It can be all too easy to focus on the negatives and try and work on things we aren’t very good at it but did you know, we are actually better to focus on the positives?
Research shows that we will achieve more in the long term if we focus on our strengths. A study by Forbes revealed 70-80% of workers will benefit more by improving on what they are doing right (their strengths).
It’s like being on a netball court. The Centre player doesn’t worry about throwing the ball in the hoop or defending the wing but instead focuses on getting the ball to their end of the court – to the Goal Shooter. Each individual concentrates on their key role and being the best they can be at their own position. It’s the same at work – you need to focus on your role and your strengths.
So what do you enjoy doing and what are you good at? For long-term happiness from your career, it’s important to pinpoint the things you really enjoy. Though the things you like aren’t necessarily the things you’re good at right away, these can be your strengths. It’s about combing the things you will excel at with the things you’re passionate about.
The Gallup Strength Centre defines a ‘strength’ as: “The ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity.” Kent University says, “Your strengths are a mixture of your talents, knowledge and skills.”
Your strengths are what make you feel strong – you look forward to them and you enjoy doing them.
If you stick to these things – your strengths – you’re more likely to flourish and grow.
There have been a number of studies and experiments, which show that those who concentrate on improving their strengths, over their weaknesses, excel much more.
But finding your strengths can be hard right? How do you know what you’re good at and what you like? There are tests you can take (such as Kent University’s) but some of it does come down to trial and error.
As you grow up, you learn more about yourself and figure out what makes you tick. Having this knowledge means you know how to apply yourself better at work. For example, I’ve learnt that I’m organised and goal-orientated, so I’ll put my hand up for tasks that require planning and I’ll make sure there’s a deadline and a clear objective.
Does the saying ‘play to your strengths’ sink in even more now?
If you’re a slow reader or not very creative, or whatever your weaknesses are, stop worrying about the negatives and focus on your positives!
Please let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below! x