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Focus on Your Strengths Tribune Article 7222018

Focus on Your Strengths

Why is it that folks spend more time focusing on their weaknesses rather than their strengths?  If I could just be (choose any or all the following): taller, slimmer, smarter, or more athletic, confident, outgoing, creative, disciplined, popular, successful, healthy, talented (yes, the list goes on and on) ….  And to make things worse, we insinuate this belief on our children.  The likely reason is our parents may have been liable for handing off this behavior to us.  It ultimately comes from our affirming society’s norms as the true nature of perfection.

How do we change? Try changing up some of your habits.  Thoughts of weakness are an identification habit.  Our tendency (habit) is to focus on what we are lacking rather than our potential.  An example would be a teenage baseball player with an excellent RBI score wishing he or she could ace stealing bases or be an all-star pitcher.  It’s fine to desire to be better but not at the price of giving yourself a hard time for being less than.  It reminds me of a quote I once read in author Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “You can have anything you want, but you can’t have everything you want.”  Find your specialty and delegate the rest.  Become an expert within your specialty and you’ll reach heights others could only dream about.  It’s all about finding out what comes naturally to you.

Some parents make the mistake of telling their children they are perfect at everything they do leaving them vulnerable and uncertain when the outside world doesn’t share the same opinion.  When you recognize strengths in your children, acknowledge it rather than their shortcomings.  Minimize sibling rivalry by capitalizing on each child’s strengths.  It’s a habit that will pay off in spades!

Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, July 22, 2018


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