I don’t now about you, but it took me years to realize that focusing on my weaknesses kinda sucked. I used to look at everything I did wrong and immediately dive into how I could improve those areas so it was better next time. I did this in school, volleyball, basketball, softball, with friends and parenting…just to name a few areas of my life. I do not “blame” anyone for this – it is how teachers and coaches were taught how to lead. Then I started to work on self-development and aligned with some leaders that taught me to focus on my strengths. WAIT – WHAT?!?
After this realization took place, how often we are told to focus on our weaknesses really started to blow my mind. We are literally programmed to believe we should improve where we are weak. How often is the first question that is asked “where can we improve?” After this realization took place – the correlation of focusing on weaknesses and decrease in confidence became very obvious to me.
During the time in my life that I was focused on my weaknesses, I could easily tell you all the areas I need to improve was exhausting. I could tell you what I was not good at and my plan of action to get better. Without skipping a breathe I could rattle off 10-15 things I needed to practice at (to be decent at, not even good) Where I needed to improve, easy….But ask me what I am good at…WHAT?!? You can see what I am good at, I don’t need to focus on that or even tell you about that! It would make me terribly uncomfortable to even accept a compliment of my strengths, let alone tell you about them myself. Is this you? After reading a few books, enrolling in a few coaching programs, attending some seminars and a couple conferences I realized how much of a badass I actually was at a few things! They had us write them down and develop them…AND…I went from thinking “I’m already good at those, why focus on that?” to “Damn, I am really good at these, how could perfecting them accelerate me further?”
This concept of, recognizing what I am good at + practicing that so it is even stronger was one I liked. I have long since moved away from sports, but this mind shift is necessary in my personal and professional growth and experiences. I have shifted into recognizing my weaknesses so I am able to find others whose strengths fill them in. What I often find in this scenario is that my strengths are their weaknesses and this unique team is built. I have enjoyed this shift. I have equipped myself with an incredible tribe, full of different points of views, experiences and strengths…together this tribe is creating a ripple of love, compassion, grace and kindness in this world. We are equipping our children with these values and developing their strengths. We have taught them about being divine creatures meant to work in a community. We have taught them to acknowledge where they need to find help and where they can help.
So, as hard as it is to go against lifelong programming, I have made the conscious choice to focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I am naturally a very introspective person, so finding ways to make things better is a strength of mine, but beating myself up on my weaknesses is no longer something I am willing to do.
As I began to look at the most successful teams that I had been on in sports, academics and professionally I quickly recalled the success of the team was directly related to strengths being utilized. This will not be a lesson on how to create a successful team – that is an entirely different course all together – but recognize this…individuals that work intentionally and communicate come together for the greatest good of all…yes, and there are a few things that go into that…but know the development of your strengths will increase your confidence.
Creating Confidence is the C in GRACE for the Giving Yourself GRACE, and when doing this, you will feel your confidence increase as you recognize the divine gifts you have been equipped to help humanity with!