We all have a lot of strengths and skills that we have still not explored. As we age, we loose track of them as our mind gets diverted to those which we do not possess inherently. There could be many reasons for this, one could be a child being told by the parents that he/she needs to improve on those areas which he is not good at. So, the entire focus gets redirected to that subject or skill during school days. The second reason could be we get bored of focussing on a particular skill that we are good at and want to explore something else even before we have given enough time to it. There has been research which states that if a task is too easy or too complicated then we may loose interest or focus easily. Human mind needs tasks that give adequate challenge which are neither too easy nor too difficult. Which means to say that even before we have mastered it if our mind has perceived it to be too easy or too difficult it may drift to the second one easily. Sometimes we need to try new tasks which gives us the stimulation. It could also be due to personality types for example a person having less attention and hyperactivity may find it difficult to focus on a task for a long time.
So why is it so important to focus on our strengths.
1.Boosts performance in organization: A research done by Brim & Asplund in 2009 stated that focussing on people’s weaknesses doesn’t boost employee’s performance rather worsens it.
2. More productivity in less time also means optimum use of resources which results in more savings.
3. Other studies have shown the benefits of concentrating on our strengths to be lower stress level, increased happiness, more energy and good health.
4. More focus on positive psychology which again talks about showing the clients his strengths rather than his problems.
We need to be aware of our strengths and make sure we are making a sustainable effort to get them into practice. In the book Grit written by Angela Duckworth it is stated that it takes months or even years to combine resilience, ambition and self-control. What’s more striking is that it’s a combination of passion and perseverance which makes high achievers in every domain. Its not just being talented is what will count but rather how many hours you put in that skill which can make the difference.
So now that we know that focusing on our strengths is so important what could be some of the ways to master a field or skill?
1.Be comfortable with boredom: Also, to repeat a strength and master it we will need to be comfortable with days when we feel bored of it. In the book, atomic habits, James Clear has stated that there will be days when you are bored of what you are doing and want to try something new. This is very normal and is the time you would need to refocus and get your attention back. I thought this was very powerful as it’s one of the reasons people leave the things, they are good at halfway.
2.Explore your strengths fully: The other aspects which he talked about was to keep exploring the right skill or hobby for yourself and once you find that then sticking to it. This is very common in exercise we try a different form which is very good but once you can assess what’s good for you then we should not leave it.
3. Self-validate your strengths rather than blinding following what others say or are doing. There are some very good self-assessment tools like strengths finder which gives a detailed list of your strengths. This can be very helpful as you can implement it in your workplace or your personal life. Knowing your strengths is definitely a starting point or a direction which tells you where to go. You get a defined path now it’s the choices that you will make along this path which will determine if you reach your goal. Nevertheless, there will be a lot of roadblocks and you will stumble along the way and as we know the winners will be those who have been able to get up again and not stopped walking still.
Lastly, I feel that you need to have that inner conviction of believing in your strength. A lot of times people leave it or say that they have left their strengths as they heard from their bosses or someone close to them, they are not good at that. Even though they were good at that they left as people’s opinions mattered more to them and for many years they held to that belief. Later on, to their surprise they explored that strength again and found they could do wonders.