Strengths = the things you're "good at"
Weaknesses = the things you're "not good at"
I was told, many years ago, that our strengths are the things that we do that make us feel "strong," and that our weaknesses are the things we do that make us feel "weak."
Many of you who've worked with me as a coach have heard me talk about this different definition of "strengths" and "weaknesses," namely that your strengths are the things that you do that make you feel strong (read: energized, bold, empowered, joyful) and your weaknesses are the things you do that make you feel weak (read: drained, lethargic, exhausted, worn out, dull).
When I first heard this, it totally and completely made sense to me. There were many things that I did that, while not at all skilled at, made me feel completely alive, completely energized. And there were some things that I was really “good” at that made me feel lackluster, tired, irritable. Little did I know that I would eventually be taught by master Life Coach Martha Beck a similar truth - that those things that made us feel strong were directly aligned with our "essential self," our true self, who we are intended to be in this world; while those things that made us feel weak were essentially moving us away from our essential self.
Now don’t get me wrong here: there are many things in life/work/family/friendship that we need to do, have to do, and even want to do that don’t make us feel strong but we do them any way because life requires it. And there are, likewise, many things in life that might light us up and set us on fire that we don’t do (or do all the time) because that would just be downright crazy/irresponsible/silly. I won’t list those here J. What I’m suggesting is that most of us could strike a much better balance than what we’ve currently got or are currently doing.
So I ask you these things:
- How much of your day-to-day life is spent within the context of your strengths?
- And how much of this precious time that you have here is absorbed by the things that make you feel dull, lifeless, drained.
- And, from there, can you choose to eliminate or change any of those activities that are your weaknesses and/or choose to intentionally integrate activities that are your strengths?
If so, I promise you that you will begin to live a life more true to you and one that has more vitality, joy, and energy.