When starting out on any journey I think you have to look at yourself first. I think what holds back most people is the fact that they are too hard on themselves and focus on their weaknesses, or perceived weaknesses when they should instead be looking at their strengths.
What does it mean to “Embrace Your Strength”? For me, it means to find those things I know I am good at and celebrate them. It also means to look at my perceived weaknesses and evaluate how those might be strengths as well.
Embrace your strengths by finding those things you know are good at and celebrating them. By also being able to look at perceived weaknesses and evaluate how those might be strengths as well.April Lee, Journey of a Dreamer
5 Steps Towards Improving Your Weaknesses
Weakness is one of those feelings nobody likes. It is often one of the first feelings of negativity that can spiral out of control if not checked. It is something all of us have, every person on the planet. Each person has their own way of dealing with weakness.
I feel one of the best things about a weakness is knowing it’s there. Pretty much with anything in life, once you KNOW what you are looking at, all that is left is figuring out the next steps to take. Weakness is no different. Here are the five steps I take towards improving my weaknesses.
1. Make it a daily goal to celebrate your strengths.
Each one of us has so many different things going for ourselves that we often don’t take the time to see. It’s not that they aren’t there, it’s more that we get so caught up in the day to day that we over look them.
One thing you can do to embrace your strengths is to celebrate them, routinely. This can be as simple as a notepad with the date and one sentence about what you excelled at.
What did you do today that made you feel amazing? What did you do today that reminded you of a unique talent, personality trait, or habit that you have that so many others struggle with?
This exercise isn’t to try and make yourself feel “better” than someone else or superior in any way. It’s designed to help you remember that your strengths don’t need to look like someone else’s to still be amazing.
2. Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
The ability to acknowledge your weaknesses is, in and of itself, a strength! None of us are perfect. Every human on the planet has weakness, it’s how they tackle that weakness that sets some apart from the rest.
Identifying areas in your life where you feel you are “weak” can be eye-opening. I challenge you to grab a pen and write down five of your weaknesses. Coming up with the first will be easy but, things may get harder as you go down the list.
You may be the type of person that struggles to find 5 items to write down, or you may be the type that thinks 5 doesn’t even break the iceberg. The truth is it doesn’t matter how many are on the sheet of paper, acknowledging weakness, even if it is perceived and not real, is a strength.
This step starts the journey of self-discovery. It allows you to explore something very important, who you think you are, which leads us to the next step.
3. Who Do You Want to Be?
Who do you want to be? In your personal life? In your professional life? Physically? Mentally? For me, this is still something I struggle with but, I don’t think anyone needs a 100% solid answer to this, we just kind of need a general direction.
If you had to think about how you would want someone to introduce you, what would you want them to say? What would make you proud to take the stage in front of thousands? Who would you have to be? What would you have had to accomplish?
Challenge yourself to write that speech. 2-3 sentences. The one you’ll hand off to the MC before you take the stage. If you could make your life so that whatever he said was 100% true, what would that introduction speech be?
4. Rely on Your Strengths to Move Forward
By this step, we know our strengths and our weaknesses. We know who we want to be and now we need to start on our journey. The journey towards anything is usually the thing that has the most value, more so than the goal itself and we’ll need our strengths to get us there.
During the course of the journey, we’ll need to tackle some of our weaknesses head-on. That’s OK though, we know what the big ones are and if we can identify new ones as they crop up, we can tackle those too.
Here is one exercise I try to do a few times a year to get in the right mindset.
- Grab a plain piece of paper and fold it in half lengthwise so you have two long columns. At the top, write the speech. The one the MC is going to read.
- Then, write down 5 strengths from your list that you think are the best suited to get you to your goal. Which 5 of your strengths are going to help you hit that target.
- In the next column write down the 5 weaknesses that would cause roadblocks. It’s important to note that I’m not talking about anything external here. This is all YOU. Not your boss, your spouse, your kids, your car, your disability, your past. This list is only for things you feel are weaknesses that could cause you to fail.
- The final step is to list out the action steps you need to take to overcome your weaknesses. Which of your strengths can help? Which weaknesses seem insurmountable? For those, where can you seek help to overcome them?
5. Take Action
My final word of advice is to take action, every day, towards your goal. Whether it is in your planner, a plain notebook or on your calendar, block out a space so that every day you can write down at least one thing you did to move closer to your goal.
Take action, every day, towards your goal.April Lee, Journey of a Dreamer
Completing small, individual tasks, may not seem worthwhile but this does two very important things.
- It helps you to establish a habit of moving towards your goal by forcing you to not only think about WHAT your goal is but also HOW you are going to achieve it.
- Taking one action each day get’s you one action step closer to realizing your dreams. Remember, the journey is the most important part!
How I’ve Implemented These Items in My Life
One of my strengths is goal setting, but one of my weaknesses is follow-through. I get distracted easily and wander off the path, even if there were no obstacles in front of me. In fact, for me, if things are too easy, I often move on to something harder even if I’m right at the finish line.
Now I realize my weakness isn’t a distraction, my strength is multi-tasking. Where one person might thrive creating one blog, for example, I feel most at home when I have four or five. When I was training wild horses, many trainers took on less than four at a time, but I did best and learned the most when I had ten in training.
The solution, or at least the path for me has been to work on lots of projects at once with a clear plan of where I want each to end. These projects are in various different areas of my life. Fitness, as I document here, is a big one but also family, business and personal goals as well. Each day I take baby steps towards my biggest goal, towards being the woman who can proudly walk onto a huge stage when the MC reads my speech.
How will that MC introduce you?