Know our Strengths
How well do you know yourself?
Perhaps you know you like coffee better than tea and prefer Thai food over Mexican. These are all useful bits of information. However, do you know what you stand for and believe in? When it comes to your character what are your strengths and weaknesses? This knowledge is power. The power to know who we are.
We tend to use our profession, marital status, age, and ethnicity among others to define ourselves. We are quick to say I’m a lawyer, I’m a mom, or I’m a millennial. Yet, all of these things speak about what we are not necessarily who we are.
An important part of practicing self-awareness is to get to know ourselves better. How does it add value to my life to know who I am?
The Importance of Knowing Our Strengths
Wouldn’t it be great if we all came with an instruction manual telling us exactly who we are and how we work? The next best thing is using our awareness to tune into ourselves and listen. By learning what are our strengths we can:
- Increase our confidence. Knowing what we are good at can help us increase our self-esteem. We can appreciate the traits that make us unique.
- Boost productivity. We are quick to focus on flaws or mistakes, but focusing on strengths can be a great motivator to get tasks done.
- Figure out best strategies. Understanding what we do the best can helps us use this advantage in relation to how we carry ourselves in the world and how we relate to others at work and at home.
Weaknesses: The Other Side of the Coin
We also need to learn which areas we need to improve on. By learning our weaknesses we can pay attention to when they come into play and plan accordingly so that situations don’t get the best of us.
When we know our weaknesses but also our strengths this allows us to use the latter to help us correct problems we struggle with. For example, one of my strengths is my love of learning. One of my weaknesses is my forgetfulness. I used my love of learning to learn techniques and systems I could use to avoid being so forgetful.
The better acquainted we are with both, the better we can plan to make the best out of every situation.
How to Find Our Strengths and Weaknesses
Practicing self-awareness can help us identify these in our everyday life, we just need to pay attention. When considering your strengths think about the following questions:
- When do I feel at my best?
- What actions do I perform effortlessly?
- What do people around me call on me for?
- What makes me feel like time flies?
Something else you can try is asking for the help of colleagues, friends, and family members to see yourself through the eyes of others. To enlist their help simply ask them to share what they think are your strengths and/or when they feel you really shine and are at your best. Perhaps, you’ll hear something that might surprise you. It’s always great feedback to listen to.
While it’s not so appealing to know our weaknesses, remember knowing them will put us at an advantage to deal with them better and you can ask yourself the following questions:
- When do I feel very frustrated?
- What actions are very challenging?
- Which traits do you have that you struggle to accept?
Knowing our strengths and weaknesses is a valuable lesson that can help us grow and strive closer to the best version of ourselves for us and the people around us.
Psychologist and Emotional Intelligence Coach
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