By Jonathan Woolridge, WeAlign Certified Coach
Last month, I wrote about uncovering unrealistic expectations and how damaging they can be in your life. You can take a look at that post here: Are Unrealistic Expectations Weighing You Down? June 1, 2020.
Now let’s say you’ve done the hard work of dismantling these negative thoughts patterns. What now? A good next step is to start articulating the things you’re the best at. I’m not talking about the things you WISH you were the best at or feel like you SHOULD be the best at. I mean the things in your life that you do instinctively well.
Getting clear about who you are and who you are not, is hard work. That’s why I recommend using the CliftonStrengths Assessment as a way to help my clients understand and communicate the unique strengths that they have. This also gives them a way to focus their hard work in a way the plays to their strengths and sets them up for success.
If you want to make a meaningful impact on the people around you, the place you work, the city you live in, or the entire world, then you owe it to yourself to discover your areas of strength and let go of trying to turn weakness into strength. Exponential growth is a byproduct of living and working in your sweet spot.
If you haven’t been coached through your CliftonStrengths Assessment, I want to share a simple tool that will help you recognize if you’re working in an area of strength. It’s called the 4 Es, and they are: Energizing, Enjoyable, Easy, Effective.
When you’re using your strengths (even if you can’t fully articulate them), you’ll feel energized. It’ll be enjoyable. Even if you’re working hard, there will still be a sense of ease in using your strengths. Finally, you’ll be effective in what you’re doing. This isn’t to say that once you know your strengths you won’t have any more learning to do or that life will always be easy.
The major takeaway here is that applying hard work to areas where all four Es are present will set you up for exponential growth. You’d never be able to gain and maintain that growth if you focused on areas that are energy draining, unenjoyable, overly difficult, and that you lack effectiveness in.
Take a moment to think honestly about where you devote most of your time. Are the 4 Es present? If not, what needs to change? It could be that you’re in a role that doesn’t fit you. Or maybe the entire industry is a bad fit. It could be, that you’re in the right industry but the wrong department. Whatever your situation is, this simple tool could help you honestly assess your situation and determine if anything needs to change.
If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to start, working with a professional coach could be the best investment you make in yourself. You never know what kind of contribution you could be making if you properly align yourself with your strengths.
What are you waiting for?
Jonathan, you are so correct. I have been spinning my wheels for years. Going from fully engage to unengaged as a worker. I wish I had known about the four Es to evaluate the job I was in. I would have realized I was not working in my strength and may have looked to do something different earlier!