Play to Your Strengths
For even the 'strongest' of us out there, comparison is coded into this 21st century life…
Endless scrolling. Surfing the web, surfing our timelines to find out what's happening, what's hot, what's new and what's noteworthy. And in this process, there's no way of avoiding knowing what hundreds of people are up to daily.
We know what they're working towards and what they've achieved. We know which parts of their lives seem to outshine ours online. And that's a risk.
As I mentioned in my first book "Take What You Need", comparison distracts and suffocates. Be cause we get bombarded by 100 alternative paths, we question whether we are on the right one.
"Maybe I should try getting opportunities the way she did"
"Maybe I should talk more like him to build my personal brand"
"Maybe I should wear/travel/eat what they're eating — maybe it'll work for me"
Obviously, there's nothing wrong with sharing experiences — that's how we grow, get inspired and discover new things. But when the "maybes" become more frequent than what we're actually doing, then Houston, we have a problem.
There we have paralysis.
There we have stagnation.
There we have no progress. And where there's no progress, there is no life.
You get so stuck trying out infinite options, that you never commit to one long enough to see progress.
So how do you escape the endless options and paths that are shoved in our faces daily?
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. — Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)
In short? Play to your strengths.
Make a careful exploration of who you are: do the work of getting to know your true self
Sink yourself into it: do it once. twice. again and again. Go deep, not wide.
For example, writing is something I’m passionate about. It's how I process my own life's ups and downs, it's how I keep track of this journey, and it's how we've built this Inner Circle community. When I find myself getting caught up and distracted with what other creatives are doing online, their strategies, their techniques and their successes, I stall.
At this point it’s necessary to ask ourselves: am I being true to my self, my strengths? Am I practicing them or am I neglecting them to jump on the latest trend?
We all have something we’re passionate about. I suspect we all have multiple 'somethings'… but they will never flourish until we turn our full attention to them.
This isn't just about social media, it's applies elsewhere. Let's take a typical workplace scenario:
Your colleague may benefit from their extroverted personality to position themselves well for promotion, but you feel stifled as an introvert without those powers.
Instead of being someone you’re not, instead of feeling like you’re missing something, play to your strengths. Even if you struggle in a big crowd, can you build deep relationships 1-2-1? Do your clients and colleagues trust you to do high quality work? The funny thing is, when we play to our strengths, the areas we’re lacking in either improve or are no longer such a big deal.
As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. Your quirks can be harnessed into your competitive advantage — if you give them the respect and attention they deserve.
Abiola writes and speaks about personal growth, spiritual growth and wellbeing. She’s the author of “Take What You Need”: life lessons for people who refuse to settle — download a free sample here.