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12 Things I Know So Well About Engineers

12 Things I Know So Well About Engineers

My whole life, I’ve loved engineers.

My dad, my brother, my boyfriend, my ex, many of my friends, and more than half of my coaching clients: all engineers.

You are a fascinating and lovable bunch.

Through the abundance of engineers in my life, I’ve come to understand you and appreciate you in a special way as a group. Here are 12 things I’ve found to be refreshingly true about you:

1. You diligently consider all angles before making up your mind.

You take great pains in being as objective as possible. You may even host debates in your head. My boyfriend does this. He constructs arguments with different imaginary figures in his mind, arguing each viewpoint fairly until a sound, objective conclusion is reached.

2. You are whimsical.

You are fun. You see things in an ironic, fun, and funny way. You enjoy xkcd.com and the like. My college days (surrounded by engineers, for sure) were sprinkled with ninjas vs. pirates vs. zombies debates.

This is the “logical” whimsy that is so endearing and playful. Your particular kind of creativity isn’t found in other people in the same fun way. It’s a delight!

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3. You methodically think through all the ways something could go wrong.

This may seem like a drag, but it’s actually really helpful.

This means you’ve always got (or are at least actively formulating) a back-up plan. You’re practical. Risk-averse, perhaps, but thorough. This helps you make quality decisions because you have thought before implementing, saving yourself a pile (or several piles) of unnecessary life clean-up. :)

4. You are thoughtful and empathetic.

Your thoughtfulness doesn’t only get channelled to math and science.

You are also especially thoughtful when it comes to your relationships with people who are important to you, and even people you’ve just met. You are hyper-aware of several viable (and non-viable, but interesting) possibilities that might be occurring in other people’s experiences.

Because of your constant and diligent thoughtfulness, you’re more empathetic than you might give yourself credit for.

5. You are genuinely curious.

Because you understand and appreciate the world (and the universe!) in its infinite complexity, you are curious about how things work, fit together, can be improved upon.

This childlike fascination carries into adulthood and is what makes you so wonderful at your career and such a delight to have a conversation with.

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6. You are naturally playful in relationships.

When you get to know and love people in your life, you find new ways to relate to them. New playful catchphrases, allusions and reinventions of past jokes, even funny physical movements or expressions.

Because your mind is so creative and thoughtful, playful memes always feel fresh and personal.

7. You appreciate the beauty of systems.

You have long pondered the beauty of systems: nature, cities, technological inventions, any kind of infrastructure, really.

You love structure, and you love the mathematical intricacy with which things work together. To you, the way you see these things is just a matter of fact. To others, your level of appreciation for systematic beauty is awe-inspiring.

8. You find linear, logical paths to be relaxing.

You prefer the most direct path to your desired destination. When you have too many choices and emotions involved, this can be very confusing.

That said, when you feel capable and confident and are in your healthy frame of mind, it is immensely satisfying to determine the most logical, linear path to get where you want to go and then set about taking that path. It relaxes you to do this.

9. You value play.

One of the core tenets of genuine confidence, and a centerpiece of my own coaching method, is the foundational exercise of defining your deepest values.

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Most of my clients are engineers and–get this–most of these engineers list PLAY or FUN as one of their top five values.

I told my friend this, and she was surprised. That just wasn’t part of her concept of engineers, but I told her how true and delightful it is. Perhaps that’s because usually your playfulness comes out more within close relationships.

Also, a lot of your playfulness is internal. The way you think about things and interpret the world is playfully curious, and that might not always be expressed.

That said, it’s often really fun for engineers to find new ways that feel natural and fun for expressing their playfulness and relating to people on that lighthearted level.

10. You are relentlessly self-aware.

Because your mind works in such a wonderfully structured and thorough way, you are constantly self-assessing.

You are your greatest puzzle: your own mind, your own behaviors.

When you’re feeling confident and capable, this is really fun! You enjoy the process of analyzing yourself and watching the progress flow once you actually know what to do. That’s the key: knowing what the hell to do! Once you have that, you’re off to the races.

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11. You entertain multiple working philosophical and sociological theories.

Because of your curiosity, thoroughness, and patience, you entertain many working theories on various structures in life: from the sociological (how should we be dealing with X?) to the cosmological (where do black holes lead?).

You may go back and refine any one of your working theories for years, like an artist returning to his sculpture, scraping away what doesn’t belong and perfecting what does.

12. You are quite romantic.

In fact, you are arguably the ideal romantic partner.

You know why? Because you are so earnest, and you want to CHOOSE your partner.

You have ideals for a relationship, the way you want it to feel and operate, and you know you won’t be happy with anything else. Therefore, badass that you are, you go about learning the skills you need to naturally attract and keep the kind of partner you want in your life.

Because you generally prefer depth to breadth, you are extraordinary at focusing in on a relationship and making it hum.

In my experience–in my personal love life and in my dating/attraction coaching–engineers make the best life partners.

Your attention to detail, your care and thoughtfulness, your courageous and relentless focus–they all work together to make you AWESOME.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

That’s where we all should be.

So, answer me this:

How are you, really?

And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

It’s taking control.

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2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

Change will happen.

Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

“Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

“If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

What would you do if you felt you were enough?

By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

Final Thoughts

By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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