Know Your Strengths

Do you know your own strengths? Yes, strengths. Plural. I am not talking about the amount of weight you can lift or the number of pounds you can move with your legs. I am talking about the inner strengths that make up the core of who you are. Strengths that you may not fully realize you possess, but subconsciously guide and direct your daily actions.

This book was given to me in the workplace in 2015 and ultimately changed the trajectory of my life.

When I first learned about StrengthsFinder 2.0 test in 2015, I assumed that this personal assessment developed by Don Clifton would point out the surface skills that I already knew were my strong suits. Things like writing, vocabulary, and creativity. I had no idea at the time when I first answered the questions posed that the results would have the ability to change my life.

Ahh, my life. My messy, work-in-progress life. When I submitted the answers to the online series of questions at my workplace, I was juggling my career part-time, raising 4 children under my roof with my husband, battling depression and anxiety, and completely unprepared for what I would learn. My number one strength was Empathy. What did that even mean? How is that a strength?

The word Empathy gets thrown around a lot these days. Sure, I have always been able to sense things about people. I am able to feel the emotions of others and can tell when they are scared, angry, emotionally hurt, shy, saddened, and so on. I can easily put myself in someone’s situation, instinctively understand their emotional viewpoint, and find a way to relate to them and give them some form of comfort. I just assumed that every other human had the ability to do that too. But, it turns out, that not everybody naturally can. Because, Empathy is one of the innate 34 core strengths defined in this book. So, after 40 years of walking this earth, I suddenly had to stop and figure out just who the f*ck I am and what it is I am doing here.

Knowing the results of the StrengthsFinder 2.0 was a game changer for me.

When you complete the assessment, StrengthsFinder 2.0 generates a list of your top 5 strengths (or all 34 in order if you pay for that package) along with a detailed description of what each strength entails and how those strengths can be used in business, personal relationships, and to better understand what you bring to the table as a human. These top five strengths help define your identity. Your reason for being. This is where things became a game changer for me.

Having a list of the five strengths that were uniquely ME, gave me the sense for the first time in many, many years that I was my own person with an internal blueprint specifically made for me. Seems silly, maybe. But after so many years of being a daughter, and a mom, and a wife, and an employee, and so many things for so many other people, this test opened my eyes to ME. The me that I often neglected because I was so busy worrying about everyone else. But, right there on paper, I could read and acknowledge the things that make me who I am, and for the first time in many years I felt seen, appreciated, and understood.

I immediately dove into learning more about my “Top 5” in the hopes of gaining a clearer understanding of who I am and what makes me tick. Today, I use my strengths to help me in my relationships, in my daily grind, and as an entrepreneur and CEO of my own resale store through POSHMARK.

Knowing my strengths also alerts me to my weaknesses. Through the StrengthsFinder book, I am able to read up and learn about the remaining 29 strengths that are not my strongest and how I can improve on them to be the best version of myself. And, in my case, take my top strength and learn how to manage it better so I can be the very best version of myself. Do I feel that the StrengthsFinder 2.0 gave me strength? Absolutely.

It’s really amazing to me how one assessment could open my eyes and my heart up to knowing more about and trusting myself on a deeper level. And, for those of you who are skeptical about the results or think that one assessment can not truly depict who you are, think again. I first took the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test in 2015. As I mentioned, I was married with four children at home and working part-time. Flash forward six years to 2021. I am now divorced with only one child left at home, adapting to that upheaval, working full-time and living amidst a global pandemic. So, I decided to take the test again because certainly I am not who I was back then.

But, guess what? 4 out of my top 5 strengths remained the same. To me, that signifies that no matter what shit you are dealing with in your life, you have the ability (and the responsibility) to remain who you are on a core level. Adversity should not change you, but it can help you grow. I find encouragement and comfort knowing that my strengths stay with me like a genetic trait and hold steady even when the seas get rough.

My top 5 themes then/now. I have learned to dial back my Empathy (essential for self-preservation) and I have switched from a Developer (of others) to a Learner (for myself), fitting, as my children have (mostly) grown and left the home, giving me space to pursue my own growth.

Do you know your strengths? This assessment requires one Andrew Jackson bill from your wallet to get your top 5 results and take a peek inside the inner workings of you. If you feel that the cost is worth the knowledge and insight you will gain, you can find the link HERE. If you choose to test your strengths, you will have access to your own individualized login and you will receive daily tips and articles from Gallup that can be beneficial to the role that you play in the lives of others, as well as your own.

Being aware of our strengths not only greatly improves our outlook on ourselves, but it helps us to see and appreciate the strengths in others. What are your TOP 5 Strengths? Let me know in the comments below!

Disclaimer: All of the views are my own. I was not paid to endorse any product on this page. There are many personal assessments available. This one was presented to me by chance. Research and discover the best one for you.

Published by Kelly W

I'm Kelly. I am a mom of four, a full-time librarian with a fashionista alter-ego, and I live each day with kindness in my heart. I love what I do, and I'm here to share words, wisdom, and wardrobe with you.

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