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Playing to your strengths

Playing to your strengths

Find balance

By Jenna Hardie

Being true to you and what you love to do, doing the things you are interested in, and being surrounded by like-minded people, will help you find a job, career, or hobby that you actually want to ‘get up and go’ for.

As you know, sometimes activities become more enjoyable the more you do them….like playing guitar. In the beginning, it is difficult to play a chord. But over time, as you practice every day, soon enough you can play three chords and then a song, and suddenly, playing guitar is a whole lot of fun. And then you know all the chords and the world is your oyster. I play in a band, so the reference to guitar is #relevant (to me).

So how do we play to our own strengths? Be it physical strengths, mental strengths, and/or personality.

Having a good awareness of who you are will help you figure out what you can become. Which is ANYTHING. All it takes is a lot of hard work and, as they say, ‘blood, sweat and tears’. You will cry! At some point. It is a journey - with ups and downs and certainly a few plot twists and u-turns.

Self-reflection

Are you introverted or extroverted?

Do you like being around people and talking and sharing your ideas, or would you prefer to listen and work consistently and diligently on your own?

Are you someone who likes to lead?

Do you like to be the mediator – making sure that everyone has contributed their side of the story and helping everyone come to a middle ground?

So many questions. So few answers.

Don’t worry. No one can answer these questions completely.

And it’s a moving feast. What is good one day, might not be the next!

The thing is, strengths can be learned, developed and enhanced. We are all capable of getting better at things with practice and experience and sometimes all we need is a friendly face, family or a teacher or coach to hear us out and talk it out.

Where to start?

A nice starting point for figuring out your strengths, is to think about what strengths you admire in others that you might want to build on yourself. For example, some strengths to think about are: courage, humanity, fairness, caring, positivity, persistence, focus. Strengths can involve skills, qualities and personal characteristics.

You can also reflect on what other people say about you. What do your friends and family and teachers say about you when they are complimenting you? Do they say, ‘thank you, that was a really thoughtful thing to do’, or perhaps they might admire your persistence and determination. You might be really great at maths. Or mental maths (hand me the calculator please!!)!

The Limit

While we are on the subject of strengths, it would be amiss not to think about limitations. Not everyone is good at everything. Some people are good at decorating cakes, some people are good at making a mess of it (me). Some people are good at telling a story. Others are better at drawing the story, and then there are others that are better at reviewing said story. We are all good at something. Actually, we are all good at lots of things. And we can all contribute to the fabric of society and the world to make it a better place.

So what?

At the end of the day, life is about living. And the more experiences you can squeeze into it, the more opportunities you say yes to, the more you can look back and say, “Hey! I’m glad I did that. I am glad I gave it a crack.”

So where does all this leave us.

Well it starts with you. It is your life. You do you.

You can check out a bit of a video here to inspire you on helping make decisions about your adventure. It really is a ‘choose your own adventure’.