How to Stand Out - The Power of Tapping into Your Strengths
What if we tried to be the best version of ourself rather than someone else?
It’s easy to see other people being successful in their niche, creating a substantial following, and positively impacting a large group of people and in turn feel inferior. We can suddenly feel like our success is lacking because we don’t resemble other people who appear to be successful. We begin to analyze who they are, what they do, how they talk, and what they offer and maybe even attempt to mimic their work.
But the secret to their success, their super power (nine times out of ten) is that they have mastered the art of being themselves. They have become so comfortable in their own skin, their capabilities, the way they talk, the way they work and the products they offer… And people can read that. People are attracted to people that are not only real and authentic but also honing in on their own strengths in order to contribute something excellent to the world.
We cannot successfully be anyone else, but we can be the best version of our own self.
Tom Rath, author of Strength Finders 2.0, says “You cannot be anything you want to be - but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” This statement originally caught me off guard. I mean, it goes against every parent telling their child “you can be absolutely anything that you want to be.” It surpasses the parameters that suggest that we can make a success out of anything we work hard at. And hey, there’s thousands of people who have attained success from hard work. Don’t get me wrong, hard work is imperative.
But imagine what would happen if we honed in on our strengths and from there, worked towards the dream - the success we envision. If we were 100% okay with being ourselves, if we knew what we were good at, and we knew how to meet a need with one of our strengths, then we would spend a whole lot less time working towards attaining someone else’s success and instead work on attaining our own.
Related: Eliminating the Root of Comparison
Knowing what you’re good at is an advantage in itself.
When you are able to recognize your natural strengths, you are at an advantage. When you recognize the power of working hard in your area of expertise, you are at an even greater advantage. So many people work hard in areas that are actually in their “weakness zone” instead of working hard in their “strength zone.” The truth is that our capacity to improve our weaknesses is much less than our capacity to improve our strengths.
Think about it… What if Steve Jobs spent all of his time pursuing a music career? What if he spent all of his late nights agonizing over writing the next hit song? (Although I’m sure he could’ve figured it out). What if he got so caught up in pursuing his music career that he never took the time to acknowledge his natural strength as an inventor? He probably would have spent double or triple the time building his music career than he did inventing the iPhone. Why? Because his natural strength lies in inventing not in music.
No matter how cliche it sounds, your greatest strength is discovering who you are and what you are good at.
It works every time. Why? Because you are original. You are different than anyone else. You are authentic. People are looking for someone different, someone real, and someone they can relate to. So, where do you start?
How to Start Tapping into Your Natural Strengths
1| You have to know what they are.
It sounds self-explanatory, but the first place to start is discovering and acknowledging what your natural strengths are. Are you good at writing, planning, inventing, painting, or budgeting? What do people always compliment you on? What do people ask for your advice on? What are people awed by that seems so easy and effortless to you? One of the biggest mistakes we can make is overlooking how powerful one of our strengths is because it seems so easy to us. The reality is that there are thousands of other people that struggle with that same strength because it is one of their weaknesses.
Take Action! Pull out a notebook or create a new document on your computer, and write down what you are good at. Write down things that you enjoy doing because they are so effortless to you while at the same time rewarding. If you want to take it a step further, look into the Strength Finders series - it is honestly SO helpful in discovering your strengths.
2| Don’t try to mimic. Be original.
There’s a fine line between observing someone else’s work for inspirational and strategic purposes and mimicking their workflow and style. It is very beneficial to observe other people in your niche to see what they are doing that’s working, certain strategies they apply and ways that they relate to their audience. Why not get free ideas and strategies?! I’m totally with you! At the same time, we have to be sure that we are staying true to ourselves, our brand, our voice, and our identity. Because ultimately, that is your superpower in connecting and relating to people.
3| Stay in your strength zone
While I commend always learning (because that’s something we should all be doing), I am at the same time suggesting to stay in your strength zone. This doesn’t mean that we are not learning new things, but it does mean that we are applying most of our energy and effort towards something we are already naturally good at. When we focus on our strengths, we have the capacity to improve them so much more than any of our weaknesses. So, spend time becoming proficient and excellent in your strength zone.
When we tap into our strengths, we have the ability to contribute something of excellence to the world.
When we resist competition, embrace our natural strengths and operate excellently in them, we have the ability to makes some serious impact. Not to mention that we get to feel entirely fulfilled and excited about what we are contributing - because we are good at it! Discovering who you are and what you are good at is the most powerful discovery that you will ever make…
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What is your greatest strength? Leave your answer in the comments below! I love hearing from you guys.