find your strengths

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along.” . . .  You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

It seems more and more people are going to work in disguise.   That is they are going there and using their weaknesses or just suffering through the day and work isn’t fun.  It could be bad management/leadership but more often than not people are in jobs they shouldn’t be in.   Work shouldn’t be painful to do, it should be engaging and even fun.   Work should be “hard” but not “hard to do”.

The experts would say, use your strengths and so often we don’t get to use our strengths each day most of the time.   We get to use our strengths some of the time and when we are not using our strengths it is like someone just stole all your energy.   You tend to feel drained and incomplete when you don’t get to use your strengths.

Marcus Buckingham, probably the lead “strengths” guru, has found that using your strengths matter.   Now what do most people do then?  They focus on what they aren’t good at and beat themselves up over it or their manager says, “Here, you can improve on this”, and “this” is your set of weaknesses.  How do you feel working on your weaknesses?   You are probably not too energized about improving your weakness.

What if you could strengthen your strengths?   Wouldn’t that be energizing, to work on what you love to do, of course it would.   We don’t live in  a society where working on what you are good at is emphasized that much unless you are an athlete and then you are working with a coach to refine the goodness of your strengths.

So, what do you do?  How do you find the strengths that you already have?

1.  List what you are naturally good at.

2. Check to see if you are using those strengths/gifts/talents most of the time.

3. Examine where you could put your strengths to use.

4. Create a plan, a strengths based utilization plan.

5. Execute the plan and see what happens, measure the results, measure the effort, measure the joy.

What if you can’t figure out your strengths?  There are a couple of ways to do that.    Martin Seligman has a website which has a free strengths test on it and you can start looking there.   You can purchase a copy of Strengths 2.0 by Tom Rath and use the code inside the cover of the book to take the Gallup version of the Strengths test.

Take the first step and find out what you are really good at.   Then create a plan so that you can be the best you can be.  You will be happier in the long run when you are living a life that is congruent with your strengths.

“Always remember, there is more strength in you than you ever realized or even imagined. Certainly nothing can keep you down if you are determined to get on top of things and stay there.” Norman Vincent Peale

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