Knowing who you are is something most of us strive for all the time. While watching the 2016 Summer Olympics, I was struck by a common theme—all of those athletes lived and worked within their strengths. They knew what they were best at and honed those skills and abilities. We should learn to do the same.
How many times have you been jealous of someone else’s skills?
Your sister-in-law cooks like a gourmet chef. Your neighbor’s house is immaculately decorated. You have a friend who is great at gardening. Your sister has your dream job. It’s enough to get a full-blown pity party started! It’s possible that too often you’ve been told to focus on your weaknesses. You want to be great on the balance beam, but your real strength is on the uneven bars. Instead of perfecting the uneven bars, you work constantly on the balance beam and wind up being subpar on both. Life can be that way. I want to have a decorator’s dream home, but I have don’t have the vision for placement, color, or art. However, I can clean my house like no one else. So, I’ve decided that as long as I’m physically able, I’ll keep my house sparkly clean, but also take decorating tips from people more talented than me!
It’s possible that too often you’ve been told to focus on your weaknesses.
We need to take the same approach with our families, too. I can gripe at my husband all day long for his seeming lack of organization, or I can choose to affirm his business vision and strategy. When our daughters were younger, I wanted so much for them to accomplish what I didn’t and learn to play piano or dance or do gymnastics. As it turns out, my daughters are too tall for gymnastics, and neither one love to dance. I put my oldest through a couple of years of piano lessons, but, like me, it wasn’t her strength. She began to shine, though, when we moved from piano to voice lessons. My youngest daughter excels in music theory, the study of which literally hurts my brain. Am I saying that we shouldn’t strive to do our best in all areas? No!
What I’m saying is, once you discover where your strengths lie, go with them.
Stop trying to force a square peg into a round hole. We are all created with different giftings (and we all have a gift!), so work at finding that thing you do well, and do it! Shift your focus from trying to be something you’re not, and become what you were created to be. Listen to what people say you’re good at. Think about what makes you happy and fulfilled. What do you picture yourself doing, even if it means working really hard to get there? Just like our physical muscles, our strengths are developed through discipline and work. No Olympic athlete just happened to get on Team USA. There were more years of sacrifice, grit, determination, blood, sweat, and tears than most of us can imagine.
If you are interested in determining where your strengths lie, pick up a copy of Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath or take the Myers-Briggs personality test or DISC personality test. There are also numerous free online resources. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation or if you are the CEO of your home—knowing, being, and living your personal best is a tremendous goal to strive for!
For more articles about discovering your strengths and developing them, check out Just Because She’s Pretty, Doesn’t Mean You’re Not, How to Get Honest About Your Dreams and Thrive!, and How to Lead Yourself Well and Others Better (and Why)