Hi, Svetlana!

It is wise to use your strengths and weaknesses in how you do your work, grow your career, right? 

And what are your strengths and weaknesses and how to use them?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the following definition of strength:

  1. the quality or state of being strong, capacity for exertion, or endurance. 2. power to resist force, solidity, toughness. 3. power of resisting attack, impregnability.

I wonder... what would happen if I constantly use my capacity for exertion or endurance at work (spoiler alert - BURNOUT!). Using your power to resist force, toughness, power of resisting attack does not exactly lead to positive supportive relationships with colleagues and promote teamwork.

And yet, I would argue that this definition is still applied in the corporate world a lot, either consciously or habitually.

The definition of Collins Dictionary offers a slightly more palatable option: 

Someone's strengths are the qualities and abilities that they have which are an advantage to them, or which make them successful.

An advantage in relation to whom or what and what definition of success do we use here?

How about we define strengths and weaknesses slightly differently?
(Suggested by Marcus Buckingham in his book Now, Discover Your Strengths and developed further by Danielle LaPorte in The Fire Starter Sessions).

Strength is what you do that makes you feel strengthened

So it's not necessarily what you are good at or what you're capable of - it's what feels amazing when you do it.

Weakness is the stuff that makes you feel weakened.

Holding this perspective changes everything. 

Deceptively simple. Revolutionary.

Be careful what you're good at - you could end up doing it for years.

Stop trying to be good at the things that make you feel bad.

It means that all that stuff that you may be good at but don’t really love to do, you get to dump… mostly. No more faking till you make it.

Masters focus on what they do best. That's how they become masters. They stay in their zone, and the zone is what feels good. Damn good.

So what about the good, old-fashioned sweat and determination? It's essential, of course. But there is a remarkable difference in slogging to fit the bill and pushing yourself to break the mold.

There's being obligated to run versus wanting to run hard. There's duty, and there's passion. And you can't fake passion. (Danielle LaPorte. The Fire Starter Sessions)

Passion will always move you in the direction of your authentic self. Passion helps you know when to say yes or no, at work and in life.

Do you want to bring more passion into your work (without changing it) and feel strengthened by what you do rather than depleted? Start paying attention to what makes you feel good (or bad).

Women's Support group, which is based on the material by Danielle LaPorte and will bring these concepts into your work and life, starts next week. Cart closes on Sunday. The details and registration for this special offer are here. To my guy-friends, which women you know want to join? Please feel free to share?

Be safe and well,

Sveta Parilova is a career and leadership coach who partners up with mid-career professionals to help them get rekindled and renewed about their work/career so that they feel less stressed and more joyful at work and at home. She is passionate about supporting people in their search for purpose and meaning in their work and life and is humbled and honored to be part of their journey to a more joyful self. Click here to schedule a Complimentary Discovery Session and learn more!

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Svetlana Parilova
Thrive Network International, LLC