In this 3 part b-mails on your strengths, we’re going to look at how strengths can be discover, leveraged and utilised to deliver happiness, success and flow in your life and work. I hope you found time to do some (or all!) of part 1: identify your strengths – catch up here.
So to part 2: grow your strengths.
It’s no secret that I believe continuously stretching yourself to explore who you are, what you are capable of and where that might take you is an essential part of achieving all that you desire. Moreover, there are literally thousands and thousands of way to grow your strengths – as a trainer, I know you’re likely to have a preferred style of learning. For example, you might be a bookworm or a get out there and just do it kinda person. You might like a lot of structure or complete flexibility to dive in and out as your needs take you.
My humble advice? Don’t go just for the style that makes you comfortable. Push the boat out. Mix it up. Taking this approach means you stretch your brain, your body and yourself beyond your limits or norms – enabling you to find more options, more self-awareness and more resourcefulness.
Hold the cash!
Awhile back I wrote a b-mail called “invest in yourself without breaking the bank“, which covered off a range of free or low price tag development opportunities. These are all still great options, I just can’t stop myself adding a few more:
Skillshare – one for creative skills
iTunes U – connect with educational institutes on your Apple devices for just about every topic!! You might also consider podcasts whilst you’re in iTunes.
Lots of museums, theatres and galleries run free workshops or courses as do many shops (Apple stores and Liberty both run short courses and events). And don’t forget your local colleges have rafts of evening and weekend events or workshops, which are after free or discounted (e.g. unemployed, targeted age groups and last-minute places)
Get me out of here!
Staying in the same place, job or habits can help us develop, but after a time we all need something new to inspire, to motivate and to change us.
Find a working holiday, go on a retreat or backpacking, volunteer overseas. I’ve lived and worked outside of the UK and gained new skills as well as developing my strengths by being with different types of people in different environments. (In fact, my university year working in Germany was probably the most valuable and enduring learning I got!)
Join the club!
Tackling strengths development alone can be rather demotivating. Most career families and roles have a professional body, membership organisation or regular newsletter or journal. Sign up, subscribe and get engaged. Not only do they offer relevant, timely and current training, insights and networking events, you also get access to the leading names or figures.
Outside of the “work” sphere, many sports, hobbies and interests have communities and groups that can help you move forward with your strengths. For example, my Life and Career Changer boards on Pinterest can connect you with new information and inspiration as well as pointing you to other experts, peers and resource. Research your local suppliers, clubs, catch-ups and join, pop along, attend an event.
Extra tip: teaching others is a sure-fire way to grow your own understanding, practice and appreciation of your strengths – who can you help grow?
Put a badge on it!
Nothing advertises your strengths like a qualification or certificate to demonstrate your proficiency. Many universities and colleges offer full-time and part-time programmes, with bursaries and scholarships. Pick carefully, read reviews, contact student ambassadors or Student Unions and Associations to get the inside scoop before registering.
In order to grow your strengths, you need to invest your energy, sweat and sometimes tears alongside determination and grit. You’re an amazing person and can totally do this – in time. Be patient with your progress. Be kind to yourself by building a support team. Be honest about when you need downtime to recoup.
Looking back at your strengths from part 1: identify your strengths – what are you doing to develop and how? I’d love to be inspired by your growth and development!