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Let’s be honest – wouldn’t you like to be a little bit ‘Superman’ or ‘Hulk’ too?

Superman can fly and is invulnerable, while Hulk is very strong and Spiderman is excellent at climbing. What all superheroes have in common: they use their individual superpowers, which means Hulk doesn’t want to fly and Spiderman doesn’t want to be strong. But that’s precisely what we often do. We try to improve what we are not good at – a very exhausting strategy.

Take a few minutes and list ten of your skills or strengths. Do you succeed? Maybe not, because we don’t always know what we’re good at or what our strengths are. What a pity.

So let’s take a closer look at what includes strengths and why it’s important to use them. Especially at work – because that gets us ahead.

What Are Strengths And Abilities?

A clear differentiation between strengths and abilities is difficult because they partially overlap. Abilities are complex qualities that are either innate or learned throughout life. We need them to be able to perform services. For example, it is favorable if we, as team members, have a high degree of personal responsibility and are open to criticism.

Strengths are similar to abilities but go beyond. They are more comparable to values. In general, strengths are individual patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Examples are friendliness, perseverance, or creativity.

What Are The Characteristics Of Strengths And Abilities?

First of all, every person has an individual repertoire of strengths and abilities that is constantly changing. Strengths and abilities that we don’t use fade, on the other hand, we can train and maintain them.

The characteristics of our strengths and abilities are also not rigid, rather they move on a scale from ‘little’ to ‘a lot’. It is not crucial whether someone has a certain ability, but how it is developed.

In addition, the actual situation also affects whether and to what extent we use a certain strength. Depending on the circumstances, I can use my strengths more or less. For example, in a highly organized environment, I won’t be able to use my flexibility as much.

Even though we all have many capabilities, we often don’t appreciate them as strengths. It’s not surprising, because if you are empathic, for example, it is ‘just normal’.

We only become aware of our assets when other people admire us, or we compare ourselves with others. And that’s very crucial. Because neglected strengths cannot be used or trained.

Why Is It Important To Know Your Strengths And Use Them In Your Job?

On one hand, it would be a shame not to take advantage of your abilities. Because we enjoy and succeed if we do things we are good at. Consequently, this improves our self-esteem and thus our well-being.

Many studies confirmed that people who use their strengths at work are happier. If you set up your task based on your strengths, your work will be effortless. Your job will be a reward instead of a burden. It will become a vocation.

People who use their strengths will get into a flow state, which means they’re completely immersed in the task. Time doesn’t matter, and you get involved in the activity. Chances are high to experience flow whenever your job matches your strengths and abilities.

When you apply your strengths purposefully, you will achieve success and joy, as well as numerous positive outcomes.

Scientific research shows that

  • recognizing one’s abilities has a positive influence on subjective well-being,
  • the risk of developing depression decreases,
  • using strengths can have a positive impact on life satisfaction,
  • Managers who deliver top performance, focus on strengths.
Source: Blickhan, D. (2018). Positive Psychologie. Ein Handbuch für die Praxis. Junfermann Verlag, Paderborn.

To conclude, it’s important to acknowledge one’s abilities and use or enhance them. They make us unique and provide success and well-being.

However, we often concentrate on our weaknesses and want to ‘fight’ them. But that is very challenging. Usually, we lack the motivation for a sustainable change. In the end, we will surrender.

It makes much more sense to focus on our strengths, which will provide  energy and boost our self-esteem.

Do you know your abilities and strengths? Are you aware of what makes you successful in your job?

If not, maybe my Career Booster Coaching Program might be what you are looking for.

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Take Away

  • Everyone has inherent or learned skills and strengths.
  • They are flexible: unused strengths and abilities will die, but they can also be trained and bolstered.
  • If we apply our strengths and abilities to the job, we will be successful, happier, and feel good

More About It

Andrea Seekatz

I'm a trained & certified coach (ICF) and psychologist. Don't forget: Take Care of Your Self.

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