Denying Your Strengths is NOT a Strength!
For some of us, our strengths and talents seem hidden from our own view. Is that surprising to hear?
Why are so many of us blind to what is so innately natural for us? Well, that’s part of the issue – it comes so naturally that we don’t value it. Or we think that anyone can do it.
I’ve also found that our natural talents and strengths weren’t always embraced and supported when we were growing up. We may have been criticized and told to ‘fit in’ or ‘stop dreaming’ or ‘tow the line’ or ‘mind your manners’ or any number of other guidelines in order to fit into some sort of role (or rule) that was important to our caregivers.
This resulted in our talents and strengths getting buried and hidden. In fact, they might have been hidden for so long that we forgot about or can't remember where we hid them!!
When I was little, I talked way too much. I was constantly told to be quiet and not talk so much. This resulted in a belief that people didn’t want to hear what I had to say and so I remained quiet and silent even when I thought I had some brilliant ideas!
And yet when I finally began to speak my ‘Truth’ and become a minister and delivered a weekly sermon, I was in my element! I was complimented and asked to speak at other venues. People constantly told me what a great speaker I was. It took me a good 6 years to even begin to receive this praise and claim this as a talent. For six years I thought people were just being polite.
So, understanding your strengths is valuable and important to know, especially if you want to discover your purpose, find meaning in life, and live in alignment with who you came here to be.
One fun way to help you determine your strengths is to take some online personality tests or skills assessments.
These assessments outline your strengths and weaknesses in areas that you may not have realized before. A personality test like Myers-Briggs is a great way to understand yourself more in life and business. I also love Human Design, which has really helped me uncover my energy style and areas where I naturally shine. In fact, I have my own assessment called "What's Your True Purpose" Quiz and you can click the link or the pink button above to take it. My quiz is based on the DiSC Assessment tool.
However, don’t allow one of these tests to overtake you. It’s okay to disagree with the results, take the tests honestly, and be open about the results. It’s all about learning.
Another clue to your talents and strengths is to pay attention to what you do that often results in compliments from others. Maybe you bake a cake every year that they can’t wait to eat or ask you to help them write their thesis statement. Maybe you’re a fabulous storyteller, have perfect timing when you tell a joke, or are an organizing guru. Take notice of these compliments. You may be surprised by the strengths that you possess, according to your friends and family.
What about regularly taking time to analyze and list your achievements? If you have a tendency to distract yourself from activities that just take up time and don’t result in much value (negativity, social media, playing games on your phone or iPad, for example), it's a challenge to discover the strengths within yourself. Unless, of course, you consider playing games, being distracted, zoning out, and coming up with excuses to be strengths!
By the way, meditation is a great way to clear your mind before you get started looking at what you’ve accomplished so far.
It’s easy to see that discovering your strengths doesn’t have to be overwhelming or challenging. In fact, it is likely something that you are already doing every day at work or with a friend. Now that you know your strengths, take the time to perfect them, and use them to develop a life you want to live.
Say yes to yourself by embracing your strengths
Janet is a transformational coach who helps women move beyond the negative voices in their head so they can unleash their purpose, unmask their self-confidence, and uncover possibilities that they have been blind to. Bottom line: she helps them to stop settling, start soaring, and experience the magic of their dreams again. In other words, they live an aligned life.