A man plays a guitar representing how to discover your strengths

Are you ready to unlock your full potential and achieve greatness in your personal and professional life? It all starts with a fundamental shift in perspective. So many of my life coaching and therapy clients are laser focused on trying to fix what they perceive to be broken or wrong with them. But you can find much greater success in your life — and have way more fun doing it — if you instead focus on your strengths, and using them to overcome areas that aren’t strengths for you. 

I wrote this blog to help you understand why operating within your strengths is a game-changer and how you can build on your innate abilities to achieve your most important goals. If you would prefer to listen, I’ve also recorded an episode of the Love, Happiness and Success podcast on this topic. You can find it on this page, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. 

Understanding the Power of Your Strengths 

So if something is already a strength for you, why do you need to put your focus there? Shouldn’t you turn your attention to the things you suck at? Eh hem, I mean, your growth opportunities. 

No you should not, and here’s why. There is a real limit to how much personal growth any of us can achieve in a single lifetime. We have to pick our battles wisely. I’m not saying you should never try to improve yourself, but I am saying that you’re not going to be able to radically change everything about yourself. You will get much further in life by instead embracing self-acceptance and making the most of the skills and talents that come to you naturally. 

In the sphere of career development, research has shown time and again that employees who operate within their strengths outperform those that don’t. But this insight isn’t limited to your career; it carries over into every area of your life, including your relationships with the people you love.  

So what would this look like in practice? If you’re someone who struggles to stay organized and remember things, but you are the bomb-dot-com at creative ideation and execution, don’t spend all of your time trying to force yourself to become a super task-oriented administrative whiz. Instead, lean into your creative side whenever possible, find ways to do the tasky things you must do well enough, and outsource the rest. 

Whatever your superpower is, it will have a corresponding “weakness.” Find ways to maximize the upside of your talents rather than struggling against the downside.

Why Operating Within Your Strengths Matters

The more you can operate within your strengths, the more time you’ll spend in the zone, experiencing what psychologists call “flow.” That’s when you’re fully present and engaged in what you’re doing, time flies, and you effortlessly produce outstanding results. Not only will that lead to greater achievement, but you’re going to feel so much better about yourself when you construct a life that allows you to succeed doing what you’re good at. 

Here are a few of the benefits of living in alignment with your strengths: 

  1. Enhanced Confidence: Working within your strengths boosts your self-confidence. You become more certain of your abilities and your capacity to handle challenges.
  1. Increased Productivity: You work more efficiently and effectively when you’re doing what you do best, and what you love doing. This can lead to greater productivity and success in the workplace and beyond. 
  1. Joy and Fulfillment: Your strengths often reflect what you’re passionate about. Operating within them brings a sense of joy and fulfillment that is truly invigorating and that helps you stay motivated.
  1. Continuous Growth: Just because you’re focusing on your strengths doesn’t mean you’re not growing. In fact, you will be more open to learning, evolving, and taking on new challenges when you’re firmly rooted in your strengths. 

Discovering Your Strengths 

But how do you even know what your strengths are?

The journey to discovering your strengths begins with self-awareness. Start by reflecting on past experiences — when did you feel the most in your element? What tasks came naturally to you? Seek feedback from friends, family, and colleagues who can provide insights into your strengths. You can also take assessments like the CliftonStrengths or VIA Survey of Character Strengths. These tools can help you pinpoint your strengths and build a foundation for growth.

Building on Your Strengths 

Once you’ve identified your strengths, the next step is to cultivate and expand them. Here’s how:

  • Practice and Hone: Consistent practice sharpens your strengths. Whether it’s a talent for problem-solving, leadership, or creativity, regular exercise of these strengths brings out your fullest potential. 
  • Learn from Role Models: Study people who excel in areas similar to your strengths. Better yet, seek them out as mentors. You will gain valuable insights from their experiences and strategies.
  • Seek Opportunities: Look for ways to apply your strengths in different areas of your life, both personally and professionally. Volunteer for tasks that align with your strengths to gain experience. Think about how your strengths fit into your family, friends, or community. When you become self-empowered to apply your strengths in different places, your whole life starts to feel easier and more enjoyable. 

Support for Discovering Your Strengths

While podcasts and articles can get you started, there’s nothing like having a wise and empathetic guide by your side as you construct a life based on your personal strengths. I’ve assembled a team of talented therapists, life coaches, and career counselors, who take a strengths-based approach to personal growth. 

If you’d like to begin this work with a clinician on my team, I invite you to schedule a free consultation

With love, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby 

P.S. — For more advice on honing your strengths, check out my “Personal Growth” collection of articles and podcasts. 


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The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby


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