We all have unique strengths — Being highly detailed and organized, remaining cool under pressure, amazing creativity, using humor to diffuse tense situations, keen technology skills, the ability to identify issues before they happen, wildly resourceful, and deep compassion to name just some. What are your strengths? And you can’t say you don’t have any because you do. Most of us go about each day without considering our strengths or what it takes to accomplish tasks and projects.
Each of us possesses more inner strength than we realize, and it’s easy to forget because thankfully, we aren’t often called to step up to extreme conditions.
Many of us have come through very difficult situations whether personally such as a family tragedy or on a national level like 9/11 or more recently, the pandemic. No matter what challenge you have faced, it took strength, probably many strengths to overcome and move through those difficulties. Some of us did it better than others, but you still did it. What matters most is choosing what is most important to you and finding a way to overcome obstacles so you can achieve your goals and experience living your life in the best way possible.
Despite all the change we experience almost on a daily basis or so it seems, if you open yourself up to not automatically taking a negative stance, then you will be able to see more clearly from a different perspective. Change really doesn’t happen to us. Change happens externally and it affects us. And it doesn’t have to be all bad as there is a lot of good that comes from change.
As much as you may feel a lack of control over what is happening outside of yourself, you almost always have a choice of how you react. Instead of allowing everything to happen to you in a negative way, you can make a conscious choice that you will not give up hope and your dreams. Maybe you will alter your plans to achieve what you desire and create new dreams.
Think about driving to a destination and all of sudden there is road construction or an accident. As you are sitting in your car waiting at a standstill or inching forward, you get to choose how you will react. You can get angry or upset and let it ruin your day or you can take a different approach by calling a friend and catching up or listening to an interesting podcast. And maybe there is an opportunity to exit on a ramp or take a turn for a detour that will still enable you to arrive on-time. There is more than one way to get to where you want on the road and in your life.
Embrace your strengths, those skills and abilities that can make a difference for yourself, your employer, your co-workers, your employees, your family and friends, and your community. Being adaptable will get you through that traffic jam. Overcoming a huge unforeseen obstacle will show your boss a side of you she’s not yet had a chance to see. Be a role model for your colleagues and employees through your example, leadership and ideas. Be a voice of calm and reassurance when others begin to get down. Roll up your sleeves to support a friend or co-worker who is ill or caring for loved ones.
If you lost your job or think it may happen, keep in mind that it probably has nothing to do with you and your job performance. In most circumstances, it is or will be a financial decision. Sure, it hurts no matter what the reason is for a layoff. It is fine to feel whatever you want. There is no right or wrong to feelings. And getting laid off might just be the best thing to happen to you. It is all a matter of perspective. Maybe now is the right time for a career pivot or going after an even better job at a dream employer.
No matter what the change you are experiencing, feel what you must then tap in to your superpower of strengths within you to determine, plan and execute your best next career and life moves. There are always possibilities and opportunities. And you don’t have to go it alone. Connect with others who are in a similar situation, talk to friends or a former boss, or work with a coach.
We can all be superheroes by using our special talents. Everyone has accomplishments where they used their strengths. Don’t keep waiting for a better or more perfect tomorrow. Choose to live more fully today.
*Take a free character strengths assessment at https://www.viacharacter.org/character-strengths-via
* Gallup offers the Clifton Strengths Assessment for $49.99 at https://store.gallup.com/p/en-us/1003/cliftonstrengths/10003/cliftonstrenghts-34#details