If you went to Lee University (like I did), knowing your “strengths” was as common as knowing your phone number. (Yes, I just imagined a dude saying “Ay girl, can I get yo strengths?” Help.)
StengthsFinder is a book-turned-program that a lot of universities and businesses use as a tool to help their students and employees capitalize on and develop their strengths. I sat down as an eager freshman and took my strengths test, “my top five” (yes, that’s a commonly used phrase) turned out to be:
Regardless of if you think the program is bull or accurate, I know that it helped me be intentional about cultivating the things I knew I was good at. Now, the point of this post isn’t actually to discuss how much I love StregthsFinder (but I should totally be featured in the next Lee University alumni magazine for writing this), it’s to point out a huge lesson that I’m learning about strength:
I was in a staff development meeting at work the other day when a guy I work with, whom I highly respect, made a comment about how one of the authors of StrengthsFinder defines our strengths a lot differently than we think. He said that “strengths aren’t necessarily just the things that we are naturally strong at, but they are the things that when we do them, we feel strong.” He then asked our staff, “What makes you feel strong?” While in that instant, it pertained to our job descriptions, I left thinking about that question and I haven’t stopped since.
What makes you feel strong?
I’m not talking about your God-given strengths or abilities…
What, when you are doing it (even if it’s not easy), makes you feel strong?
Who, when you are with them (even if it’s challenging), makes you feel strong?
That’s the question I’m encouraging you to think about. It didn’t take me long to realize the things that make me feel strong and the people who, when I’m with them, make me feel strong.
So, do it; even if you feel inadequate of doing it or inadequate of being with someone. The good stuff, the opportunities in life to feel strong, don’t always come for free (as they say); but when you try, I think you’ll find that you’re a lot stronger than you thought you were.