We all have this very bad habit. We always try and look at what we are lacking. We highlight our weaknesses. While it is important to acknowledge that we could be better at something, it is more important to appreciate what we are pretty good at.
Just a few days ago, I had a conversation with one of my close friends. We somehow ended up talking about our strengths. She acknowledged the fact that she is a good listener. I appreciate her for accepting that her listening skills are her strength. And that’s how the idea for this blog post came to life. 🙂
Celebrate Your Strengths.
Negative thoughts are like those irritating songs that play on your mind all the time. You don’t like them, but you cannot get them out of your head. The good songs somehow fade away in the background, just like how positive thoughts seldom come to fore in our minds.
It has become like a second nature for us to deny whenever someone appreciates us or our work. Instead of thanking them, we end up saying, “Ah, that was nothing.” But what if we take the opportunity to graciously accept their kind words?
Taking it further, instead of waiting for someone else to appreciate us, why don’t we do it ourself? Of course, it will seem silly at first. But sooner or later, we will see the amazing effects it has on our mood and confidence.
I have been a sort of a perfectionist as a kid. If I take up some task (no matter how trivial it is), I put in too much effort to make it seem flawless, thereby wasting out on a lot of time and energy. Since the past couple of years (ever since I started The Soulful Nib), I have been trying to stop myself from doing this.
I have been doing this exercise of acknowledging what I know I am strong in, since quite some time. It has shown a dramatic effect on how I perceive myself. My day feels worth it when I do this exercise.
Of course, there are times when you will feel nothing is going right. You will feel like a loser. You will feel hopeless. And it is precisely during such times when celebrating your strengths shows the most impact.
I remember a story I read in the ever-loved Tinkle comics. Once, a king was highly impressed with the army chief’s work and in all his happiness, appointed the chief as his prime minister. The army chief was not happy, simply because he was not the right person to become the prime minister and do administrative work. He knew it would anger the king if he would outrightly reject the offer. Hence, to prove his point, he invited the king to have lunch at his house. On the D-day, when the king was served food, he was furious! The food was disgusting. In a fit of anger, he summoned the army chief and chided him for serving such food. The army chief calmly replied that he had hired the best carpenter to cook the food. The king in a rage asked the army chief if he was insane to hire a carpenter to cook food. That’s when the army chief replied that if the king could appoint an army chief to do administrative work, he could surely hire a carpenter to cook. The king realized his folly and immediately acknowledged that the army chief should stick to his strengths and promoted him to a higher rank in the army.
In the same way, we too should do what we are good at rather than trying to look at what we cannot do. There is no person on this earth who is bad at everything. We all have our capabilities, be it big or small. It is up to us to find what that is. And once you do that, make sure to keep giving yourself mini reminders about it every now and then. Especially during your lows.
You celebrate your birthday or anniversary once a year. However, celebrate your strengths every day.
What are your strengths? Think. Ponder. Reflect.
Until next time, stay blessed! 🙂
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