Living a More Purposeful Life
I am convinced that finding ways to utilize your strengths (in work, volunteering, wellness, etc.) is the key to living a more abundant and meaningful life.
If you are anything like me, it can be easier to identify things that you don’t like or that you wish you were better at. You might not even recognize where you are gifted—probably because you perform well, skillfully, and intuitively in those areas.
If you are not sure what your strengths are, here are some ways to help you discover them:
Brainstorm what comes naturally to you: What doesn’t feel like “work”? What is the first thing that gets checked off your to-do list?
Think about when people come to you for help and what you are often asked to do.
Take the Strengthsfinders test or browse their resources for ideas and guidance.
Reflect on things you care about and what energizes you.
What comes easily to you? Or what do others do (or can’t seem to figure out) that drives you crazy?
Ask those close to you what your strengths are—it can be easier for others to see!
Once you know what your strengths are, do your best to put yourself in positions where you can use them! And delegate your weaknesses to others when appropriate (this is definitely my favorite takeaway!) 😉
Utilizing Strengths in the Workplace
Why do companies focus so much on improving your weaknesses? After all, they are your WEAKNESSES—areas where you aren’t naturally gifted, and that you probably don’t enjoy. I can’t tell you how many times people are promoted into management positions only to learn that they are not good managers. What a waste of time and talent!
It drives me crazy to think about how much more successful companies would be if they leveraged their people’s strengths. By encouraging employees to spend time where they excel, and outsourcing what they don’t need to do, they could provide a more positive work experience, while maximizing their productivity and efficiency. Okay, getting off my soap box now.
Taking the StrengthsFinders Test
StrengthsFinders really showed me where to focus my energy, both professionally and personally. The test validated what I already knew about myself and revealed traits that were completely unexpected. I was surprised to learn that Positivity and Includer were two of my top five strengths (trust me, I can have some negative thoughts); and was encouraged by identifying my ‘known’ strengths as actual strengths. I had never thought that being an Achiever or wanting Significance were skills that could help others, and have enjoyed finding new ways to utilize my natural abilities.
If you have taken the StrengthsFinder test, let us know in the comments what your top strengths are. And if you haven't, consider giving it a try or reading through their different traits to discover some that you might not have considered!