Leave self-doubt behind and start building on your strengths
Some research shows that individuals who are aware of their strengths are 9 times more likely to have much social and mental/emotional well-being than those who are unaware.
“Deploying your highest strengths leads to more positive emotion, to more meaning, to more accomplishment, and to better relationships”.
Martin Seligman, Founder of positive psychology.
When we are highly aware of our strengths (which is often not the case), we are halfway to using our full potential and feel happy and fulfilled in life. Meanwhile, we tend to focus on our weaknesses and shortcomings, listening to the discouraging voice of our inner critic.
How many times in your life did you feel you are not good enough?
How often do you compare yourself to others, thinking they are more experienced, talented or skilled than you?
When you focus on weaknesses, your critical, judgemental voice is constantly scolding you for not being good enough and always making mistakes. This way you fall into the trap of self-sabotage, denying your abilities and killing your motivation to achieve what you desire. Since the brain is programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain, you try to minimise the risk of failure and often avoid going out of your comfort zone. This is holding you back from getting a better job, flourishing your relationships, and opening up to new opportunities, change and finally, success.
How to replace self-doubt with strengths?
The word “replace” is crucial here. It is because nature abhors a vacuum. If you try to get rid of something you don’t want in your life, make sure you replace it with something you desire. Otherwise, soon or later, you will get back to your old way of thinking, values that don’t serve your life, and bad habits (e.g. perfectionism, control etc.).
5 steps to use your strengths efficiently
👉 First, you need to be aware of your unique skills, talents and resources and nurture them. They reflect who you are at your core. How to do that? Take a helicopter view and look at yourself from a perspective. List all the strengths that come to your mind and note them down. It is better to do it with someone, like your partner or friend (ideally, a coach who knows how to guide you). This is where you stand.
👉 Remind yourself of the situation in which you succeeded, because you used your specific strength (e.g. communication skills, patience, resilience, result orientation, leadership talents). Focus on your strengths only, the rest is not relevant. For example, remind yourself when you successfully led a project and motivated your team to do an extra effort. What skills and talents have you used? What was the feedback you received from your team? Do the list, it will make you realise how vital your strengths are. What does it tell you?
👉 Start using your strengths consciously and remember them while making choices. For example, if you look for a job, make sure this new post will allow you to fully use your skills and talents. Don’t apply for a post just for financial reasons or stability. Otherwise, sooner or later, you’ll end up frustrated and unfulfilled. You will find yourself spending days on tasks and activities that are not responding to your needs, limiting your potential and stopping your growth.
👉 Use affirmations to remember your strengths, like “ I am a great organiser”. The power of affirmations lies in repeating them to yourself regularly so that your brain learns a new, positive way of thinking. Use sticky notes on your mirror, pop them up in your notifications, or whatever suits you best. Remember your strengths every time you face challenges or difficulties, when you feel anxious, demotivated or stressed out. Tell yourself that you can, instead you can’t. Speak to yourself as you would speak to your best friend, with a voice of encouragement and possibility. This will bring back your motivation and empower you to act.
👉 Every time you catch your inner critic coming up, use your conscious mind and bring it back to order. If you will build on your strengths, you will trust yourself. And once you trust yourself, you will always manage, even in the most challenging situations.
Does it resonate with you?
If you need help in mapping your strengths and start building on them, don’t hesitate to contact me. I look forward to supporting you in your personal transformation.