What are your strengths?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”.
– Albert Einstein
Let’s heed the words from Einstein and acknowledge the fact that each one of us is a genius. How wonderful!
What is not wonderful is that oftentimes we do not feel like a genius. Our inner critic picks on what we are not good at and magnifies them twofold. On top of that, seeing friends, colleagues, seniors, or juniors doing great in their lives with pictorial evidence plastered all over social media gives even more fuel to our inner critic. Then we look down on ourselves and considering ourselves genius seems a farfetched unreachable idea.
In such a case, how do we prove Einstein right? What should we do to bring out and acknowledge the genius that we are?
The first step is to look within ourselves, and this time we will not just look at our shortcomings but our speciality as well. We must give our inner critics a chance to weigh in on our strengths. Going by Einstein’s quote, we have to count our swimming skills instead of beating ourselves for not being able to climb.
What are our strengths?
So, what can we count as our strengths? It could be anything you are good at. If you are good at laughing, gratitude can be your strength. If you are good at making others laugh, your strength is humor. If you are good at crying, honesty could be your strength. It is time to redefine what we perceive as a strength because each of us is a unique being with unique qualities. We must find our unique strengths and our strength will be our foundation on which we can build our lives.
Once we identify our strengths, it will help us make better choices both in our daily life as well as in our career. You can observe yourself closely or even ask your close friends and family in order to find out your strengths. And if introspection or interview does not help, there are many self-tests available online that can help you find your strengths.
Free online test to identify character strength
I myself recently came across a test called the VIA Survey, available for free on www.viacharacter.org. The site claims that it is a scientifically validated test and it measures 24 character strengths of an individual. The free test result identifies your greatest strength along with others in an ascending order.
My greatest strength according to the VIA Survey was “Love of Learning”. The reason I found it shocking is that I had never thought that this could be a strength. The next three strengths were Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence, Curiosity, and Gratitude. Looking at the result, I have not only become aware of my unexpected strengths, but I now know which skills to embrace and which ones to embellish. Also, next time when someone asks me what my strengths are I will not fumble, I have an answer.
Strength is no longer just brawn but brains too. Find your strengths and be the genius you are meant to be!