I bet you can pinpoint lots of things that you don't like about yourself.... I know I can. And if you are like me, you’ve probably had feedback from others on “areas for improvement,” which frankly, just feels as if we are being criticised, doesn’t it? However constructively it may be intended or delivered! And so, when this happens to us, what do we do? Well, we work on our weaknesses, trying to improve them, rather than focussing on our strengths.
Sometimes people liken Strengths and Weaknesses to Opportunities and Threats. SWOT. There is a weakness of focusing on weaknesses, and so by default then, a strength in focussing on our strengths.
So, what if we if we changed that? What would happen if we paid attention to our strengths by asking ourselves some pertinent questions?
What am I good at?
What do I like about myself?
What do I find easy to do?
What do I enjoy doing?
Which part of my job can I do better than others?
What do I get complimented on most?
What achievements in my life am I proud of?
What gives me energy?
(Or of course you could simply take a test to discover your strengths. Or ask others what they think your strengths are. You may be surprised.)
And if we did focus on our strengths, instead of trying to be better in our weaker areas, not focussing on the things that are perhaps our slight negatives, then we could spend time compensating for these by using things we are already good at. Enhancing and using our strengths.
But, as a society, we do seem to have an obsession with weaknesses. We see it everywhere, and if you have kids, you may find yourself complaining about what they are not good at, rather than what they are good at.
Studies have shown that people who focus on their strengths are six times more likely to enjoy their jobs and three times more likely say they have an excellent quality of life. So rather than trying to change who you are, or working on your problems, it is better to focus on what you want instead of the problem you face. Focus on the solution. And you can do this by using your abilities or strengths.
Polls have shown that when we put most of our energy into developing our natural talents, huge personal growth is possible. Not just at work but in our everyday lives too. People get paid a lot of money for what they are really good at - their strengths!
You do have an abundance of strengths and abilities. We all do! So why not identify and build on yours. Choose and use your top 5. See what a difference it makes.