We each have strengths. There are personality strengths, physical strength, spiritual strength and so on.
I want to talk about the strengths, or talents, that help make us who we are. The skills, abilities and talents, that when we are operating within them, bring us enormous joy in our life, a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
The strengths we each have help us excel in certain tasks or activities, and are what make us unique in the world.
Lately I have had a number of conversations with friends and clients about strengths. Exploring the idea of using our innate skills and talents to achieve happiness in our career, and life.
What are strengths?
Your strengths, or talents, are the things you are naturally good at. But remember, your strengths are also the things you LOVE to do. It's the alignment of both:
the things you are naturally good at + the things you love to do = strengths
For many, this alignment of skills, talents and abilities with life purpose and career can feel like the holy grail. But it needn't be. It needn't feel unattainable. It can be achieved if you know what to look for.
Now, I am not expert in strengths and do not profess to be. But in my own life, career and the many roles I have performed, knowing your strengths has been a common theme in the work that I have done within myself and with others.
Advantages to knowing your strengths
Knowing our strengths can help us in many ways in our life.
They can provide greater certainty and clarity when we are seeking to make a change, or when we are looking to improve our happiness. Whether it be in life, career or something else entirely, there is no downside to knowing where your natural gifts and talents lie.
Knowing our strengths can also help us in our relationships with others. We know what may trigger us, and where we balance the other person or people in the relationship. This is particularly valuable in romantic or business relationships.
I know there is strength in the differences between us.
I know there is comfort where we overlap.
- Ani DiFranco -
For example, I know in our marriage, I take the role of making things happen, being very thorough and keeping all the balls in the air. Whereas, my husband is much more big picture. For example when we got married, I had a multiple page project plan for our wedding organisation. My husband-to-be had a plan of two words; " Marry Rowena"!
We know our strengths, and we know where they compliment each other. We also know the gaps, and so we are aware of when we need to seek out others to assist us in achieving our goals and dreams.
Finally, knowing your strengths can increase your sense of happiness. Knowing you have skills and talents you are actively working with, will ensure you feel purposeful and aligned. When you know what you are good at and are working in alignment, it boosts your confidence. And feeling confident is a sure-fire happiness lift!
Knowing your strengths helps you know yourself better.
How to identify your strengths
I'd like to share with you two approaches I have used frequently for both myself and with clients.
When I say ask, I mean exactly that. Oftentimes, we are vaguely aware of our strengths, but our friends and loved ones are much more aware than we are.
Craft some questions and ask your nearest and dearest to give you feedback on what they perceive your strengths are. In the corporate world this is often known as 360° feedback or 180° feedback, depending on whether you are giving feedback on the other person or not.
I have done this a number of times both in my corporate role, my coaching role and in my personal life. It is a fantastic, simple process and need not take very long, but gives insight into your own gifts, talents and abilities. (If you'd like some example questions, let me know!)
2. Use a strengths identification tool
The other approach that I have taken, and used a number of times with clients, is accessing one or two of the many fantastic (and often free) strength identification tools available online.
The advantage of a tool is that you receive feedback based on extensive research undertaken on strengths. Some of my favourite tools include;
VIA Strengths Finder - a scientifically based series of questions that truly look at character strengths.
16 Personalities - based on the Myers-Briggs test, but quick, easy and fun.
*Please note, I am not an affiliate and am in no-way associated with these sites - I just share them as I have used them and found them valuable and fun.
There is no time like the present! Today is a good day to uncover your strengths, get to know yourself better and start living a life that makes you feel happier, and more aligned with your purpose.
In essence, it comes down to this;
When we find a life purpose that aligns with all of our strengths, not just one or two, we achieve a deep sense of joy and alignment.
My strengths and how they can help you
I offer my strengths to help you make things happen in your life. I love to help people bring greater joy to their life - whether it be in their career or life in general.
Get in touch today and we can have a complimentary chat about how my skills in making things happen can help you kickstart your next journey or support you through a time of transition.