I was hired by my employer to do Interior Design. At this company, it means producing commercial floor plans, elevations, site plans and selecting interior finishes for mostly office and manufacturing buildings. I have learned that although Interior Design is what I went to school for, I am only decent at it; I am not great at it. I have found myself feeling more and more dumb because I don’t get the technical aspects of design. Although the project managers have been so kind as to teach me endlessly how roof pitches come together and why a building needs a concrete fire wall on one end and not the other, I just don’t get it. I started to feel guilty and think, “Man, did I pull the wool over their eyes! What did they see in me? I suck at this.” But then I realized, “I’m a great sales person. I’m awesome at selling people on ideas and getting people excited to take action!” I sold my employer on the idea of “me.” At the time, I believed in myself too, so I wasn’t necessarily selling a false product, but I sold them on the idea that, “Hey, if you hire me, I will make you happy and this is why…”
Over the past year, I have begun to learn what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are. I’m great with people and developing relationships. I’m not great at putting together price quotes for carpet goods. I’m great at having a vision for the future and inspiring others to come alongside me and take action. I’m not great at dissecting a website design and putting it all back together again.
If you have that voice inside of you shouting, “Hey! I’m smarter than what you think. I really can do a lot of things well!” I encourage you to take a look at your job or marriage or schooling and really discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie. If you can define your strengths and find a position that really utilizes those strengths, you will experience success.
“Awesome, Alana. You make a good point, but I have no idea what my strengths are or how to begin to find out.” Here’s a great resource to begin with: Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.
Does this resonate with you? Why or why not? I’d love to hear from you!
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