Finding Your Strengths

Finding Your Strengths

Why am I sobbing over test results? At 42, aren’t I too old for this sh*t.?! These results aren’t even a matter of sickness or health.

Earlier in the week, I took the Gallup’s StrengthFinder 34. Two days later, I finally looked at the sequential ranking of my 34 strengths.

Except for “competition,” the bottom five strengths read like my negative inner voice’s go-to hit-list for judgment and criticism. These are the parts of me that I struggle the most to accept. These are things that I admire the most in others.

Something is freeing about the realization that I will never be great in any of these bottom five areas and that any progress will be slow. These weaknesses are part of the picture of Becky, and it’s okay. Also, criticizing other’s weakness is cruel. Why would it be okay for me to do this to myself?

In a world where time is a constraint, focusing on strengths is an efficient way to get better faster, As someone who is always listening to podcasts and reading books self-improvement in nature, I gravitate towards content that promises me any measurable improvement in my areas of weakness.

What else do these bottom weaknesses mean? Maybe that my Technical Marketing dreams are a fruitless endeavor. Also, I can approach this with gratitude for who I am and not focus on who I am not.

Why Care About StrengthsFinder

How can I give so much validity to the results of an assessment? It seems pretty accurate. Also, one of my more fulfilling career periods was at a job that meets the StrengthsFinder definition of a good match for me. I loved this environment, so much I wrote a love post about it:  The Thrill of Working at a Place Knee-deep in Technical Debt

PS — Since I shared my bottom five, I probably should share my top five.

Becky

After dropping out of a liberal arts college that focused on reading and discussing the “Great Books”, Becky Elliott found her way to a career in IT. For 20+ years, she has held a number of roles in Dev and Ops, and the area in between the two. In working for organizations in which poor security practices can cost lives, she’s an ardent believer in integrating security through the entire design process. Becky holds a number of industry certifications including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).
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