5 Signs You’ve Lost Focus on Your Strengths
As we become more aware of our individual talents, we make an extra motivated effort to apply them in our daily lives. Immediately after completing the StrengthsFinder assessment, our TOP 5 Talent Themes are introduced along with an awesome detailed insights report. It won’t take long for us to share the information with others. A large smile results every time we realize that one of our talents is coming into play. We can easily identify which theme surfaces, and what about a certain situation caused our strength to flare up.
What an amazing feeling to be in a place of such intense self-awareness!
But then time passes. We begin to fall into the uncomfortable rhythm of our day-to-day grind. And, for some reason, the focus we had on our strengths vanishes. It’s replaced with countless distractions that enter our radar from all directions. Each one requiring our attention, but failing to boost our level of confidence and personal growth. The next thing you know, the euphoria associated with the act of gaining knowledge and understanding your abilities, character, and feelings is dissolved down to a tiny spark with little hope of combustion.
So how do we rekindle that feeling?
The first thing you need to do, is to develop the ability to recognize when your strengths are being underutilized. Only then you can take action to refocus your vision on what’s important.
There are some tell-tale signs that I’ve come to identify when my own talents take a back seat. I was blind to them for longer than I’d like to admit, but time has proven to be both educational, and scary enough to catapult my desire to get back on track.
You have to become a sleuth, investigating your own emotions and actions. It’s not easy, but well worth the effort.
Here’s what happens to me when my strengths are no longer in the cross-hairs.
- Smile less – “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” ~ Phyllis Diller
- Envy others – “Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.” ~ Buddha
- Lose motivation – “No matter how good you are at planning, the pressure never goes away. So don’t fight it. Feed off it. Turn pressure into motivation to do your best.” ~ Benjamin Carson
- Stop dreaming – “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~Harriet Tubman
- Stop asking questions – “Asking questions is what brains were born to do, at least when we were young children. For young children, quite literally, seeking explanations is as deeply rooted a drive as seeking food or water.” ~ Alison Gopnik
These symptoms, if ignored, can destroy one’s ability to help others recognize their own true potential. You have to take action quickly to prevent long-term damage. Maybe you share some of the indicators I listed above. Take comfort in knowing that you are not anomaly.
But the fix action is simple. Look for new ways to excite your natural talents!
If you’re a strong communicator, locate a Toastmasters club in your area and join. If you have a strong desire to learn more about a certain subject, consider performing research while authoring a guest blog post for a site that shares your interest. If you need to interact with others and want to help plan events, volunteer for a committee at your local Chamber of Commerce, church, or civic clubs. Satisfy your need for competition by joining an intramural sports team, or fantasy football league.
Make every effort to ensure your talents are being used daily! You’ll always be operating at peak-performance when your strengths are engaged. There’s not a person in this world who will confidently state that they were happiest when performing tasks they weren’t very good at.
We thrive on success! And that’s science.
P.S. If you’re NOT already aware of your natural talents, be sure to take the StrengthsFinder assessment. Without knowing your strengths, it will be difficult to understand where your focus needs to be directed. I was completely ignorant to my own abilities! I knew I was better at some things than others, but had no idea how to explain why. This assessment will change that.