Life at Allens

Realising your strengths: how to achieve your goals sooner

Do you want to stand out from the crowd? Achieve your goals? Work on things that energise you?

If you said 'yes' to these, then now's a good time to tune into your strengths – and use them! Using your strengths is associated with work and university satisfaction and productivity, positive mental health, and helps to achieve your goals more effectively. Plus, it's great to know your strengths for upcoming job applications and interviews, as it demonstrates you are self aware and can speak to why you're a great applicant.

So, what are strengths?

Strengths are the talents that come naturally to you – and they can be anything. Strengths energise you and come with ease. They require less effort to achieve a great result than other things which are more challenging. Have you ever noticed that you've been so deeply engrossed in a task that you've lost track of time? That's a great indication that you were in a 'flow' state and were using your strengths.

How do I identify my strengths?

Reflect: think back to previous experiences for an insight into your strengths, skills and abilities. Consider what activities you enjoy, what energises and motivates you, and what subjects you're good at. Are there instances where you have learnt things very quickly? When are you most productive? Reflect on instances where you have outperformed others and ask yourself why this was the case.

Feedback: listen to feedback you've received. Are there commonalities that suggest what your strengths and skills are? Seek feedback from others. Approach those that you trust and ask for honest feedback. Ask them what they think you do best, what your unique qualities are, and why they think you're good at these. Getting a broader perspective from a variety of different people will help you create a more complete view of your skills, abilities and qualities.

How to use your strengths

Now that you've discovered your strengths, it's time to work out how to use them. Think about your goals and priorities, and consider specific ways to incorporate your strengths to help you achieve these. Try to identify gaps and match up where you can develop your strengths further. What's an action you can take going forward? Consider what an ideal week looks like for you, and how you can make this happen. How can you incorporate your strengths into your daily life? Maybe it's an opportunity to get involved in a project, volunteering, or a new hobby. Be creative and open about how to incorporate your strengths.

Remember, your strengths make you unique and are your selling points, so make sure to grow and develop them!

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