Building confidence through knowing your strengths
A question that gets asked an awful lot in interviews is: what are your strengths and weaknesses? This isn’t a test and there is no right or wrong answer, the question simply offers an insight into what makes you, you. Our strengths are a big part of who we are as individuals, and often times we overlook this aspect of ourselves instead focussing on our weaknesses. Knowing what your strengths are can give you a better understanding of how you function as well as help you recognise your own capabilities.
How to identify your strengths
There are various methods that can help you identify your strengths. Firstly, start with a self-evaluation. Think of positive examples and situations you’ve been in where you’ve displayed admirable attributes and qualities. These can be anything from staying calm in a highly pressurised situation, to being an effective decision-maker or having unyielding ambition and drive. Your strengths are unique to you and your experiences.
Another way of identifying your strengths is by asking those close to you, after all they know you! Ask friends, colleagues and family members to describe the first three positive characteristics that come to mind when they think of you. This will not only help you identify your strengths but will also give you an insight into how you come across to others and what they perceive to be your positive attributes.
In the working environment there are measures in place that encourage self-evaluation, such as performance reviews and appraisals. These are opportunities to receive constructive feedback, that help in identifying and harnessing particular strengths.
Identifying your strengths enables you to understand and analyse your own personal skillset, allowing you to utilise your strengths effectively and work towards amplifying them.
Using your strengths to the best of your ability
So, you’ve identified your strengths and are maybe wondering: what now? Well you’ve crossed the first hurdle and laid the foundation to build. Now that you know where your strengths lie, you can intentionally work on maximising them and applying them to situations to produce positive outcomes.
Reflecting on your strengths and learning about them will help you utilise them, you can do this by setting goals. Setting SMART goals ensures they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely – this will help you monitor your progress while also demonstrating how far you have come!
Finding pride in your strengths
Not all strengths are conventional, there isn’t one size fits all. Core strengths such as being creative, disciplined, competitive, trustworthy, and focussed are common amongst many of us, however, we all have strengths that are individual to us based on our personal experiences and these may not be typical or obvious.
Session one of my Back on Track programme discusses the importance of building the confidence to move forward. Being proud of how far you’ve come, having faith in how far you can go and being confident with the strengths that are unique to you will help you make the best of the strengths you have.
A lot of my clients keep a PAL! A positive attitude log, a place to document the things you have done during that day or week to help you move towards your goals and positively impact your life. If you would like a copy, all you have to do is get in touch!
For more information on exploring your strengths, register your interest here.