When you’re not using your God-given strengths, where do they hide?
If you’re working a job where your abilities aren’t being used…..do those skills cease to exist?
If a tree falls in the woods but no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?
I’ve been struggling with feeling like my “strengths” are gone. Like my strengths are flowers I totally forgot to water.
Do they still exist? I’m scared to step into the unknown, scared my abilities won’t be there to catch me.
I was once really good at fixing stuff. I was really passionate and filled with a fire. I could inspire a toilet brush. I could pump out good ideas faster than you could say “OMG, Sarah why are you still talking?”
I worry my other strengths ran off. They were like Who the hell is this person. And then packed up and stole my husband’s favorite sweatshirt. I definitely didn’t lose it.
SO. My wonderful counselor, she’s such a peach, she recommended I explore where my strengths are hiding. And I really hate hide and seek, so I wasn’t down to give this a try, but here it goes anyway. You don’t have to stick around for this next part, it could be a complete train wreck. Unless you like train wrecks, then stick around, but we’re not friends anymore you sicko.
Sarah’s Strengths. (According to Gallup Strengths Finder)
- Restorative – I like to fix things. But if I get bored, I’ll break things so I have more stuff to fix.
- Strategic – I can figure out a plan to get where I want to go.
- Arranger – I LOVE to move things around, figure out where they work best. People, furniture, dogs, whatever.
- Communication – Talking. Is anyone surprised here?
- Ideation – I love to play with connecting things in a way that hasn’t been tried before.
So, now it’s time to play hide and seek.
- Restorative – This one has been the most helpful in my recent house reno. My husband is also a Restorative, so together, we can brainstorm and fix just about anything. I’ve disassembled and reassembled a stove door, built a headboard, a cornice, a toddler tower, I’ve updated nightstands, and kitchen tables, and dressers and made them into entirely new pieces of furniture. All for little dollah dollah bills ya’ll! Shout out to my husband on teaching me how to use all his man tools. And then not getting angry when I leave them laying all over the place. Love you boo.
- Strategic – Hmmm…..This one shows up most often when traveling. Even weekend trips require some kind of planning, so I normally end up charting the course. My sister (lovingly?) calls me the cruise ship captain. SORRY EVERYONE IS HAVING SO MUCH FUN.
- Arranger – Right now, no piece of furniture in my house is safe. I would happily burn everything to the ground if it meant I could rearrange the layout. WHY DONT WE TRY PUTTING THIS OVER THERE? Because that’s a fire hazard, Sarah. That’s why. But it means my house regularly gets a deep cleaning, so it all works out.
- Communication – This blog, duh. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and it seems to annoy people less than my endless chatter. But on a realer note, the communication strength has more to do with the ability to take an idea, run it through the ol’ think machine, and explain it in a way people understand it. The way I explain it normally involves visuals and hand gestures and some curse words. To each his (her?) own.
- Ideation – I forgot that my ideation strength was still around, until about a week ago. I met with a client and they asked if I had any ideas for their marketing. Cue word vomit. Just pure gold spewed from my mouth. They were showered by brilliant idea followed by brilliant idea. They were in no way freaked out by seemingly random, but earth-shattering ideas. Definitely not freaked out. I hope.
So there it is. I think that helped.
My strengths can’t help but make themselves known. Even when I’m not in a real job. And I kind of feel worthless. And I wonder why I’m here. And if I can ever do anything important or useful ever again.
Maybe you could try this too? Let me know how it goes. Let me know if you need help, I’m really good at telling people (myself) how awesome they are (I am).