“Young adults are looking for a sense of direction,” says life coach Annie Wukelic. “The Leading From Your Strengths profiles hook them in because they love learning about themselves and discovering their identity.”
After ten years as a registered nurse and stint as children’s ministry director at a large west coast church Annie turned to life coaching. The Leading From Your Strengths profile, taken during her coaching training, confirmed her interpersonal strengths. Annie scored a 10 as an Optimistic. To personalize the data, she converted her results to “I am …” statements like “I am outgoing,” “I am enthusiastic,” and “I am trusting,” a technique she had learned while working in ministry.
Once Annie had used her own profile data to create “I am …” statements, she realized the value of that exercise in helping others to discover or confirm their identity. Today she uses that powerful technique with her coaching clients.
Profiles Help 20-Somethings Discover Their Identity
Though a life coach for just a year, Annie has found her niche in the 20-something demographic, particularly young women. Most important to this age group, says Annie, is developing a sense of identity.
Such was the case with her first client, Kayla, who had graduated from college and was considering a career in social work – a more focused direction in her original vocational path. Annie invited Kayla to complete a Leading From Your Strengths profile, study the profile results, and then personalize the data in the form of “I am …” statements. One of Kayla’s statements, “I am a Shalom facilitator,” was a beautiful confirmation of her ability to be a peacemaker between family members and others in conflict. The process helped Kayla identify her uniqueness, strengthen her identity, and led to a breakthrough for her career direction. Today, Kayla is in graduate school, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in social work.
Profiles Help 20-Somethings Validate Their Identity
In other instances young adults have pursued a direction only to experience stress and conflict. Profile data reveals where that person may be adapting to their environment but not using their natural abilities.
Hannah, just in her mid-20s, held a key church staff position and loved ministry yet she was on the brink of burnout. “Hannah knew she was on a roller coaster and not in control, but she couldn’t figure out why,” says Annie.
Hannah’s profile results revealed the struggle: a significant disparity between her natural strengths and her adaptive strengths. She expended considerable energy to adapt to her particular role in her work environment. Hannah’s position did not use her strengths. As she studied her profile data and created a series of “I am …” statements, Hannah confirmed her call to ministry and her natural interpersonal skills. “The process validated Hannah’s natural, people-oriented abilities,” said Annie. “And she re-learned who she is in Christ.”
Hannah made a plan to leave her administrative role and then stepped into a short-term, overseas ministry position dealing directly with people. She is now using her strengths pursuing a new, fulfilling life according to her identified values.
Profiles Confirm “You Are God’s Masterpiece”
As Annie works with young clients, she notes a paradigm shift about four to six weeks into the process. It is at that point that the client has completed the profile and has begun to use the data to create “I am …” statements that confirm her identity. The proverbial light bulb goes off, says Annie, when a young person realizes her God-given uniqueness.
“The profile data reveals to these young ladies – or confirms for them – about who they are,” says Annie. “Then I simply remind them that the same truth appears in God’s Word: ‘You are God’s masterpiece. This is how God made you. He has created you anew in Christ Jesus, so you can do the good things He planned for you long ago.’” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
“The profiles are pivotal, helping them learn or re-learn who they are in Christ,” says Annie. “And that it’s a very good thing.”