In this episode, Becky and Susan Seaver Goetz, (Becky’s business coach) discuss strengths, skills, weaknesses, dealing with uncertainty, and more.
Susan is a lifelong learner that thrives on helping others improve by leveraging her own strengths. Dreaming of running her own business since childhood, an unexpected massive brain tumor diagnosis was the catalyst for launching her into the entrepreneurship world.
After starting a direct sales business, a second brain tumor solidified her commitment to entrepreneurship while she worked towards recovery. She later went on to earn professional certifications for coaching in order to help others constantly improve and achieve more in their professional and personal lives.
Susan shares tactics for identifying your own strengths, the difference between strengths and skills and blind spots people may be overlooking. You’ll learn why it’s incredibly important to surround yourself with others that have complementary strengths where the sum becomes greater than the parts.
During the COVID crisis, the world has slowed down, leading to more time for introspection and reflection regarding core questions about what really matters. Susan points to this as a great time to identify strengths to leverage, especially during the crisis.
Oftentimes, strengths are not what one may think, and a commitment to learning one’s strengths is critical. This can be done through self reflection (which may be clouded by your own perspective), asking others to honestly assess your strengths (a mentor, friend, coworker, etc), or observing enjoyable activities and events that you are passionate about or find a flow state in.
Knowing one’s strengths is important to serve ourselves and others, and can be a boost to confidence. Susan explains that from this confidence comes the courage to use and put to work our strengths.
What happens if someone feels like they don’t have any strengths? Susan compares this situation to a goldfish swimming in water. From the goldfish perspective, they have no strengths because swimming comes so naturally. However, from a human’s perspective, the fish has the incredible innate strength to breathe through their gills and swim underwater in a way that is second nature to a fish that is not to a human.
Our strengths can feel much the same way. Strengths come so naturally we can assume everyone else operates the same way as we do. If you think you have no strengths, you may be like the fish and be completely overlooking a way of thinking or skill that you take for granted as second nature. This is where asking a trusted friend or mentor for insight can be necessary to point out things we’ve grown immune to.
Building of Strengths
What is the difference between strength and skills? Strengths are inherently inside of us Susan explains. Whereas skills are things that one can learn, and be taught to other people.
If you don’t have a particular strength, be patient and keep exploring. Surround yourself with people that draw out the best parts of you. Pay attention to things that come naturally or bring you energy. What do people compliment you on or draw attention to? These may be insights that will lead you to discovering your strengths.
If you want to build a new strength, start small. Eating an elephant may seem like an insurmountable task, but in the end you have to work one bite at a time. Make an effort to take a small step to improve each day and continue building with consistency. Over time the changes can be bigger than one ever expected, just manage expectations and keep going.
This strengths finder tool Susan and I mention in this podcast. If you’d like find your strengths you may find this tool incredibly useful!.