The power of our strengths

Publ. January 2020 in LinkedIn and website Cyclades 24 (in greek)
(translated in english from original text in greek)

By Jeny Androukaki, Life & Business Coach

Often, when we speak about ourselves, we talk about our problems and flaws. We consider ourselves honest when we criticize ourselves as being perfectionists or reckless, strict or lenient, procrastinating or rushing, selfish or weak-kneed.

Usually, in the beginning of the year, we take our big resolutions of how we are going to “correct” ourselves: I will stop eating junk food, I will stop eating sweets, I will stop smoking, I will not be so impulsive, I will not do this, I will stop that…

What if we forget about our weaknesses and focus on our strengths? We cannot be that bad! We have some qualities for sure! We might have good taste, be good friends, smart, fast, hard-working, the life of the party, helping others, self-aware, creative, social. If we think this way, how does this make us feel? I guess, better than thinking of our weak points. At least, we can see that we worth that much!

Our obsession to correct our weaknesses comes from our childhood. At elementary school, if we were not good enough at reading or writing, if we preferred to make drawings, or look out of the windows the trees at the yard, if we were naughty, we had to “correct” ourselves. The adults said about us: “He/she is a good boy/girl but….” Later on, at our adulthood we always need some “improvement”. We wash the dishes but we forget the rubbish in the kitchen, we shop at the supermarket but we forget to buy the milk for the kids, we are good at our jobs but we start late in the morning, we can serve our customers with care but we are not so good sellers… This list of “buts” can be endless…

Let’s think of a day without the word “but”, the word that diminishes the “good” we hear or say. Let’s see our strengths and the strengths of the people around us without “buts”. And think how we can become even stronger in what we like: better cooks, better friends, gain more knowledge in our interests.

Let’s make the same for the others: Provide the opportunity to our child to observe nature. Encourage the mathematician to spend more time with numbers.  Empower our artist friend to develop her talent. Ask from our team members to deal with what they are good at and interested in, Let’s forget about correction and focus on empowerment and help people around us to do the same.

What about our weaknesses that are still there? I think, they will be carried away by our wish to be better to what we want to do well, or soon they will seem meaningless.

So, next time at the New Year’s “big resolutions”, let’s decide on a different basis. Ignore the correction voices and focus on our strong points, making more of what we like. If we like cooking, let’s find an exceptional cooking seminar, if we prefer reading than walking, let’s register in a book reading group, if we prefer walking, let’s discover new interesting paths, if we like watching TV, let’s search new series, if we like running, let’s keep training for the next marathon race. If we have a dream let’s pursue it…

Let’s focus on our strengths, which gives us confidence and joy and this time our resolution will be accomplished!

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