You Rock

Growth Shouldn’t Mean Only Improving Your Weaknesses

I came across an article last night that made me chuckle a bit because I’m in week 2 of a new job and I thought it was a perfect way to fight against my normal anxiety around everything I don’t know how to do yet.

Cultivating Strengths to Build Self-Esteem

Sean makes a valid point:

Cultivating your strengths can be a journey of self-discovery. How often do we focus on our weaknesses, striving to improve them to meet the expectations of those around us? This could be in a social setting, a workplace, or even a familial environment. However, we live in a profoundly beautiful interdependent universe. We do not need to “do it all.” Rather, we can find harmony in knowing ourselves and applying our strengths.

I agree that we often focus on the things we’d like to get better at doing. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes we need what we often refer to as an “easy win” in the IT world. As we struggle with anxiety, depression, or other mental health struggles, it’s nice to step up and remind ourselves that we have skills. There are things that we do very well.

As I mentioned, this reminded me of work. Having only one week in at a new job, there are a ton of things I don’t know. There are a ton of things that I’m going to have to ask for help with. It takes a toll on my anxiety. It kickstarts my brain into negative self-talk. After all, look at all of the things I can’t do without help. When I’m dealing with this, do you know what feels really great? Finding the things I do really well and sharing some of the knowledge I have. It’s an immediate boost to my sense of self and the sense that I contribute to the team. Sean refers to it as “intrinsic value”.  It also acts as a reminder that once upon a time, I was learning how to do those things, so I am capable of learning and developing new skills.

It’s important to find the small wins in our lives and celebrate them. The things we are good at, and the ways in which we can contribute to our teams, communities, or families help sustain us. We need those. There is enough struggle in our lives, keep doing the things you’re good at and getting those wins. It feels good, and that matters.

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