It’s easy to focus on things you don’t love about yourself or all the things that don’t come easy. There are thousands of self-help books and products marketed to people honing in on these things. Some are fantastic and others not so much. Unfortunately, the marketing strategy could backfire as most of us already look at ourselves with criticism. With that said, I’ve decided it’s time to start paying more attention to our strengths and stop beating ourselves up with growing areas.
How To Follow Your Strengths
This isn’t a new idea. Businesses have turned to Gallup for their Clifton Strengths analysis for years to help build strong teams. They focus on the idea of employees building on their strengths instead of trying to spend their effort on overcoming weaknesses. This makes great sense in a business setting. To make sure everyone can work and collaborate with one another you put teams together with different strengths.
Identify your personal strengths, be transparent with yourself about the things you enjoy doing. Jot down what you enjoy. As you find where these things converge, you can begin to build the life you want, both personally and at work. Yes, indeed.
Finding Your Strengths in Business
Think about your job. What parts of your day do you look forward to? What tasks come easy to you? While it’s unlikely you will find a job where you absolutely love every minute, it is possible you can move your career closer to that direction.
Equally important, spend time thinking about how you create a project. Collaborate with someone else on the team who would equally enjoy the project. Ultimately, the end result will be a win-win situation. Propose a strategy to leadership. Identify your strengths and the strengths of others and it could be best used to conquer any project.
In addition, if you are eyeing a promotion, make a list of the things you have accomplished. But don’t stop there. Also come up with a list of ways the new position fits in well with your strengths and will enable you to grow and better serve the company.
Lastly, you can easily get derailed spending a lot of time on things that aren’t your strength. For those that have a side gig, read on….
Here’s a great example! I have a friend who wanted to be a food blogger. She is a whiz in the kitchen and thinks up the most amazing recipes. Everyone looks forward to getting invited to her house for dinner. She started a website, and then realized she absolutely hates taking pictures of food. Food photography is a special skill, and she consistently felt frustrated. She couldn’t shoot the magazine-worthy pictures her favorite bloggers were producing. She realized she was spending HOURS every weekend shooting and cooking and shooting and RE-cooking to get it right.
Ultimately, she realized her side gig was taking over her life and not enjoying it. Immediately, she decided to call a photographer friend to ask if she had any experience with food photography. It turns out, she did. And thus a beautiful partnership was formed. My friend was able to concentrate on her strength. (developing recipes and cooking delicious foods) The photographer was able to concentrate on her strength (taking amazing photos). Who can relate?
Finding Your Strengths at Home
Whenever, follow a similar exercise for your personal life. You might be surprised and discover your workplace strengths are reflected in your personal life.
At times, give yourself permission as you identify the areas of your life that don’t fit your strengths. Maybe that’s bringing in a “repair” man to sustain house maintenance. Ha! Or maybe a house manager to keep you on track with all the details in your daily life. More important, maybe look for an interior designer who can bring your vision to life.
Nonetheless, use that energy for things you enjoy and are a strength. Stop spending your time struggling with things that aren’t your strength.
Finding Strengths in Your Relationships
Nevertheless, it’s important to identify how your strengths intertwine together. As you build a relationship with someone it’s unlikely you will be exactly the same.
The foundation of every strong relationship is communication. Talk about what you enjoy and discuss the WHY. More important, talk about where it makes sense for you to compromise. This is so very valuable.
Following, maybe you love to go to parties and dinners and spend several nights out each week. However, your significant other doesn’t want to attend every dinner. Discuss which events are not super important to you vs the events you would like them to attend with you. For example, your holiday party at work, your siblings birthday part, etc. Despite, the differences it’s crucial to set expectations with each other and build a schedule that makes both of you happy. Do you agree?
I’d love to hear about you: What are your strengths? And what things would you be better served to get help with to free up time for you to do other things?