Malcolm S. Forbes, the late publisher of Forbes, said, “Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” It’s in our nature to cling to negative thoughts or recall what we perceive as negative more clearly. We latch onto “bad news,” and in doing so, we often forget to recognize our strengths.
Constructive criticism and feedback will always have its place in the world, but it’s your responsibility to take time to recognize and celebrate your own strengths on a regular basis. We suggest practicing a series of small but important habits that can have a ripple effect of positivity through your entire team.
- Identify your strength.
Think about what you enjoy doing and what you receive praise for. Your strength is often at the intersection of these two things. Go beyond what might be considered a traditional strength, like public speaking or writing. Perhaps you have a knack for connecting with clients or coworkers. Is it your strength your ability to listen closely? Or maybe an innate knowledge of when to speak and when to stay silent? If you’re struggling to pinpoint your strength, ask your peers for their opinion. What’s the consensus?
- Don’t compare yourself with the people around you.
Negative self-talk is a form of self-sabotage and a waste of your precious time. Remember, the value of your strength would diminish if it were the same as everyone else’s. Embrace the difference.
- Celebrate the strength of others.
Challenge yourself to tell them too! When you recognize the people who inspire you and bolster their confidence, you can help them use their own strengths more confidently. You also train your brain to look for positivity and may begin to see it more readily in yourself.
This goes beyond simple acknowledgment. Take time to step back and think deeply about everything you have accomplished in your career and how your unique strength helped you accomplished it.
Everyone has multiple strengths and opportunities for growth, just like every team does. It’s a balancing act. Just remember, at the end of the day, your strength is more valuable than your growth opportunities, and it deserves more of your attention!