Do you know your own strength?
All too often we highlight our weaknesses and downplay our strengths.
Here are some thoughts to consider.
Are you aware of how strong you are?
It is going to be hard getting comfortable with your strengths, if you are not aware of what they are. Or worse, if you don’t think you have any (which of course isn’t true, everyone has strengths in some form).
So what are your strengths?
When you are thinking about this, you might have a view different reactions. If your self esteem needs some polishing, you may struggle to get your list of strengths rolling. Most likely, your mind will automatically flick to your weaknesses and then start pondering your strengths.
One other option is your ego could kick in. This exercise is not about boasting, bragging or trying to feel better than someone else. It’s not about falsely propping yourself up. You need to leave your ego at the door for a moment.
This is about uncovering your core strengths, the ones that make you who you are.
What are you really kick-ass great at?
Think about all of the things you are great at.
Perhaps you are brilliant at your job. Drill down even further though, what parts of your job are you good at? Are you a great negotiator, do you dazzle at sales, is your forte customer service and giving the customer exactly what they want. Do you love helping people? Do you have a passion for inspiring people?
Think of your relationships – are you a great comforter, a good listener, a loyal and supportive friend, a wonderful mother or father, a loving and kind partner? The list is endless.
Use your strengths to your advantage
Once you know what your strengths are – use them. Having trouble making a decision, consider your strengths (not to mention your values). Knowing what you are good at and knowing what is important to you can help you make quicker, easier decisions.
Strength is also what keeps your vices and addictions at bay (or at least under control.)
An important point to remember, your strengths to build upon and take advantage of are the ones you enjoy, the ones that give you satisfaction and joy. You may be brilliant at something, yet find no joy in it.
Don’t take your strength for granted
All too often we take our strengths for granted. People who have been through a lot of adversity are particularly prone to this. They might even consider what they have been through as ‘normal’.
Acknowledge your strength. Give yourself credit for what you endured and learnt from.
Use your strengths to help others
Don’t keep your talents and strengths to yourself. Help people with them. Volunteer or join an organisation where you can make a difference.
It may simply be a matter of helping someone close to you – a friend, family member, work colleague or neighbor.
Your strength in turn could offer support and hope to people in need.
Take stock of what you have overcome
Strength can be defined in a number of ways. If you’re in a job interview and they ask you, ‘What are your strengths?’, they are no doubt asking you to tell them what you are good at in line with the work you do. It will certainly help your interview chances if you can clearly articulate what those professional strengths are.
Strength also comes in another variety. The courage to get back up, when you have been kicked good and hard. I think everyone at some point in their lives knows what this feels like. Heartbreak, divorce, death, grieving all take incredible amounts of strength to cope with.
It’s not until you go through something incredibly traumatic that you realize how strong you are. Granted, it probably doesn’t feel like it at the time. You are more likely to feel weak and helpless.
When despair strikes and you are right in the thick of you, you mostly feel like you could crawl into a hole and stay there. But you don’t. Strength and courage is what gets you out of that hole and sends you back out into the world.
Strength in this capacity should not be underestimated. People have endured some horrific things and amazingly come out the other end.
Continue to grow stronger
Just because you know what you are good at, doesn’t mean you should ever stop learning, stop growing.
Instead take your strengths and use them to take chances, go on an adventure, be bold. Step out of your comfort zone and test yourself.
By doing this you will add to your strengths as well as broadening your life experience.
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