The Common Mistake About Strengths And How You Can Avoid It

Brand-StrengthFirstly I’d like to invite  you to do a quick exercise(I promise it will be 20 seconds only!).

Grab a pen and a piece of paper.

Write your name with your right hand first.  And then write your name with your left hand. If you are left handed, you can reverse the order (i.e writing with your left hand first and then right hand).

What did you notice? How long does it take it for you to write you name with the hand you never use for writing? How does it feel? You may think that, surely if you practice enough you will be writing perfectly with both hands.  Fair enough, with more practice you will be good at using the left hand (if you are right handed) but it might never come to you as natural as you feel when you use your right hand.

And that’s what signature strength is about. Your natural strength is NOT only about what you are good at, but about what comes natural to you, even if you don’t work hard at it.

Do you ever have the feeling that you are really good at something but absolutely hate it? We can all be good at something if we put enough hours into it. But the big question to ask is, whether doing what you are good at energises you, fulfils you, brings you joy and feeds your heart and soul.

The answer is not aways positive. And that’s probably one of the top reasons why it is so difficult to leave a job we don’t like. The more you do it (even if you don’t enjoy it), the better you get at it,  the more your employer pays you to do it, the more difficult it is to leave it behind.

If you fully tap into your natural strengths in your work, you will feel much more at ease with yourself and become happier, more successful and more fulfilled in your career. If there is something you have natural talents in and don’t even have to work hard to get good at it (and you actually notice other people may have to work hard at it!), then you know that’s what you should focus on when considering your next career move or starting your business.

So, how should you identify your natural strengths? Here are the three things you can do today.

1. Ask your close friends what they see as the top three strengths in you.  It is sometimes not easy to discover your natural strengths by yourself because they come so natural to you that you might not even realise you are good at it.  Ask the friends or colleagues you trust to tell you what they see the top 3 strengths in you. Go and reach out to your friends today.  Trust me, you will find some really valuable and insightful (and surprising) answers there.

2.List 3 things that you like to do in your free time, or even pay money to do. How you spend your leisure time says a lot about who you are.  You may enjoy reading and writing on a weekend, or you may enjoy organising parties with friends (not everyone is keen to organise a big party!).  Pay attention to these things that you love doing or that your family and friends can’t get enough of (e.g think about do you have a special role at every Christmas family gathering?).

3. Ask yourself what energises and excites you. Have you ever had the feeling that after finishing a task (that you are good at and everyone thinks you are good at), you feel drained rather than energised? It may be a sign that you’ve practised a lot to get good at it but it may not come natural to you.   If you are using your natural strength, the energy and excitement will fill your mind and body. You can’t wait to do more of it and you look forward to using it in multiple ways.

Now over to you.  What tips and actions do you have when it comes to realising your natural strengths?  What actions do you plan to take or have your already taken to make the most use of your natural strengths?  I would love to hear from your in the comments below.

P.S If you are interested in taking a more systemic approach on finding your strength, check out this book: Strength Finder 2.0 by Tom Reth. The book also contains an online strength-finding assessment that helps you discover your signature themes.

Enjoy the journey of learning about yourself and your inner brilliance.



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