The Power of A Strengths Focus
We live in a mechanistic world. A piece of equipment on an assembly line breaks, we fix it. We know certain things wear out, need maintenance and we can usually predict what will become weak and eventually require attention.
A similar model has been applied to people. We see this prevalent in the psychological world, the business world and in our own personal and spiritual lives. Personally, I've made great strides in becoming aware of a weakness and putting in the work to "fix" it. I know you have too.
But today's article comes from the eagles nest, a place far above the "usual." What could become possible for you if you focused on your strengths instead of your weaknesses?
How do you begin to live inside the stories of your weaknesses when you focus there too much? For example, I once had a phone therapy session with someone experiencing an autoimmune problem and anxiety. She simply wanted to go out more often and we set a goal for her to be able to accomplish this. For three weeks in a row she was unable to, even though we had substantially reduced her anxiety through our life coaching work.
Each time we discussed her struggle with going out, she would explain, in detail, how one of her weaknesses held her back. One weakness she focused on was her weariness. Though it was true she struggled with fatigue, she allowed herself to be consumed with thoughts about fatigue which prevented her from accessing the strengths which would move her forward. We were aiming for a do-able, short walk around the block.
The next time she talked about having a "sniffle." Having spent much time thinking about and forecasting that there may be danger in going outside and the sniffle growing into something worse, she remained inside.
Please understand, I fully respected that this woman's struggle was authentic. When she was able to break away from discussing her weaknesses, she became willing to identify a couple of strengths. It wasn't easy, but she had the courage to work at it. Many of us have blank looks on our faces when asked to identify our strengths, but can readily reel off our weaknesses.
We discovered she has a wonderful imagination and once had completed a marathon through disciplined, progressive practice. Combining her imagination with the strength of persistence and patience she was able to visualize herself going on a walk. She was also able to discuss the feelings she knew she would have as a result of completing an important goal. She started walking and today functions happily and normally in her life.
I was inspired to write this because she emailed me a couple of weeks ago, to check in and share how well she was doing in her life. What a blessing and inspiration she is!
Her success came about from a fresh focus on strengths and abilities. What are your strengths? What's possible for you? If you struggle with knowing what you're really gifted at, make your first step to take a risk and ask for some feedback from those you trust. Ask them what they feel are your natural gifts. Ask yourself how you can utilize your gifts in service to a goal you would like to accomplish.
Best wishes in celebrating yourself. We are always much greater than we realize we are.
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Your Success Snippet
"Thus, the key to building a bona fide strength is to
identify your dominant talents and then refine them
with knowledge and skills."
Buckingha and Donald O. Clifton from the book NOW, Discover
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that we need to take action. Even some areas where we've
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