Are you one of those people who focuses on your weaknesses instead of your strengths?
If so, you’re in good company, because that’s a really common thing!
The problem is that doing this means we only see our weaknesses, and then that low self-esteem seeps into everything we do. But when we focus on our strengths (and I promise everyone has them!), life improves significantly on both personal and professional levels.
This is why the most successful people in the world focus on their strengths. They know (and have sometimes learned the hard way) that focusing on their weaknesses will only stop them from reaching their goals.
Your Life Follows Your Attention
You’ve heard me talk about the law of attraction, right? It’s the idea that whatever we focus on grows and expands. Well, what do you think happens when we focus on our weaknesses? That’s right, we find more of them, we then end up with a long list of the ways we’re not good enough, which becomes self-sabotage, which means we’re never going to build the life we want.
On the flip side, if we focus on our strengths, we’ll find there are probably more than we realize, and we’ll be empowered to act in ways that make our dreams come true. And when we get reminded of a weakness while in this mode, it’s much easier to shift back to the positive: “Okay, I’m not great at that, but I am awesome at all these other things!”
How The 80/20 Rule Applies
The 80/20 Rule was created by an Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto. He realized that in most aspects of life, 20 percent of what we do makes up 80 percent of the results.
Of course, it applies to strengths, but how? By using your strengths for that 20% of work, you’ll get 80% closer to achieving your goal. Not only that, you’ll enjoy doing the work way more and everything will happen more quickly and easily, too.
Trying to do work that involves our weaknesses is like walking into the wind during a horrible storm. It’s slow-going, and we’ll be soaked and chilled to the bone by the time we reach our destination (if we even get there).
But doing work that uses our strengths? That’s a breeze! It’s like going for a walk on a beautiful spring day where the sun’s shining, and there’s even some wind at our backs gently pushing us forward.
Now I can’t tell you the specifics of what to focus on for your 20 percent, but I can say that bringing your strengths to that effort makes it way more likely to be successful!
Aim For A Strength-Based Life
Marcus Buckingham is an expert on strengths, a renowned speaker, an author of several books, including Now, Discover Your Strengths. In that book, he lists 34 different talents (strengths) people can have. I highly recommend checking it out.
Like me, Marcus believes that we should all focus on what we’re good at and let go of what we’re not. He says strengths can continually be improved upon, but weakness can only get so much better. Have you found that to be true?
Our particular combination of strengths make us unique, and that’s a good thing. I mean, if everyone were great at math but bad at writing, our libraries would be pretty pitiful!
When it comes to business, I always say to focus on solving people’s problems rather than money. How can you incorporate your strengths into your problem-solving? Answer that, and you’ve found your sweet spot!
Find And Use Your Strengths
So many of us are so used to focusing on what we’re not good at that it’s hard to shift our attention. That’s why I’ve created the following exercise:
- Make a list of all your strengths—both big and small. Be sure to include actionable skills (fixing a car) and social-emotional traits (staying calm in emergencies).
- Using the list you’ve created, write a story about a day in which you only use your strengths.
- Journal about how you feel when you’re focusing on and imagining using your strengths.
This exercise should make you feel pretty good—empowered, excited, optimistic, and more. I do want to give a quick dose of reality, though: the truth is that there will always be some things we’ll have to do that we’re not great at or that we don’t love. That’s just life. All we can do in those moments is accept our weaknesses and try our very best. And yes, that’s good enough. I suggest shooting for using your strengths 75% of the time. If you can hit that, you’re doing pretty great!
Now before I sign off, I want to remind you that your particular set of strengths are what make you awesome — I’m talking really frickin’ amazing! I’m curious, and I bet others are, too — what strengths do you have? Please share them in the comments below!
Knowing and focusing on your strengths is a key part of creating your ultimate life, but you and I both know there’s much more to it than that.
I cover it all in my free signature web class, The Ultimate Life Makeover.
In it, I teach my 7-step system for creating the life of your dreams — one that you can look back on and say you truly lived your life to the fullest.
Not only will this free class help you get clear on what you want, but it’ll also help you make it happen, too!
If you’ve read this post, you most likely have something you want to change about your life, so don’t waste another minute.
Click here now to learn more and to register as my guest.
Just pick a time and date that suits you best. Hope to see you there!
For Your Freedom,