We all have our strengths. For instance, I’m good at: 1) writing and public-speaking, 2) talking with my kids and listening to those in need. I’m also good at 3) acknowledging and working on my weaknesses.
We all have those too, you know—weaknesses. Some of the things I’m not so good at include: 1) being nice when I’m too tired (or hormonal), 2) keeping my life stress-free, or 3) keeping up with my work, home, and all six of my kids all the time!
“This is My Lame-O List”
In fact, yesterday, I had to face up to the fact that my life is so full, I pretty much don’t do anything until it absolutely MUST get done. This means there are many, many items that get shoved into never-done land.
In an effort to finally own up to this weakness of mine and how lame I’ve been this past year about getting these things done, I grabbed a sheet of paper and wrote at the top, “The Lame-O List.” I started writing down all the important things my husband and I need to do but haven’t (for months!):
- Clean off the back deck for summer (a little late for that one!)
- Get the dog trained with the invisible fence
- Finish our bathroom remodel (painting, hanging the mirrors, putting on the bathtub fixtures!)
- Get my girls’ hair cut (It’s officially been a year. My youngest said to me yesterday, “Mom! You need to cut my hair! It’s all the way to my bottom now!” Lame-O.)
- Hire someone to get the mold out of our boys’ shower area!
- And many, many more!!
I mean, come on! These aren’t the world’s biggest jobs. They can be done in a few hours or a day. But, like I said, it’s my weakness right now. My life is currently made of only what HAS to be done right now. There are too many pieces to keep up with! And I get tired even trying, which is not a good thing either (See weakness number one, above).
“These Are My Strengths!”: No More Excuses
It would be easy for me to sit around and give excuses for why I can’t seem to get these important things done (I’ve got too many kids, I’m in the thick of publishing my first book!). But, like I said above, one of my strengths is seeing my weaknesses and choosing to work on them. It’s not my husband’s strength, however. When I showed the Lame-O List to my husband, OJ, he laughed. “We need to start crossing these things off, dear,” I encouraged him, accepting my weakness. “I’m in denial,” was his reply. He is in denial. But I am NOT! Not any longer, anyway.
(Side Note: When my son asked me when I was going to get the carpet fixed in his room, last night, I said, “Put it on my “Lame-O List.” To which he replied, “Yeah, I feel like you’re not actually going to do any of those things.” Ha! I’ll show him!)
How to Embrace Strengths & Weaknesses
The point is, we need to see these things we’re not so good at. And we need to see the things we are good at. We need to own them. All of them. Just like I’m trying to do with my “Lame-O List.” But, I can hear you saying, “How?” How is the right question. Here are a few things to get us started!
1) Most of us tend to either under- or over-estimate our strengths and weaknesses.
I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve overestimated my strengths and others when I can only see my weaknesses. I’ve also had times when I have under-recognized my strengths and my weaknesses. Getting real about our strengths and weaknesses opens us up to them. It helps us accept them. And when we accept them, we discover a greater sense of joy and self-worth.
2) Owning our strengths allows us to utilize them to bring passion, purpose, and joy to our lives and to those around us.
It’s true. When we know what we’re good something, we can seek more of that in our life. This can increase our passion in life and even help us discover our life’s purpose. And that makes us happier.
3) In fact, evidence shows that working from one’s signature strengths is one of the surest ways to increase joy and happiness in your life.
Too often we fail to take the time to search these strengths out and creatively seek ways to use these strengths in our daily pursuits. But it’s well worth it, for research shows using our strengths on a daily basis is a sure path to joy.
4) Owning our weaknesses helps us “get real,” accept where we are, and discover peace.
If someone were to tell me I’m not a great gardener right now, I would have to agree. It wouldn’t make me feel terrible about myself, because I know that, right now, I can’t remember to water the lawn, let alone a garden! And that’s ok. I have friends who are great gardeners—master gardeners even. It is their strength. It’s not mine. Knowing our weakness helps us accept it. And that brings more peace and a deeper sense of self-worth to our life.
5) Accepting our weaknesses allows us to improve and grow.
Yes! Only through seeing and accepting our weaknesses can we choose to grow. We can set goals—like me, writing out my Lame-O list—to improve. And someday, our weakness may even become on of our strengths. (Again, I will prove my kids wrong!!)
6) Start by making a list of our strengths and weaknesses.
It’s simple. Just start by listing your strengths and your weaknesses. Is one list longer than the other? Why? Are you being honest and letting yourself own it all, strengths and weaknesses alike? Do you need practice seeing your strengths? Or your weaknesses? Approach this list like you’re an investigator—just trying to gather all the facts and lay them out for a good look.
7) Choose one strength to strengthen and one weakness to improve.
Start small. Just one at a time. Use one of your strength more in your daily life—in your career, your parenting, your relationships with others, your hobbies. Then, set a goal for how you will improve a weakness. Give yourself time, and you will grow.
8) Our strengths and weaknesses change with life’s circumstances, and as we choose to grow.
Believe it: We can choose to strengthen our strengths and improve our weaknesses. And sometimes life helps us do this too. We’re given circumstances that make us grow in new ways, develop new strengths, overcome old weaknesses. But it’s a choice we each must make each and every day.
Choose to grow, my friends. Choose to see what is. Choose to embrace your strengths and your weaknesses, to say, with comfort and confidence, “These are my strengths,” and “This is my Lame-O List!” Choose to not judge yourself, but rather to openly see and accept where you are. Then, choose to grow a little bit more each and every day.
You don’t have to “Grow” it alone!
Join us for my “This is How We Grow” Personal Growth Group! Starting this week!
Details coming very soon (like tonight!), so stay tuned! “Like” my facebook page for news and updates! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE, below, so you you won’t miss a thing!
Oh, and I’d love to hear what you think about embracing your strengths and weaknesses (or about joining our group!), so leave me a comment, below!
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.drchristinahibbert.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/square-head-shot1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She has a lot of weaknesses, but she’s working on them. She has a lot of strengths too! [/author_info] [/author]
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