Learning my Strengths

I am taking this class at church and have been discovering and rediscovering some things about myself. We recently reflected on the results of the Clifton Strengthsfinder test. I took it a few years ago, and at the time, was confused and unsatisfied with my results. In fact, although after this week’s class, I understand my “talent theme” better, I still feel confused and a little annoyed. The truth is…it’s nothing new. Partly, I am trying to deny who I am instead of fully embracing “me.” Partly, too, it’s trying to really understand myself and how I tick.

My top 5 strengths (or “talent theme”) with my own short explanation are as follows:
1) Input-I like to gather and store lots of information thru reading especially

2) Learner-I am someone who always wants to get better at what I am doing; I find so many things interesting and constantly want to learn more

3) Restorative-I like the feeling of fixing problems; I especially like to try and fix myself

4) Harmony-I like to look for agreements in relationships; I avoid conflicts as much as possible

5) Analytical-I have the ability to think about millions of sides to a situation and how hundreds of different factors could affect something. Hence, it’s so easy for me to make decisions-HA! HA!

When reflecting on a question that asked what my driving passion in life is, I wrote a statement using my 5 strengths:

My driving passion in life is using what I have learned (input, learning) to help myself and others solve problems (restorative) and to promote peace and tranquility in my life and relationships (harmony). This is all done by laying everything I know “on the table”, examining all the data and breaking it up into small steps to help myself and others achieve their goals (analytical.)

So here’s what I have been reflecting on…

I wanted my 5 strengths to be actual strengths, things that made a difference in the world, like Empathy or Communication or Positivity. Okay, I would never get that last one, let’s be honest.

But my 5 “strengths” didn’t seem like strengths at all, only burdens or ways that I torment myself inside my head. I am slowly starting to see how these 5 things, especially when combined to work together, can be beneficial. But I am still trying to get myself out of my head and out into the world. How can I use “loner” or “individual” strengths like gathering information or analyzing data to help other people? I guess I can continually focus on my “passion” statement that I wrote above. Yet…It is still something I am wondering and thinking about, so if anyone has any great ideas, I’d love to hear it. Oh, and I’d love to hear about your “strengths” and how you’ve learned to maximize them in the workplace, home life, social life etc. Here is a list of the strengths if you haven’t take the test.

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