Choose Your Career, Entrepreneurial & Relationship Paths Based on Your Strengths: Live Your Best Life Now!
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach
This post is the third in a series on the importance of identifying your strengths and weaknesses. In the other posts, I have offered ways for you to do both, and I encourage you to learn how to play to your strengths. Doing so will lead to a happier, more productive life.
This week, I want to suggest that you can use what you learn about your strengths when choosing a career. You can also use them should you decide to embark on an entrepreneurial venture. More and more people are doing that, these days. And it is even a good thing to stick to your strengths when building personal relationships. In both your work and personal relationships, you need to be self-aware.
One thing is clear. When you know what your strengths are you can make choices that affect the course of your life positively. Working from strength instead of weakness allows you to move forward in life. Avoid focusing on your weaknesses. They are likely not even relevant in the first place. When you know your strengths, you will have a better work life and personal life. You’ll be making better choices based on knowledge and facts.
Using Your Strengths in Your Career and Entrepreneurship Endeavors
Many factors affect your level of competence in your career. Whether you work for someone else or have built your own business, your strengths play a considerable part in your success. Many factors affect the choices you have in front of you when it comes to the work you choose to do.
Ability and experience, even more than education, play a huge role in what you choose to do in your career. Most people are drawn to a specific type of work. The attraction comes from some form of innate ability or love for a particular kind of work. You may not even realize that you’re drawn to a field due to your inherent strengths, but more than likely you are.
Think about the most successful people in the world. They ignored the conventional advice they no doubt received. Just this morning I was listening to a podcast featuring a former teacher who has built a 6-figure business teaching teachers how to differentiate instruction so they can meet the needs of their struggling students. She has turned her passion for teaching into an online business. Think of the singers we love to listen to. What if each of them had listened to conventional wisdom and gone into other careers. We would have been cheated of the experience of their sharing their talents.
who is recognized internationally as a spiritual teacher and expert in the Course in Miracles s
hares that as a young woman, she wanted to be an actress and singer. She studied theater and philosophy in college but dropped out to move to New York City to sing in a cabaret club. Her passion for the Course
led to her talking about it to small groups of people, and the groups grew in size over time. Eventually, she wrote her best-selling book, Return to Love
, and the rest is history as they say. She has launched a full-time career as an author, speaker, spiritual guide to millions and a voice of calm in a season of seeming chaos.
She created her career out of her passion for the teaching in the Course.
Unfortunately, the conventional wisdom of the recent past has been to become “well-rounded.” You may be encouraged to dabble in career areas that don’t interest you, but they are sources of a good income. The trouble is, when you work in a job or career that doesn't play to your strengths, it drains you. It is what can lead to burnout. Working at jobs that they don't love has led to the result that 85% of workers worldwide hate their jobs or are disengaged in their careers. I don't know about you, but that statistic is both sad and troubling to me. It may explain why so many people are taking anti-anxiety medications and why people are self-medicating with alcohol and recreational drugs. Happy people don't need to do that. People are happy in their work because they love what they do are excited about work. They feel they are making a positive difference in the world. I believe that is what we should all strive for, don't you?
So, analyze what it is that you love doing. Then learn how to do that well. In fact, learn how to do it better than anyone else or different from anyone else. Learn how to be uniquely YOU. Those who are successful do something in particular better than anyone else can. That is what makes them successful. Consider what you love doing and feels natural for you to help you find your career choice.
If you can't find a job that plays to your strengths, consider creating your own career path.
That's what I did. And I am grateful every day that I decided to do that. Perhaps you can't afford to create your own job and make it full time right away. Then consider making it part-time at first. Lots of people do that. Why not you?
Using Your Strengths When You are at Play
Your strengths also affect how you play. What do you enjoy doing most? Do you lose track of time when you are writing or painting? Do you love to play tennis or some other sport? Do you like to play the piano or another musical instrument?
You are probably naturally good at the thing you enjoy doing most. Or, maybe you recognize that you’re good enough at something that with consistent practice, you could become even better. Remember, having a love for something and an ability to do something doesn’t mean you never have to practice or learn. It just means that it likely comes more easily to you than some other things you have tried. Plus, you will like the practice more.
Think of those who spend every spare moment playing golf. Or perhaps you are a runner and your day isn't complete until you have been on your run. Pick the activity. If you are naturally good at something, you can spend more time doing it to get even better. The best part is you are enjoying yourself in the process!
You hear this message all the time: be yourself.
Don’t try to be someone else. Successful people know themselves and appreciate their strengths. They recognize their weaknesses but don't beat themselves up about them. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world were fired from a traditional job. And many of them will they will tell you it was the best thing that ever happened to them. It forced them to realize that they had something else to do with themselves in the world.
Using Your Strengths in Your Relationships
Our relationships often create the most turmoil in our lives. Even with those that we love deeply, we can run into the occasional conflict with them. Obviously, if you don’t like doing certain things, you may still have to do them if you want to have relationships. For example, left to my own devices, I never watch professional sports on TV. But my boyfriend watches professional sports on TV all the time! He doesn't care who is playing or who wins much of the time. So, when I am at his house, we watch sports. I could stay home, of course. But then I wouldn't be spending time with him. So on occasion, it is worth it to me to watch sports with him so we can spend some time together.
Thankfully, you can learn to be better in pursuing happy, harmonious relationships. Regardless of your innate abilities, you can learn to be an equal partner in all your relationships. But, you can also be honest about your skill set in this area. Then you do a better job of choosing the right people to move forward with in your life. For example, if you’re an introvert and hate going out every weekend, you may not want to marry an extrovert who needs to go out every weekend to be happy. While they say opposites attract, unfortunately, opposites also get divorced.
So, Now What?
How do you put all this information together so you can make the most of it? First, take some time to think about what you’ve read over these past three weeks. How can you make the most of the new information you have learned about yourself?
Choosing success is about finding and playing to your strengths. Focus on those, build them up, and let go of any ideas of weakness. Everyone on Earth has both strengths and weaknesses. Not everyone is going to be a rocket scientist, and not everyone is going to be an artist. Neither profession is any better than the other. They are simply different. What would you do with your life if you could only do what you love doing, and are good at doing?
How much more successful might you be if you could let go of trying to improve on your weaknesses and instead focused on developing your strengths? Start by first analyzing what it is that you know you’re good at, what other people say you’re good at, and what you love doing. This will go far in helping you determine how to move forward.
Mark S. Kerr correctly offered these words of wisdom. “Don't die by your weaknesses, live through your strengths."
Be happy. Live your best life. Know who you are and what's important to you. Focus on those things that you value. And live the life of happiness that you deserve.
Until next time.
Did you hear about my latest eBook? It's called, 3 Secrets of EVERY Successful Job Search or Career Change REVEALED.
I am offering it right now for $10.
This 22-page guide offers my best advice on how to change your job or career in the least amount of time and with the least expense of time, money, and energy.
To be a successful job seeker or career changer, you need to understand three main things:
1) You must deal with the #1 challenge EVERY job seeker or career changer meets regardless of your previous work experience.
2) You must understand which job search tools you need and how to use them to your best advantage. Tools like your resume, cover letters, your LinkedIn profile, etc., but they are only a few of the tools you need in your search.
3) You must also understand the job search protocols that are in place--the hidden "rules" of successful job searching--that you don't know yet because you haven't been looking for work in the last five, ten, or fifteen years.
You break these "rules" at your own peril.
I feel so strongly about these 3 "secrets" and why you need to know them that I am offering 3 free presentations next week:
Monday, November 19th at 7:00 PM EST
Friday, November 23rd at 11:00 AM, and
Saturday, November 24th at 11:00 AM
If you have ever wished you could join my coaching program but thought you couldn't afford it, you want to check out this presentation. I am offering a special discount for the holidays!
To get your copy of the eBook ahead of time, go to the button below to get instant access: