Focusing on Your Strengths

I know.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  Like many people I hit a period of procrastination and lethargy and I gave in to it following a period of having a chest infection which knocked me out.  I started focusing too much on the weaknesses that I have, the things I was doing wrong and that influenced how I felt day to day.  Even though I’m a CBT therapist, it doesn’t mean that sometimes I fall prey to my own negative thoughts and beliefs.  What it does mean is that eventually I understand what I’ve been doing and I use the tools under my belt to get me back on track.  So, world, here I am again.  Ready to refocus and look at my strengths!  And luckily, an article came up in Psychology Today about why it’s so important to focus on your strengths.  I’ll paraphrase below or you can check it out in full by clicking on this link.

1. It makes you happier – well, of course, when you focus on what you are good at, you are less likely to think about negative things

2. You experience less stress – by focusing on strengths, you will become more resilient and able to deal with any negative thoughts which would impact your stress levels

3. Have more energy – you are more likely to live a healthier lifestyle when you are positively focused (as someone who used to eat their emotions, this makes so much sense!)

4. Feel more satisfied with life – by looking at strengths, you will be a better problem solver and so be more okay with the outcomes

5. Faster development – when you focus on your strengths, you will develop new skills more quickly and easily

6. More creative – the feelings of authenticity that come with strengths focused work also increases creativity

7. More confident – you can look forward and push through mistakes more easily

8. Feel engaged and find meaning in work – when you are doing something that feeds your strengths, then you will also be feeding your inner drive

 

 

Need help to figure out your strengths?  You can check out this free survey to figure out your strengths profile (you do have to register to do so)

I will share that my top five character strengths were: Forgiveness, Love, Kindness, Honesty & Fairness…which I do believe ‘clicks’ with the person that I am.

An Introvert in an Extroverts’ world

I don’t mind being an introvert most of the time.  I get to enjoy the house that we bought and I learned how to listen to my more extroverted friends at a young age, thus leading to my career in counselling.  But sometimes it is tough to be an introvert.  When trying to start up a business, it pays to be an extrovert.  Last night, I went to a gathering of various types of therapists and heard a presentation on networking.  And I wish I could do it better.  Cause not only am I an introvert, but I’m also shy.  Most people wouldn’t recognise this as I fight through it a lot, but it’s hard.  I have a tough time of making cold calls and asking people to like my Facebook page.  And so building a business and, to be honest, this blog has been a much slower process.

I’ve left parties early, I’ve chosen not to date certain really interesting (and way too extroverted) people…you get the idea.  But, there are some positives to being an introvert and I’d like to try to celebrate them.

Susan Cain has a wonderful Ted Talk on how introverts ought to be celebrated.  And I do appreciate some of my qualities.  I do work quietly and quickly, with confidence.  I don’t have to ask someone else what they think about it.  I can be content with a book.  And I have a very powerful imagination, which is fabulous when you can’t fall asleep (I just tell myself stories to calm my brain).

So, how am I going to cope as an introvert in an extroverts’ world?  I’ll do it slowly, get it done and hope that I don’t have to stay at too many parties for too long.