Photo Credit: Di Bedard

 

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Last Sunday I wrote about how forgetting your weaknesses and focusing on your strengths could make a big difference in just one little week in my post titled Prosperity Plan #5: Forget Your Weakness.

So, did it make a difference?

It did for me. I began the week just trying to decide what exactly my strengths were, and after thinking about it and running this thought by a few people who knew me fairly well, I came up with a few.

My Strengths

  1. Planning and Organizing– something I never thought I was good at or enjoyed at all, until I realized that I come into work nearly every day, get a feel for what's up that day, and then structure what needs to be done and what I personally want to get done around that info, and I'm rather efficient about it.
  2. My Ambition– Until now, I considered this a weakness if anything, because having a large amount of ambition seemed to bring me nothing but frustration. I sometimes get frustrated with others who don't have any ambition, I sometimes find it hard to just sit back and relax, as I feel I must always be working towards my goals, and I tend to get discouraged when results aren't coming in fast enough to satisfy me. This week however I started looking at it in another way: this ambition I have can also be a vast, untapped source of motivation and drive to get things done. I just need to work a bit on overcoming the negative aspects of my ambition. 
  3. Willingness to Take Charge– This I also thought to be a weakness, as the times I feel compelled to take charge is when a group of people either have a problem or can't decide on what to do, be it a decision about where to eat or what kind of $20,000 Dell server to order. It's always felt like a chore of sorts, like something that I shouldn't have to do if we could all just get along and get things done. After spending the week thinking about it however, I've realized that I would much rather be the one making decisions and solving problems, as opposed to one of the nameless masses that simply follows whatever decision is made. Plus, employers and customers are willing to pay much more for the problem-solver and leader than for the worker-bee.  

If, after reading those three strengths I discovered this week, it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn, it's because I am. This week was all about discovering your strengths and ignoring your weaknesses, so of course I sound slightly conceited, anyone would when they start talking about what's so awesome about themselves, which brings me to my next point, something that I should have included in my initial post last Sunday:

Many of us feel guilty about our strengths and abilities

Really, think about it, it's much easier to talk about what you're bad at than what your good at right? If everyone is sitting around talking about what they're not good at, and you chime in with something like, "Actually Bob, I tend to be really good at that, in fact I won an award for that last year", then you've just officially become the one who get whispered about in the halls as being a conceited a#%hole.

It's as if our society is afraid to make anyone feel bad or uncomfortable, as if we couldn't possibly think of ever offending anyone.

Part of knowing what your strengths are and constantly improving them is not being ashamed of them or hiding them. We should all do the exact opposite, and not only openly acknowledge them but use them as much as possible every day, every chance we get. We should be quite proud of them.

So what strengths did you discover about yourself this week? What weaknesses have you choose to ignore?