Discover your strengths and create a successful life
If I ask you at this very moment what your strengths are or which of your strengths you use every day in your business environment, what would you say?
Most of us (and especially us women) know little about our strengths and even less about our ability to build our lives around them. We grew up learning how to correct our flaws while our strengths remained dormant and neglected but nobody told us that if we build our lives around our strengths we will have a happy and successful life.
Everybody has strengths
We are all born with a set of strengths. Some years ago trying to find a different career path to follow I was excited reading the book of Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton "Now, discover your strengths" and discovering my strengths by taking the Gallup’s strengths finder test that accompanies the book. This book tries to help readers spot the strengths they can use to improve themselves and manage their teams better. That is why I decided to share it with you and recommend that you read it.
What we mean when we say “strengths”
Strength is something we do exceptionally well, everyday and depends on the way we think, feel and act naturally and that makes us feel strong, happy and successful, says Marcus Buckingham, natural talents not skills, knowledge or experience. But precisely the fact that we consider them as natural is what prevents us from paying attention to them.
How I find my strengths
The Gallup strengths finder test locates the 5 most important strengths from a list of 34 created through a series of interviews of 2 million people for 40 years. The dynamic of these strengths is that they represent repetitive motives that appeared in the interviews and give us a way to see our strengths and those of the people around us by giving them an identity. Let’s say you are good in communication which means you like to explain, describe, speak and write or you are an activator which means that your most frequent question is “when do we begin?” Your strength may be developer meaning you could be good in the development of your team’s abilities or you look for something positive in every situation (positivity)
My 2 most important strengths according to the test are achiever, a relentless need for achievements and empathy meaning I can sense the feelings of the people around me. I had not realized these two and the truth is I expected a different set of strengths to appear and at the beginning I could not understand how to take advantage of them in my life. Believe me the test is only the beginning. Locating strengths doesn’t end. I started observing myself, the things that fulfilled me, that made me happy. I asked my family, the friends that know me for years, my colleagues and associates.
5 steps to live a full lifeLooking around us at the people we consider successful, we can understand that their secret lies in their ability to discover their strengths and to organize their lives around them.
What does it mean to build a life around my strengths? As Warren Buffet said, “if there is a difference between you and me, it may simply be that I get up every day and have a chance to do what I love to do, every day. If you want to learn anything from me this is the best advice I can give you”
Use them as often as you can, develop them. Don’t try to look for the perfect job or the perfect place to start expressing yourself. You will find many opportunities in your life to use them and you may already have without realizing it. Set it as a goal in your life to discover them and incorporate them in your personal and professional life.
Share your opinion.
Write in the comments below if you know your strengths and how you discovered them.
- Acknowledge that you have strengths
- Look inside you and around you to discover the most important
- Start using them as more often as possible
- Strengthen them with patience and learning
- Find or devise a role that draws from them every day