Unfortunately, most of us have little sense of our innate talents and strengths, much less the ability to build our lives around them. Instead, guided by our parents, by our teachers, by our managers and by psychology’s fascination with pathology, we become experts in our weaknesses and spend our lives trying to repair these flaws, while our strengths lie dormant and neglected. What bigger injustice can we inflict upon ourselves, than to suppress our true potential this way?
– Marcus Buckingham, author of the bestseller Now, Discover Your Strengths
What causes us to stay unaware of our strengths? What is behind this mental paralysis? Have we given up the courage, curiosity and sense of adventure that we were born with, and lived with, as children? Do we lose the desire to continue our hero-journey into our own unexploited potential, as we start growing up and conforming to the world around us some time along the way?
Each one of us is unique. No two fingerprints match, much less thinking patterns, abilities and behaviors. Then why do we try to be “like each other”? What does it take to be different?
When you want to be different, where do you look for encouragement except to your inner calling? How to build confidence in that inner calling? How do you forge ahead with our inner voice, when outer life is erecting roadblocks everywhere? How to look at success and failure in such cases?
It takes courage to stand up and assert your strengths. When you say you will build on a strength and reach excellence, it is a bold statement you make, and you make yourself accountable. It is easier to admit weaknesses. By agreeing to repair them and stop there, you agree to reach a level of mediocrity which matches the “average” around you. Socially this may be more acceptable than aspiring to excellence, but do we really want to go there?
Focusing on your strength is not about being selfish. On the contrary, if you bring the best out of yourself, you can inspire others, help them and make a difference to the world in many ways.