Ian's Story

Harnessing Time Orientation for Personal Growth

Picture of Lynda-Ross Vega Co-author of Unlock the Power of Your Perception and Your Talent AdvantageGary and I are excited to share a bit about our next book project! We’re compiling some incredible real-life stories from friends and clients who've felt the magic of Perceptual Style in their lives. We hope these stories will be sparks of motivation, inspiring others to embark on their own paths of personal growth and development.

Today, I’d like to share a glimpse into the life of Ian, a good friend and former client. His journey embodies resilience, introspection, and the pursuit of authenticity.

Texan by birth but a traveler at heart, Ian enjoyed a fulfilling and successful career and now, as an early retiree, enjoys exploring the world, whether it’s cruising the seas or exploring North America in an RV with his husband, taking time to bike and sample local cuisine.

Here's a snippet of Ian’s story in his own words:

“I was born and raised in North Texas, the unplanned second son of a middle-class family. Religion was a major part of our lives. While we were highly active in the Southern Baptist church during my early years, my parents became engulfed in the new “Charismatic” movement in the early 70’s. It overwhelmed our lives. I grew up being told I was a mistake, a sinful, demon-possessed abomination, and a less-than-capable person. Surprisingly and thankfully, the negative barrage of my upbringing triggered an overachiever mentality as a young man. With no family support for college, I entered the banking industry as a mailroom clerk with a determined attitude to prove my father wrong.

With a lot of hard work, ambition, and a bit of good luck, my career advancement came quickly. As a young supervisor, my company encouraged and supported management training - including both personal and team behavioral development. With a deeply embedded religious background, I was highly suspicious of any psychological explorations. But as a young rising star in the company, I cautiously participated for the sake of my ambitions.

My journey into my Perceptual Style was a combination of individual evaluation and feedback and group sessions with other young managers in training. I was intrigued by the clarity of my own behaviors and tendencies but more fascinated to realize how others experienced the world so differently than me. I remained skeptical through much of the experience but vividly remember my moment of enlightenment sitting near the back of a training room when Dr. Jordan began to describe people who share my new-found “Style”. He described us in very personal ways that exposed many of my unspoken, unshared, most core beliefs about myself and my perceptions of the world around me. I was shaken! Maybe this guy wasn’t the quack I had been taught to believe about psychologists.

Most of us grow up believing that we are “normal”… that other people see the world as we do. Some experience and maturity usually make us realize otherwise. As a young man, I struggled with both personal and professional relationships because I did not understand how I was often “wired” differently than other people and how to maneuver through those situations. I was sometimes viewed as “difficult” or “intense” and suffered from high stress and anxiety because I did not know how to address the challenges I was facing.

Gaining an understanding of my Perceptual Style and then exploring other styles for clarity in communication with those around me was literally life changing. Not only did my personal relationships benefit, but my career trajectory also improved. I developed some skills to identify my internal reactions to various situations and, almost as importantly, recognize how others may be experiencing a situation so that I can customize my actions within the environment around me.

Exploring my style exposed me to the fact that I have certain innate skills and talents that are not apparently common or easy for other people. For example, I can take highly complicated projects that most people view as overwhelming, and I can quite easily find ways to simplify and break down the process into manageable, measurable, and achievable tasks. I thought everyone could do this. Recognizing this unique skill, I directed my career toward roles that would showcase my talents. In addition, I learned some skills that others are naturally talented, but I struggled and tried to avoid roles that might require those specific skills.

I came of age in the ’80s when it was common to hear, “You can be anything you want to be!” Positive thinking was the rage, and great success was always achievable if you just put your mind to it. (It was the precursor to the “manifestation” craze today). In reality, there are some caveats and other factors that are not always explained. Learning my Perceptual Style taught me that I have some really strong, unique skills and that other people have their own unique abilities, and that those people will likely outshine me in some roles because of their Perceptual Style. I learned that I am not well suited for sales roles. I can perform well in presentations or training situations, but other people are more naturally inclined for sales. While this flew in the face of the “you can do anything” mentality, it helped me to avoid a lot of anxiety and steer away from assignments that were not in my natural wheelhouse.

My relationship with my father was always tense. At times we could be civil with each other and later find ourselves in shouting matches. It was never good. However, I do believe that exploring Perceptual Styles helped me to better understand his thinking and behaviors. While we never had a healthy relationship, I can better explain his actions and find some solace in understanding why he may have behaved as he did.

Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” I’ve loved that quote because it brings me a calm satisfaction about who I am. It also suggests respecting the diversity of everyone around me. We are all unique creatures, and we should dedicate more energy to understanding our exceptional qualities and perspectives. Who knows, it might just help us get along a little better.”

As we wrap up this glimpse into Ian’s world, we want to send a massive thank you to him and all our contributors. Their courage in sharing their experiences is what makes this project so special and the book so powerful.

Gary and I are aiming to release the book in the second quarter of 2025. Along the way, we’ll share a few more stories from our contributors, each showcasing the remarkable resilience, untapped potential, and endless opportunities within us all.

Please share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section below.

To find out more about the services we have available to help you find the success you want and deserve go to http://www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.

© Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd., All Rights Reserved

About Lynda-Ross Vega

Lynda-Ross Vega is a partner at Vega Behavioral Consulting, Ltd. She specializes in helping corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, and individuals with interpersonal communications, team dynamics, personal development, and navigating change. Lynda-Ross is co-creator of Perceptual Style Theory, a revolutionary behavioral psychology theory and assessment system that teaches people how to unleash their natural strengths and build the life and career they dream of. For free information on how to succeed in business and in life doing more of what you do best, visit https://thepowerofyourperception.com.

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