You have strengths, skills, talents and passion that make you the wonderfully unique, beautiful, brilliant person you are. But do you talk about them out loud or even to yourself? No because we’ve been taught that’s showing off or bigging yourself but which makes us terrible people! Let’s challenge that, shall we?
In this episode I share:
Pressing Pause ep 121 Owning your strengths
Welcome to Pressing Pause, I’m your host, Gabrielle Treanor, a coach, writer, introvert and sensitive soul with an inclination to ponder over the stuff of life. Join me as I explore how we can create, find and feel more calm, ease and joy in our daily lives.
Before we get in to today’s episode I wanted to let you know about the letters I send by email every week or so, which I call The Haven. I call it that because these letters are a place where you can take a breath, find comfort and understanding, inspiration and ideas to overcome your overwhelm and move forward with more calm and joy.
The Haven is designed to soothe and inspire and in these letters I share my own experiences and insights, practical and actionable takeaways that you can try out in your own life, I recommend books, podcasts, talks and more, and you get a treat in your birthday month!
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These letters are a place where we can connect without the shoutiness of social media and as I’m spending much less time on social media the Haven emails really are the best way to hear more from me.
Plus you get access to my free resource library where there are free guides and audios for you to choose from.
So, go to gabrielletreanor.com/haven to sign up and get weeklyish letters from me.
Okay then, let’s get on with the episode!
Welcome to episode 121. I was speaking with someone recently about strengths, as in character strengths. I’ve done the VIA strengths profile test a couple of times, a couple of years apart, and both times my top strength came out as perspective (in case you’re curious my second and third strengths according to the test are humility and social intelligence).
The test report sums up perspective as ‘Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that makes sense to oneself/others.’
As we were talking about this strength the other person (who’s quite a new acquaintance) smiled and told me that this makes sense to her because she feels safe in my company.
She told me that she can share what’s on her mind, she can be honest, vulnerable even, with me and she knows I won’t judge her. She can let her guard down, she can be her real self without having to pretend to be someone she’s not, and she feels safe that I won’t be forming judgey opinions about her.
And, she said, she finds it helpful that I share other ways of looking at situations, how it opens her up to different points of view and alternative ways of thinking.
This conversation was so enlightening to me because initially I was a bit baffled by the result of the strengths test – perspective is not something I’ve really been intentional about, it’s just the way I think and see things, I don’t try to have perspective, I just do, it’s just… me.
But because of this conversation something clicked into place.
I remembered comments from so many of my coaching clients over the years about how they feel with me, the safety in our conversations, how they feel free to be open and honest without the fear of judgment, how hearing different perspectives helps them to think and see things in ways they hadn’t before.
Now, I’m not sharing this to brag or show off (and I’m aware how it’s a reflection of our society that daring to talk about a strength feels like it has to come with this kind of caveat).
I’m sharing this because now I’m aware that what I thought was me just being me is actually a valuable strength and I want to own it.
And I want you to own your strengths too!
There’s so much more to say on strengths – identifying, using and developing them, not overplaying them. So, for example, perspective can go too far when you see so many points of view you can’t form your own. But for now I would like to invite you to consider what your strengths are.
You might be able to think of one or two straight away, because you see it in yourself or because someone has recognised it in you and that resonated.
Or you might be curious to take a strengths profile test to see what that identifies.
Even if you aren’t interested in looking at strengths specifically I believe there is value, there’s much for us to gain, from taking a moment to recognise what makes us wonderfully us. The skills, the passion, the talent, the strengths, which are all different things, that make you who you are.
When the world has taught you not to take a compliment or put yourself forward or ‘big yourself up’ because pride comes before a fall and no-one likes a show-off, it’s hard to even think to yourself ‘hey, this is something I’m good at’, let alone say it out loud to someone else.
But I want you to!
Say out loud in some way what you’re good at, what you’re proud of about yourself, what strengths you have. You can tell yourself in the mirror. Or write about it in your journal, or even just silently in your head. If you’re feeling a bit stuck try thinking about what other people have said to you, whether it’s a friend or someone at work, about something you’re good at. It could be that you’re a good listener, that you make people laugh or that you’ve an eye for detail. Think about what comes naturally to you, what you find easy or gives you energy that perhaps you’ve taken for granted but may not come as easily to other people.
This is not about stroking your ego, it’s about reminding yourself of the qualities which make you the unique, beautiful person you are AND which could be instrumental in helping you to bring down the overwhelm and feel more calm and joy.
So, now I’ve told you one of mine, how about sharing one of yours with me? If you’d like to I’d love to hear, email me at [email protected].
Thank you for listening to Pressing Pause, you can find details of what I shared in this episode in the show notes at gabrielletreanor.com/podcast.
And if you enjoyed this podcast it would mean so much to me if you could leave a rating or review on iTunes. Reviews make a big difference to how podcasts are found and I would love for more people to find this podcast.
As I said at the start of this episode if you would like to hear more from me you can do by signing up to the Haven, my weeklyish emails. You’ll find comfort and understanding, inspiration and ideas to move forward with more calm and joy. Plus my free resource library with free guides and audios for you to download. Just go to gabrielletreanor.com/haven to find out more.
And if you’d like to share your thoughts on this podcast or anything else feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]
Thanks again for listening, until next time.
Throughout this website and my work when I refer to women I include people identifying as women.
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