivated differently based on the strengths but you tend to be internally motivated since executing strengths are an inward, task-focused strength. People with several executing strengths may prefer to work independently to accomplish a goal and may also struggle to delegate. Some and but not all executors are not interested in strategy and may focus more on implementation unless they also have the thinking themes.
Victoria Volk: So people with discipline, for example, like planning as well as fusion. And last but not least, my favorite, the strategic thinking strengths, explain how a person analyzes the world and views the world too. Some examples are analytical, context, futuristic, ideation, input, intellectually, learner and strategic. So people with these thinking themes prefer mental work, particularly if they have two or more thinking strengths. So I like the mental game. I like the mental work. People with thinking strengths are often quietly effective. Because their most influential work occurs in their head. And this is also called the executive bucket because as people move up the career ladder, they are paid to think more often than they are paid to do. And so that's where I said, you know, the CEOs and the executives are often have mostly thinking themes. And so this is just a really brief overview of the strengths and values and I didn't go too much into depth, into values. But values are also so important because of what I said earlier if you are dishonoring your own values, you're gonna experience grief. If you have people in your life close to you who you love and love you who are dishonoring your values, there's going to be grief. And values vary so widely. Therefore, it's important for a person to reflect on what's most important to him or her. For example, like, listening to the advice of others can be helpful, but you have to understand that when taking values-based advice, it's not necessarily advice that's right for you. So people, for example, with who value security, will steer a person away from bold or adventurous risks. Others who value wealth and status might encourage someone to pursue a career simply because of the salary potential. And this comes back to again, let's come back I'm circling back to, like, taking over the family farm or taking over the family business or, you know, choosing a career path because you're that's what your parents did and that's what your parents want you to do and things like that. So a person's work must align with their values. Not the values of others. And there's exercises so along with Youmap you get a workbook and there's exercises that really help you deepen this knowledge and apply it to your life and really look at and also too in the coaching with working with me, we actually go over each of these. In the Youmap and Do Grief Differently too and so into more depth.
Victoria Volk: And it's individualized because you're an individual and you're unique and your Youmap is unique. But to define the values, there's actually a whole list and you choose from this list because there can be a lot of values out there. But these values are kind of broken down to it takes it weeds out the similar similar ones. And so it's a really easy. It's not like you're pulling words out of the sky. And what you do is and because I have three thinking this was probably one of the hardest exercises for me because in my mind I have to, like, like, it's almost, like, pitch one to the other. Like, I have to do I value honesty more than I value growth. And you kinda have to weigh them out, like, especially if you have thinking themes. Like so this is kind of a difficult exercise for me to choose and weed out, but it's doable. And some people just look at the list and like, yep, this is Yep. Yep. Yep. Yep. This is what I value. But then through working with me, they miss some or realize that they didn't have a value on their list, or they feel like, you know what, that isn't necessarily true for me. I'm more so I value this aspect of myself more. So it's all part of self-discovery, and that's a lot of what Do Grief Differently is. It's a lot of self-discovery. That's what Youmap is, but it becomes once you've gone through the assessments and we've talked about and applied it to your life and you have some connections made through real life examples of how your Youmap is playing out in your life. It's a lot easier to assimilate the information because it is a lot to take in even just for this episode I think I feel like it's a ton of information at once, but and this is just too. This is just strengths and values. I haven't even talked about skills yet or personality type. So that's gonna come up in the next episode.
Victoria Volk: But in the meantime, think about what you bring to the table. Is it Do you feel like your life is aligned by your values? Do you feel like you are living out your strengths? And you can also overuse your strengths too. That is that is a possibility. And like, with empathy, for example, If I overuse empathy, I can seem like I'm too invested in someone's life. Like, too invested in how they're feeling and how they're doing and almost take on this, save your role. And I know there's a lot of people that can do that when they come into relationships with other people that they feel like they can rescue them. And that's not your job. That's not my job. And so that took a lot for me. It took a lot of personal growth and reflection and in doing the work that I personally did on myself to realize that I can only save myself. And you can only save yourself. It is your job, no one else's.
Victoria Volk: And so I hope this information sparked some self-reflection in you and made you realize, there's a lot to know here. And if you're interested in learning more, just check out my website there's a Youmap tab on there. You can check up more information about Youmap and see my Youmap on there as well. Or if you're interested in combining it in grief work. There's Do Grief Differently, and there's information on that on my website as well. But it's when I'm working with clients, it's so much inform it's educational. It's not just let's you know, dig up all the dirty laundry and talk about how I failed at life or what I'm doing wrong. It's none of that. It is none of that. It's or how this person hurt me. We don't get wrapped up in the story because when you're working with me, it's action-focused, it's action-based, evidence-based, educational based. We lay a foundation and you learn so so much about yourself. More than I think most of my clients bargain for in the best of ways.
So, anyway, I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day wherever you are. I hope the sun is shining. And remember, when you unleash your heart, you unleash your life. Much love.