2020 has been a wonderful year if you enjoy a large amount of ambiguity. This is a strength for some people, but for many of us (myself included!), that simply isn’t the case. We’ve seen a global pandemic, parallels between COVID-19 and the climate crisis, and the Black Lives Matter movement take center stage and we’re only halfway through the year.
We don’t have resolution yet on how any of these things will turn out, which creates uncertainty as we face the ambiguity. And if you’re like a lot of my friends and clients, you’re not entirely sure what you can do or how you can be a part of the changes that are happening. Though when in doubt, wear a mask!!
To that end, we’re going to spend some time looking at 3 things you can do when you’re trying to find your place, whether in a movement, at work, or in life! Those things boil down to the 3 S’s:
You’ve heard me talk about strengths before and I’ll continue to talk about them because they are foundational to your career. Knowing and using your strengths sets you up for success, plain and simple.
So when we are faced with any existential sort of question (What is my place in the movement? How can I get involved? What flavor of ice cream should I get?) knowing your strengths is the best place to start. If you aren’t entirely clear on your strengths, I highly recommend the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment and book.
Why is knowing your strengths so important?
When you know your strengths, you can offer them to the world. And the world needs exactly the things you’re great at.
If you’re gifted in strategy, let others know that you’ve developed strategic plans and would be happy to help if they need it. If you’re detail-oriented, offer to be a second set of eyes on a document before it is shared.
It should be obvious, but if you’ve never used social media, don’t volunteer to head up a social media campaign. It feels good to be helpful and many of us struggle with saying no, but when you know your strengths, it’s a lot easier to say no to something that doesn’t align with them. You likely can suggest a different way to leverage your communication strength, for instance letter writing.
A note of encouragement: the first time you offer up your strengths to others, it may not be what they need in the moment. And unless they are gifted with the strength of strategy, they may not be able to see where and how in the future you and your strengths may fit. Know that your strengths are extremely valuable, regardless of the point-in-time need. Keep offering them up and you’ll find a great fit for them somewhere and it’s often in even better ways than we first imagined!
#PositiveAction Offer to share your strengths with one person or organization this week and see what develops!
This is one of a three-part series on finding your place. We’ll explore Start and Stretch in the next two blog posts.