Lately, I’ve been thinking about how we perceive our own abilities and accomplishments, and I wanted to share something that has struck me;
A LOT of people don’t know what they’re good at.
Over the past several months, I have encountered time and again intellectually brilliant, action oriented, high achieving women, who tell me they don’t know what they’re truly good at.
I was left kind of speechless by each of these encounters, because we are so used to assuming that those who have brilliant skillsets must know their strengths and weaknesses; it made me realise that this is something that we need to talk about.
Do you know what your strengths are? Are you clear on what your mission is on this earth? Are you able to articulate all your best cognitive, emotional and affective assets? Are you adaptable and agile as a result?
Yes or No?
Whatever your answer, I think we need to dig a little deeper and ask ‘Why is it important to know your strengths?’
Your strengths lead you towards your passion; knowing them allows you to be adaptable enough to move consistently forward. Being able to articulate them, allows other people to help you accelerate.
5 quick reasons why it can be hard to identify and articulate strengths
1. No one requires it, apart from at a job interview
2. Our culture doesn’t encourage strengths focussed thinking. Talking about your strengths is culturally perceived as arrogant (not true).
3. We are all obsessed with continuous improvement, which means focussing on our weakness and in the words of Tony Robbins “where focus goes, energy flows”
4. It requires consistent time and attention. Over the years, you have probably paid less attention to YOU, and the things you were good at in university have evolved, your life experiences are enhanced, and so the audit of your strengths has lagged behind.
5. You haven’t asked yourself or those around you.
Which brings me to the million-dollar question…
How do you figure out what your strengths are?
The Right Mindset
I am a big fan of Jim Rohn, and the first lesson I learnt from him was “You have to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” Let’s start there; I highly recommend ‘Strengthsfinder 2.0’ to get you started on the journey to discovering your strengths.
The Right Questions
Ask others – One of my students told me she had asked all her loved ones to tell her three words that sum her up as a person. The consistent answers led her towards her strengths.
Ask yourself – what do I enjoy that others don’t? What sparks joy in me whatever the weather? If I could only do one thing for the rest of my life what would it be? What do people usually congratulate me for? Etc…
The Right Amount of Committed Time
If you spend ten undistracted minutes every day with a blank sheet of paper, committed to answering this question (or any other question), you’d have the answers pretty quick. So why not give it a go?
I honestly believe that if we keep asking ourselves the right questions, committing ourselves, and maintaining a strengths-based mindset, we have nowhere to go but towards success and self-enlightenment.
I’d love your thoughts on this, where on the strengths journey are you?
All strength to you,