How to Find Your Purpose | Part 3: Embrace Your Strengths


woman showing her strength

In this post, you’re going to identify your strengths and values. These items play a huge role in the type of work that you do and what you need to thrive. Maybe you’re really good with people, but you really value the chance to be autonomous, so working for a top-down, chain-of-command organization such as the government would be crushing.

Before you dig into Part 3 and learning to embrace your strengths, please make sure you read Part 1 and Part 2 of the How to Find Your Purpose Without Losing Your Mind series. To review, in Part 2 you learned how to cultivate an open mind and to allow yourself to pursue the things you like.

Have you tried anything on your list? Did you schedule some happy time?

You can get an idea of what you value most in the workplace by taking this quiz.Opens in a new tab.

That segues into the importance of knowing yourself and accepting what you are good at and not-so-good at. This knowing yourself begins with understanding your strengths and values. What makes you feel good about yourself?

Embrace Your Strengths 

The process starts by evaluating the factors that molded your personality — family, experiences, education, and training. Knowing your top 5 strengths and values gives you a template by which you measure choices in your career and personal life. Being successful at work means you can freely use all of these strengths as well as fulfill your values.

Your Strengths and Your Job

When your work does not reflect your strengths and values, what do you feel? Probably a bit frustrated and powerless? That’s your soul talking. It’s saying, this isn’t what you are meant to do. If you love self-assessments, you’ll want to take an enneagram test. It’s free and fascinating stuff.

Once you identify your strengths, this guide will give you ways to develop those strengths through goal-setting, visualization and measuring progress.

Don’t Go Through the Motions

Going through the motions can leave you feeling bored and unfulfilled. You feel trapped and always wish for vacations, days off and lunch breaks. When you find yourself wishing you had the flu so you can stay home all week, it’s really time to re-evaluate your career. Regardless of how much money you make, when you deny your truth, your work is difficult and boring.

Action Steps

1. Make a List of Your Strengths.

It should be fairly long. It can be as simple as I am good at gardening to I have a lot of patience. Take your time. Include all of the ones you can think of. Here is a list of work-related strengths, but you can use the words that reflect who you are.

2. Go ask your best friend what your strengths are.

Asking a close friend what your strengths are is preaching to the choir, but, they might tell you one that you didn’t think of. Write these strengths down. When your friend is listing off your strengths, listen to him or her. Don’t argue with your friend or minimalize their observations. Just soak them in.

3. Based on the assessments you took, your strengths and your experience in a work environment, describe the perfect work environment. What’s the pace, where would you work, what level of personal interaction would you need to feel happy? 

Success 

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

 — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Now that you understand your strengths and values, tomorrow’s installment will dive into understanding the power of choice.

Tracey Lamphere

Tracey Lamphere, M.S. IMC is the editor of Job Affirmations, a publication that provides information and ideas to use mindfulness, positive affirmations, and visualizations to transform your career.

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