I’m Feeling Strong

Picture a moment in your life when you were feeling stressed, agitated, bored or anxious. What were you doing? Who was with you? Were you alone or surrounded by people? Were you talking or was someone talking to you? Were you working on a project? What type of project? What was your environment like? Were you inside or outside? Were you being bombarded with questions? 🙂 Just kidding. Consider the vivid details of that moment.

Now, picture a moment in your life when you felt energized, happy, unburdened, or smart. What were you doing in this moment? Again, consider the vivid details. Were you reading? Cooking? Writing? Listening? Who was with you? Was it loud or quiet? A fast-paced experience or a slow-paced experience? Put yourself back into that moment and try to remember the details of what was happening.

Do you have both scenarios in your head? If not, try thinking a little longer. These moments will come to mind. To give you another tip: Think of a moment where you felt like if you had to endure what you were doing for even another 5 minutes, you would go crazy and lose your mind. Now think of a moment where you realized hours had passed but you didn’t even care because you so enjoyed what you had just been doing or who you had just spent time with.

Do you have your two moments now pictured? Okay, good. You have just determined the difference between your Strengths and your Weaknesses. A Strength is an experience that energizes you, and a Weakness is an experience that drains you.

I just completed a book called Find Your Strongest Life: What the Happiest and Most Successful Women Do Differently, by author and speaker Marcus Buckingham. Before you say it – Yes, I realize he is a man writing a book for women, but I can assure you, he knows what he is talking about. 🙂

His description of Strengths versus Weaknesses was an entirely new twist on the topic. Until now, I have always viewed a Strength as something one is good at and a Weakness as something one does poorly. I like his definition more. Since reading Marcus’ book, I have paid close attention to the details of the moments that make me feel energized or make me feel drained. His concept is that if we are aware of what energizes us and do those things, the things that drain us will begin to fall by the wayside. We will end up feeling happier and more successful. Sometimes it may involve actually quitting something we have committed to. I know! The horror!

I’m going to get real personal for a moment and share some of my Strengths and Weaknesses.

Strengths.
Listening to another person share his/her Story
Sitting in a coffee shop and writing
Making silly dance videos
Having someone tell me I inspire them
When I laugh so hard my cheeks hurt
When I am able to take charge of a group of people and raise their spirits
When I am starting something new
When I don’t know what is going to happen next – I love the mystery!
Doodling cartoon characters
Making faces
Crying – yes, I actually enjoy crying
Riding bikes with Josh – 35 miles or less

Weaknesses.
Dealing with the inconsistency of others
Being expected to do something in detail that I have never done before
Being expected to develop a system or a process to increase productivity
Maintaining a project – I love organizing the first time, but do not like the maintenance
Feeling like I am not allowed to say, “No”
Navigating for Josh while he drives
Cooking, baking, finding or shopping for recipes
Riding bikes with Josh – 36 miles or more – interesting… this was a Strength of mine, until it reached a certain point. Then it became a weakness!

A Strong Moment – Zumba Dancing @ Rosa Park Circle
– Outside in the sunshine
– Not alone – same goal/experience as those around me
– In public – bystanders present – I enjoy dancing Zumba much more in public when people are watching
– Feel the music and my body can’t help but move to the beat
– Doesn’t have to be perfect or rigid – no judgment
– Some moves make me feel sexy
– Fitness w/o feeling like work
Kate’s (instructor) personality: Energy; spunk; confident; attitude; joy

I have started eliminating the commitments or experiences that drain me and it has allowed more time to do what energizes me. I encourage you to pay attention to the details of these moments. As you begin to filter out your Weaknesses, you will naturally become happier and more successful!

What is a Strength or Weakness that you have realized in your own life? Please share in the comment section.

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7 thoughts on “I’m Feeling Strong

  1. I will have to think about this a little more. One thing I found out last night is that I am an awesomely consistant bike rider when it comes to pace. I can kill it for a long time and keep pace. Other stuff I am not so sure about….I noticed one thing that you said and I want to echo this statement. Here is a HUGE point that you made and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t looked over.

    “Sometimes it may involve actually quitting something we have committed to.”

    Today, I heard someone on the radio say something similar. The context is that a guy called in talking about having to shut down his business because he was borrowing money to pay his employees. The man had said that he felt like he was failing and that he was a quitter.

    This is what the radio host said. “Wait a second. Who’s quitting? If you shut down your business ’cause it’s not viable and you go get a job someplace, or you try to, you’re not quitting anything.

    You’re just changing your strategy.”

    I think I may need to re-think my strategy so I start working and living more in my strengths and start leaving my weaknesses behind!

    • Josh, yes – It is difficult for me to take action by quitting commitments I made – either to myself or to others. This past winter, I made the goal to ride (cycle) a 75 mile ride by July. I was working up to it, but started to become very agitated each time I went on the longer rides. After reading Marcus’ book, I realized that although I set this goal for myself, it was an experience that actually drained me, not energized me. (And not just physically – that is to be expected – but I experienced emotional drain as well). I had no reason to accomplish the goal, other than to say that I did it. To me, that wasn’t enough. I realize then that I still enjoy cycling, but it is the shorter rides that energize me.

      You mentioned that you realized the other day that you are awesomely consistent at pace when it comes to cycling. How did it make you feel when you realized this? Some of the words that come to mind for me: Dependable & Trustworthy. Knowing that others know they can count on you and would in turn, want to be near you. They can trust your consistency and you are helping the whole group to ride more effectively. Your individual purpose is helping to serve the larger goal…

      Initially, the idea of figuring out what energizes us may seem like an intimidating task, but once we begin to break it down and seeing the individual components of how each part of that experience came into play, it will begin to reveal our “strong moments”. As we allow ourselves to experience more strong moments, we will begin to experience more joy and confidence.

      Looking forward to hearing about more of your strong moments!

  2. This is really good to think about. I like how you mentioned that riding your bike was a strength up until 35 miles then it was a weakness after 36 miles. There are some things that I really enjoy, but at the same time there’s things that I reaaaally don’t like that have to do with that same thing, and it’s probably because I’ve surpassed my limit.

    • Halsey, Interesting! I’m curious what one of these experiences is for you – that energizes you until a certain point and then it drains you. Would you be up for sharing more?

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