We all have strengths and weaknesses, but not many of us know how to take advantage of our strengths and leverage them to earn more money at our jobs and boost our careers, build or enhance our self-esteem, and make a bigger impact on the world overall.
When we utilize our strengths to the best of our abilities, we can use them to influence the direction of our lives. Here are some ways to do just that.
1. Identify your strengths
You can’t leverage what you don't know. What are you better at than the average person? Keep in mind that you want to identify specific things that can become a marketable skill. Here are a few examples:
Be sure to ask your friends, family, and colleagues for their opinions because they may identify strengths you never considered.
2. Convince yourself that these are strengths personal to you that you possess
What proof do you have that you’re good at a specific skill. If you pretend that you’re in a job interview, what evidence or examples could you provide that make you stand out above the average person? Have you had additional training or experience in this area? Here are some examples I've used for being a strong writer:
○ I've written for three very popular blogs for over a year.
○ I've completed several certificate courses in creative writing.
○ I’m currently writing a book and self-published two others.
○ I have written four articles for various magazines.
3. Determine how you can put these strengths to work for you.
Consider your current job, social situation, finances, and other aspects of your life. How can you leverage your skills to boost these things in your life in a positive way?
Are you in the correct job to take full advantage of your skills?
Do your hobbies utilize your skills?
Could your strengths be used to build a stronger social network?
4. Make a plan
As you all know, I'm a planner. I make to-do lists for my to-do lists, and I have always liked setting goals. This is no different. It's important to develop a plan to make the most of your strengths — even if it's a mental plan because you're not someone that likes to spend time writing lists or goals. It’s okay to start small, but avoid selling yourself short. Make a plan to use your strengths to achieve specific goals (like getting a promotion or raise at work)for at least three areas of your life.
5. Continue to build your skills to a higher level
Could you enhance these skills even further with additional training or education? Never stop developing your strengths and remember to reevaluate them each year as you develop new strengths over time. Ensure you’re continuously building and evaluating yourself. Create a second plan to develop your greatest strengths even further. What resources do you have available to you? Are there books or seminars that are applicable? Could you find a mentor?
Your strengths are unique to you, and the way you apply them can be just as unique. Make the most of your natural and acquired talents to leverage your strengths.
Don't be afraid of taking that first step of leveraging your strengths by posting a few of your strengths in the comments below. I'd love to hear how you're setting and reaching your goals, too!