Over the past 2 years, I have been coaching youth and adults in their strengths. Using the strengths finder assessment tool, participants have identified their top 5 talent themes that make up areas of innate character. Through coaching and workshops, we work to encourage them to direct their attention and their time to play to those strengths more than focusing on their weakness.
It is encouraging to see people released from a mindset of fixing themselves, or trying to be like someone they idolize, to understanding that they have unique areas of potential that should be embraced and celebrated.
In one session I was leading, a young man shared that he had given up on the idea of attending university because he had done so poorly in math and science in high school. Even though he excelled at English and “would have loved to study literature in University”, he had become convinced that he was not an academic because of his performance in these other areas. It was a bitter-sweet moment as everyone in the room realized that a focus on failure can deceive us into assuming things about ourselves that just aren’t true.
How have you been tricked to think about yourselves from a deficit mindset rather than a mindset of strengths? What are the talents that you embrace and celebrate and about yourself?