Have you ever tinted frosting and used icing tips to decorate cupcakes? If so, you know that the tinted color never turns out the exact same color twice.
To get orange, I might use yellow and pink icing tint, and then with different amount of coloring the tint is darker or lighter, more yellowish or pinkish. But if I try to make another batch of orange, it will end up slightly different.
And then, I can choose different shape tips and decorate the cupcakes with techniques to make all sorts of designs. There is limitless variety to how the icing can be expressed!
Our CliftonStrengths themes are like the food color pastes that tint the frosting. The way our themes blend together in our real lives is like the icing tints blending together to make unique colors with varying intensity. Each of your strengths blend with the other so that it is expressed differently.
For example, Responsibility will be expressed differently with Empathy than it will with Command. Your themes blend with each other and are truly individualized! There is only a 1 in 268,000 chance of someone else having the same Top 5 as you, in any order.
Practical aspects of our lives are like icing tips. They create limitations and opportunities for how we express our themes, just like icing tips both limit and create opportunities for how icing is piped on a cupcake. Each tip in the photo above could be used in a variety of ways, but some tips work better for some things and less well for others.
Some of the practical things that differ in our lives include relationships, experiences, education, skills, places we live, and roles we fill. Sometimes we need to be humble about our limitations. But we also want to be confident and creative to use our strengths and try new things!
Thankfully, it is possible to put a different tip on a bag of frosting! We can make choices to learn new things, pursue growth, and make changes in our lives that help us express our themes in new ways. This might include continued education, moving, or getting involved with something new.
The way we express our themes is like applying the frosting to a cupcake. Once you have the icing in a bag with a tip, the designs you can create with it are limitless. And with learning and growth, we have even more possibilities and our skills increase.
Our themes don’t tell us what we do, rather they describe how we do it. You and I might both create a flower design with icing, but we will have different styles in how they do it with different colors and tip shapes. Our Strengths Themes blend together in unique ways and the possibilities for using them are limitless!
How do your themes interact with each other in unique ways, as you express them in your life? Please comment below, including any questions you might have!
What either limits or creates opportunity for you to use your themes? What choices or changes do you have control over?
Kathryn Featherstone is a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach and a board-certified Christian Life Coach. She’d like to encourage you in your journey! Write her a note or see her Coaching page.