To many, these seem to be 5 random words, but for me, they have become a lifestyle. In life, we are taught to focus on becoming better through growing at the things we are not naturally good at. Unfortunately, this does not allow us to harness our potential greatness through those things which we are capable of doing well in. For me, the five words underlined above help me to better understand how to be a much more successful individual. I have been able to use these 5 Strengths to become better professionally and personally. I am very well capable at using these throughout each day, but I feel that some come more naturally than others because of the situations and environments I put myself in.
Let’s take the strength of Positivity. This is the one I consider myself using the most often. I try to come to work each day ready to have an impact on those around me. I make it an effort to say hello to as many people as possible before I jump into my day. I have been often told that I have an infectious and energetic personality so I try to shine my light when I can. For me being positive is not just something I want to turn on and off as I don’t know who is watching me and may need me to give them a boost or moment of motivation. As some might say they bleed Orange and Blue, I bleed positivity. It can be easy to focus on the negative or not so positive, but then it takes more energy to get back to a sense of peace and calmness.
I’ve been working with Strengths since I was an undergrad student and now as a 2nd year professional, I can say that working with strengths has benefited me in better understanding those I supervise, but also those I work with. Coming to UF and starting after a school year has started, I was able to use strengths in order to quickly understand those I was working with. I did not have the benefit of having any bonding period with them and therefore being able to discuss strengths aided in this experience. Strengths has also aided me through working with the departmental preview presentations. When I am on stage presenting, I am capable of using my positivity, relator, communication, and woo as I am hyping the crowd up, getting them to laugh, telling them a story about being at UF, etc. Then when I get off, I am able to use my communication, positivity, and even my strategic as I can aid families in troubleshooting issues which are their highest priority. I am capable of being a sense of support and motivation for these students and families which is perfect for what I want to do in the future which is be a public/motivational speaker.
For me, speaking has been in my blood for years. I am already a minister and have used my strengths in this realm as well as some motivational speeches and presentations previously done. By better understanding my strengths, I will be able to discuss with individuals how we are all unique and capable of so much if we choose to focus on those things which we are good at, while acknowledging those areas we still need growth in. Many students come to college feeling at a disadvantage due to not being able to take certain classes or various other reasons, but I want to encourage these students and let them know that they are just as important to the growth of UF and UF needs them to be the best they can be.
Strengths is a spectrum. You can strengths which match up to those around you, but you may not portray that strength the same way as them. You have to understand who you are and what you bring to the table. Strengths is a framework which should be incorporated into things you already do naturally and other acquired skills. It is more by choice, and not by chance that we better understand our strengths as we are able to choose the environments which we see ourselves being in. Strengths has to be chosen and adopted into your lifestyle and invested in. Remember, nothing that was ever not invested in brought a return. Invest in you and you will see a return of growth.