- I’m not the quickest when it comes to math beyond calculating the tip on a restaurant bill.
- I have zero talent when it comes to DIY home improvement projects.
- I’m on the lazy side when it comes to physical labor of pretty much any kind.
- And I’m definitely not the one you want in charge of entertainment (food, yes; entertainment, no).
But here’s what I’ve decided: I’m not wasting time and energy focusing on my weaknesses.
Because you know what?
I’m a rockstar when it comes to asking great questions and helping people figure out what they want. I read really fast. I’m super interested in my own growth and development. I’m self-motivated. One of my superpowers is detecting limiting beliefs. I’m really good at not putting up with friction in my life.
Those are just some of my strengths. I could go on.
Because I like thinking about my strengths. It feels good. And I happen to think that feeling good is a pretty great thing.
Am I describing you?
But here’s what I’ve noticed. Most women look like deer caught in headlights when asked about their strengths. Me? Strengths? What? as the color drains from their faces.
There’s often misguided humility: Oh, shucks, gosh, sure, I can speak to a room of a thousand people, but it’s really NO big deal. I don’t want to come off like I’m bragging…
Or, worse, they really don’t know what their strengths are…or even worse don’t think they have any.
Here’s a fact of life: You have strengths and you have weaknesses.
Sure, you could devote time and energy to “fixing” your weaknesses. You could improve. You could get better at being organized or more proficient at public speaking.
But to what end? What’s the true motivation?
Because a lot of women focus on their weaknesses as a sly way to beat themselves up.
Under the guise of self-improvement, all that attention you’re giving to weaknesses is about coming up short compared to some Ideal You In The Future—rather than seeing and appreciating who you already are.
You’re a role model.
Would you want to teach children to focus on their weaknesses while downplaying and dismissing their strengths? Would you want to teach them to always pay attention to what they’re not rather than revel in what they are?
I’m guessing your answer is no, but that’s what a lot of grown-ups are walking around doing.
What an awful way to live!
What an awful message to send the world: Hey, I need a lot of things fixed and improved. Nothing here worth singing any praises about. Just lots of faults and flaws and failings.
It’s an exhausting punch to the soul. It makes me sad even thinking about it.
But you know what makes me happy?
You living your strengths. You singing your own praises.
Because that’s not arrogance. Rather, it’s acknowledging and being appreciative of your unique talents and gifts.
Here’s what I know for sure: Your strengths are where it’s easy.
And the older I get, the more I want ease.
If you’re craving more ease in your life, here’s what I encourage:
- Forget about your weaknesses. Don’t give them the time of day or any of your attention and energy.
- Figure out what your strengths are. Identify them and then identify with them.
- Don’t be humble. Oh, I don’t really like to talk about my strengths… Why on earth not?!
- Live your strengths. Make intentional choices throughout the day that let your strengths come out and play.
It’s time to discover your strengths.
If your strengths are not on the tip of your tongue ready to be shared with the world, it’s time to discover yours.
Go to a cafe or curl up on the couch and explore these questions in writing.
Trust me, writing will access wisdom you don’t even know you have about your strengths. Give yourself the gift of time and make discovering your strengths a priority. You’re worth it.
- What are you known for? What do people come to you for?
- What are you really good at? What comes easy?
- When do you lose track of time and get lost in the flow?
- What do you love doing? What activities and pursuits energize you?
- If you were to ask three people who know you well, what would they say are your strengths?
Only after you’ve truly explored those questions in writing, move on to this next step.
Review & reflect.
Next, review your answers to the questions above and reflect for a few minutes.
Now think of yourself at your very best. What are your top 3 strengths?
Your strengths are where it’s easy. Starting today, how will you live your strengths?