Trade Well-Rounded for the Pursuit of ExcellenceOct 24, 2020
How much time have you invested in the name of balance? The world screams that a well-rounded life leads to college acceptance, gainful employment, and a healthy marriage. If this is true, why do you feel so out of whack?
While the intended message is good, giving equal attention to all areas of your personal development doesn’t make you well-rounded. It just makes you tired.
The Problem with Well-Rounded Living
You have things you naturally do well, and things you don’t. When you dedicate attention to fixing the things you don’t do well, you may see nominal improvements but it will require a lot of energy. More than likely, you’ll just feel discouraged from trying so hard. It’s a diminishing return on your time investment.
While it’s important to know your weaknesses – the things that get in the way of your daily life and relationships – and manage them, it’s not where the majority of your time and attention should be directed.
You weren’t created to be well-rounded, personally or professionally.
One of the biggest problems with pursuing a well-rounded life is the self criticism that accompanies it. You spend more time fixing your deficits than you do building your strengths and you never quite live up to your highest expectations, intentions, or vision of a well-rounded self. It’s a failure loop. A “shoulda, woulda, coulda” cycle. A life of constant discontent.
You miss what’s great about you.
Warning Signs & Fixes
If you experience a lack of energy, joy, contentment, of peace, these are warning signs you’re stuck in this loop. You feel less “fruity.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
Here’s your 3 step plan to be less well-rounded and more “you-ier”:
- Know what you do well. Identify your natural talents. Start noticing what comes easily to you, when you deliver top-notch results, and where you feel most energized. These are all clues to talent. Sometimes you are so good at something you don’t see it. If you have a hard time identifying what you do well, ask someone who knows you well. They’ll tell you!
- Recognize the power of your uniqueness. Once you know what you do well, observe when these have served you well. Recognize when your strengths have been at work in your personal and professional life and celebrate them. Notice the patterns and identify how you can replicate that more often.
- Focus your strengths on what’s most important. After identifying your natural talents and acknowledging their superpowers, target them toward your preferred future. Choose a habit or personal goal and use one of your strengths to move closer to it. The likelihood of success increases exponentially when you harness your strengths instead of fighting against your weaknesses.
The Gallup Organization reports that the best way to help people learn and grow is to discover and use their strengths. Well-rounded living isn’t a part of the equation.
To be clear, it’s not okay to excuse relationship disruptors with “well, this is just the way I am.” You have a responsibility to be a relationally healthy person.
When a strength isn’t fully developed, it leaks.
It’s the “shadow side” of a strength showing up as a weakness. Knowing when and how this happens is important to prevent relational discord. The more you grow and develop your strengths the healthier you’ll be and the less you’ll leak on those around you.
The Next Step in Strengths Development
Having trouble identifying your strengths?
This is where a coach can help.
With a simple tool and an experienced guide, you can stop guessing what you might be good at and know what you naturally do best.
CliftonStrengths (formerly StrengthsFinder) has already helped over 24 million people thrive at work and in life. Knowing and using your strengths is life-changing. Engagement at work increases, productivity rises, and contentment settles into your soul.
By living your strengths, you let go of the pursuit of well-rounded and experience the freedom of being exceptionally you.
If you’ve taken CliftonStrengths, great!
But there’s more…
Knowing What You Don’t Know
If you left your strengths discovery at simply knowing your “StrengthsFinder Top 5,” you haven’t experienced the power of this assessment. A coach will help you take the next steps to unlock the full potential of your unique combination – also known as theme dynamics. This interplay and application steps are key!
While you may share the same strength as a friend or family member, the likelihood of you sharing the same strengths in the same order is 1 in 33 million!
In other words, a WOO isn’t a WOO isn’t a WOO.
The interplay between your top 5 strengths is crucial to understanding your unique strength profile. And, if you’re ready to go deeper, your full strengths panel is a list of 34 strengths in order from most energizing to the least energizing. Knowing your full 34 helps you navigate your life with greater clarity.
If you’re ready to invest in your strengths, working with a coach is your next step.
As a Gallup Certified Strengths coach, I’m trained to save you time and wasted energy becoming well-rounded. Through a series of structured conversations, I’ll help you:
- know your strengths
- identify how they’re working (and not working) for you today
- focus them for healthy personal and professional habit development
Commit today to stop seeking a well-rounded life and start pursuing a life of strength.
I’ll help you do what you do best.