January 26, 2012 in Sweet Nothings
Something I come across far too often is people who don’t think they’re good at anything. Either it’s a severe lack of confidence or they’ve never really sat down and analysed what they’ve achieved. People tend to be embarrassed to say they’re good at anything, in fear of seeming too cocky or self-obsessed. But how can we decide the best path for ourselves when we don’t know what our strengths are and how to use them to create a life we’re proud of?
Firstly, stop comparing yourself to others. Your version of “strong” will be very different from everyone else’s. There will always be someone better than you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not amazing at it!
Give yourself credit for all you’ve achieved. Write down a list of the 5 – 10 things you’ve done/continue to do or character traits that you’re proud of. It can be anything, no matter how small or frivolous it may seem.
A few of mine would be:
- Determination. T would call this “stubbornness” but I like to lean toward determination or willpower. Once I put my mind to something, there’s very little that can stop me from going through with it until the end.
- Starting my own business. I guess what I took from doing this was that I have begun to grow my self belief and I’ve realised what a powerful tool that can be.
- Infectious positivity. I LOVE getting your emails, tweets and comments about how you leave this blog feeling inspired and uplifted, it definitely makes my day. I am really proud of myself for sharing positivity online.
- Learning to sing. I’ve been singing since I was very young and taking lessons from 11 years old. I am so grateful for my parents’ support which has led to me being able to make a career out of music.
- Writing. So I may not be the next Shakespeare, Edgar Allan Poe or even Elizabeth Gilbert, but I really enjoy writing and the thought that I might touch just one person is enough to send my Chuffed Radar off the scale.
- Compassion. I treasure my relationships and have met so many amazing people in my life already. Sometimes people just need you to listen, really listen and support them. I am so pleased that I can do that.
For some of us, this list will be very hard to write. It may take hours or days to finally come up with 5 – 10, but it’s a really worthwhile exercise. When we know what our strengths are and what we’re proud of, we can build an idea of where we want to go and how we want to live our lives in the future.
Phone a friend. If you really can’t think of anything, phone one of your best friends. Sometimes it’s much easier for those close to us to see our strengths because they are impartial and aren’t judging you in the same way you judge yourself. They will often see things you would never have seen yourself.
What comes to you naturally? What are the attributes/skills that you are naturally talented at? Perhaps you find it easy to start conversations with strangers, maybe you’ve always been a great cook or have a knack for painting. We often find a lot of joy in things that come naturally, that we can acknowledge we are good at and don’t have to work terribly hard at.
What are you terrible at but love doing? It’s completely okay to be average (or below average) at some things to, as long as you can enjoy the ride. I am pretty bad at running, dancing, CSS coding and roller skating, but I accept that and just leave my judgement at the door. Life isn’t about being great at everything you do, it’s about working with your strengths and learning from your weaknesses.