Happy Sunday everyone!
Have you ever had one of those moments where you learn something new and your first thought is: “I need to blog about this”? On Friday, I was in a training at my workplace, and I had one of those exact moments. As part of our training we watched a video by a man named Marcus Buckingham, and I was instantly hooked on his philosophy. Buckingham speaks all around the world about the importance of discovering and capitalizing on your personal strengths. After watching his video at the training, we discussed our own strengths and how we can best apply our own strengths in our current work positions.
Here are some of Marcus Buckingham’s main points/ideas:
- When people are asked, “Do you have the chance to use your strengths in your workplace?” only 2 out of 10 people answer “yes.” That means that 8 out of 10 people are unhappy in their current positions and do not feel that their employers allow them to play to their strengths.
- A “strength” is not just something your are good at in your life. Your strengths are those activities that “make you feel strong, that interest you, that you are passionate about, that you look forward to.” You are the best judge of your own strengths. Just because someone says you are good at something does not mean it’s a strength for you (in fact many of us may be good at things that we absolutely hate doing).
- There are some myths about our strengths:
- Myth #1: As you grow, your personality changes.
- Truth: As you grow, you will become more of who you already are.
- Myth #2: You will grow most in your areas of weakness.
- Truth: You will grow most in your areas of greatest strength.
- Myth #3: A great team member does whatever it takes to help the team.
- Truth: A great team member deliberately volunteers his or her strengths to the team.
If you want to find out more about Marcus Buckingham’s work (like I have already been doing), visit: www.simplystrengths.com, www.strengthscampus.com, or www.thestrengthsfoundation.org. Please note: all of the above information was gathered from those websites and from information I learned at my training.
I am not usually one to enjoy receiving compliments, but yesterday I received a compliment that really meant a lot to me…
In the middle of another busy work day my one co-worker turned to me and said: “Amanda, you have the guts of a 6-foot tall man.”
This came after I made the choice to speak up about a situation that I didn’t agree with in our workplace. It was a normal everyday occurrence for me, but it still took some self-confidence. I was suprised at the compliment, though, because I do not consider myself to be the most self-confident person. Honestly, I would not describe myself as gutsy in any way, shape, or form. I wouldn’t even say that I always speak my mind or stand up for what I believe.
My co-worker seemed to think differently than me, though, and this really got me thinking. I wonder—how many times we fail to see the good in ourselves?
How often do we rely on the comments and feedback from others to make us feel good about ourselves?
How often do we only see the positive once someone else points it out to us?
How often do we fail to praise and compliment ourselves?
How often do we do these things? It didn’t take me very long to draw some conclusions and find an answer. We do it all of the time. I, myself, do it regularly. I forgot to believe in myself. I forget to see my strengths. I forget to praise myself when I’m doing a good job. I fail to see all of the positive things until someone else points them out to me (I have no problem seeing the negatives and pointing out my own mistakes).
We all fall into these holes from time to time, and it makes us human. The most important thing we can do is be self-aware. Recognize when you are falling into these traps. Counteract the negatives with the positives. Praise yourself. Compliment yourself.
See your strengths, and never rely on the opinions of others to determine your self-worth.
It’s been an entire week since I last blogged, and even longer since I’ve sat down to compose a truly honest post.
I’ve spent the last week devoting some time here and there thinking as to why it’s been so long since I’ve blogged and thinking about the place I’ve been in recently. I could lie and simply state that I’ve been too busy to blog (which isn’t always very far from the truth), but this week it’s been something different. I’ve been a little scared to blog because I’m not sure what would come out if I really sat down to write a post.
I don’t want (or in any way expect) pity or sympathy from anyone when I say that I had a rough week last two weeks for a variety of reasons. I had a lot going on internally and was overly emotional for reasons I’m not quite sure of entirely. I was doubting where I am in my life right now. I have a birthday where I will turn 24 in a couple of weeks (yes I do realize that this is still young), and I started to think about where I expected to be right now at this point in my life. I expected to be living on my own and possibly in a long-term relationship. Although I know these are things that I don’t need to happen right now in my life, I still couldn’t help thinking about it.
I think we all create expectations for ourselves in our minds sometimes that aren’t realistic or necessarily even important. We do it because we see where other people are in their lives or simply because we are feeling idealistic. Creating these expectations isn’t always a problem. The problem comes when you fail to meet these expectations and you spend too much time feeling disappointed or upset because of it. That’s the state that I was in up until recently. I wasn’t thinking of all of my accomplishments. I didn’t credit myself for being two years into my graduate school program while having a full-time job that I love. I didn’t credit myself for having goals for my future and friends/family who care about me. Instead I thought about the should of’s and could of’s. I smiled on the outside, but meanwhile I felt pretty crappy on the inside.
As I already said, I’m writing this post (and hitting “publish” in a couple of minutes) not to be negative or because I want people to feel sorry for me. If you know me or read my blog you should know that for the most part I am positive, optimistic, and easygoing. At the same time, however, I want everyone to realize that we all have “those days” or even “those weeks” where we simply feel miserable. It makes us human. It makes us real. It makes us appreciate the times when we are feeling happy and optimistic.
It’s moving on from those times and learning to let those times go that makes us stronger.
Thanks for listening if you made it to the end of this post! I promise to write some upbeat and not-so-serious posts in the upcoming week, but this post is what I needed to write today. Happy Sunday everyone, and have a great week!