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Don't underestimate your strengths

I've facilitated numerous strengths workshops over the years, but one key strengths idea struck me at the last one. I told a story about me at high school, way back in the 1960s and 1970s. I found maths baffling. What is pi? I found chemistry dull, physics a mystery and I hated biology. I dropped the sciences as soon as I could. Maths - well I got the lowest pass grade possible at 'O' level (like NCEA level 1) and breathed a sigh of relief.

Wilfred Owen

What I was good at was writing, languages and social studies. I still remember listening to Wilfred Owen's First World War poetry and being transfixed by it. I found writing essays easy.

But here's the thing. I thought the really bright kids were the scientists. In my mind, everyone could write. Everyone understood Chaucer, the struggle for Irish independence and German grammar. I enjoyed them all and found them easy. They were my strengths and I undervalued them.

We often use the fish in the water analogy to explain this. Fish only know water. Similarly, we may think everyone can do what we find easy. They can't.

So, take a moment to recognise and celebrate your strengths: things you find easy. And realise others don't.


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