Newsletter #2: Want to succeed? Focus on your strengths 💪
Updated: Aug 20
Hi 👋 In my last newsletter, I provided some practical tips on how to set and stay on track with your 2021 goals.
To build on this, I want to focus this week’s newsletter on how you can play to your strengths in 2021. Why do you ask? Because despite research showing that we actually develop faster when building on our strengths, we are hard-wired to focus on our weaknesses.
Let me illustrate. Think of one thing you want to improve about yourself. Is it a strength or a weakness? If you’re like most people (including me!), you chose a weakness. Why does this happen? A recent study found that we perceive our weaknesses as more malleable than our strengths (this isn’t true of course - it’s just our perception (+ how we’ve been taught to focus on areas of improvements...grr!), leading us to work on our less desirable tendencies. So if you’re already struggling to keep up with your 2021 goals, could it be because they draw on weakness rather than a strength? If the answer is yes, could you change course and find a strength to keep building on instead? bestselfy was built on this notion - that people have enormous strengths and inner resources that can be tapped into and used far more effectively. We want to give our users an opportunity to prioritize their strengths because these are the areas that have the most potential and that will produce the greatest, happiest outcomes. Capiche? Let’s get started!
8 steps to build on your strengths in 2021
👨👩👦👦 Ask people (family, team, or manager) for feedback about your strengths. Ask them to include specific examples of moments when you used those strengths in ways that were meaningful to them. If you think they might struggle to come up with anything, give them this list of words to get them started. Short on time? Login to bestselfy and complete the quick personality assessment in our app. Don’t have access to bestselfy yet? Sign up on our website and we will be in touch shortly!
🧍 Write down what you think your strengths are while you wait for feedback. This will allow you to define your own strengths and compare how you perceive your strengths to how others see you. 🔍 Search for common themes among the feedback, adding to the examples with observations of your own, then grouping all the input into different strengths. You now have your list of strengths! 🧠 Acknowledge and accept your strengths (yes, you have them too!). This is by far the most challenging step for most people. ...While also accepting your weaknesses by giving yourself permission to have them (everyone does!) and no one is good at everything! 🤔 Think about how you can use each strength more at work and in life. Do you really enjoy working with and helping people but don’t manage anyone? Perhaps you can take on a mentee or support new employees? ✍️ Write a personal mission statement based on your strengths. e.g. “to help as many people as possible”. 🗓️ Create an action plan with 2-3 SMART goals to put strengths to work e.g. taking on a mentee at work by March, doing certain activities outside of work X times a week, asking work if you can take on a project that excites you. 🏋️♀️ Continuously make sure you’re doing things that support your strengths, personal statement, and action plan. Bonus tip: are there task(s) that really zaps your mental energy (either at home or at work)? See if you can outsource or delegate the task, or team up with someone who is stronger in this area.
Want more on how to do this for yourself or bring it into your teams? Here is a quick interview I did with Personio a few weeks ago where I discuss the power of strengths.
Reflection question of the week 🤔
What do people come to you for advice or help on most frequently?
As always, please let us know if you have any feedback about our newsletter - we'd love to get your thoughts and make it as helpful as possible. Know someone else who you think would love our newsletter (“sharing is caring” - my 5th grader)? Get them to sign up here. Have a great Sunday! Best, Hilary