I’ve been attending Fresh Air Fridays sessions for nearly four years and facilitating for three. Each time we explore the theme of control, I notice new things and choose to make adjustments in my life.
This year it is more pertinent than ever that we’ve been exploring control this month. COVID-19 has brought up feelings of shock, fear and anger for many of us around our health, family and work. There are many things happening that we can’t control, which can leave us feeling helpless and anxious. However, even if we can’t control this situation, we can choose how we respond to it.
One way to do this is to connect with our strengths. When we are using our strengths we’re tapping in to what comes naturally to us and to what gives us purpose and meaning. By using our strengths we can bring out the best in ourselves. This enables us to feel that we are doing something proactive, something positive in the areas we can control. When we are at our best we’re in a position to consider how best we can use our strengths to support those around us.
Strengths are the capabilities we have that come to us naturally and that energise us. We often feel at our most authentic, most in flow when we are using these capabilities. Whilst many people are unaware of their strengths they can tune into them by starting to notice what gives them energy – a spark for life. Alex Linley, CEO of Cappfinity (www.cappfinity.com), has written about how to spot strengths in his book “From Average to A+”. A sample chapter about strengths spotting can be found here.
To start you off identifying your strengths, think about what makes a really good day for you. What activities are you typically doing? What do you gain most energy from?
Once you have some ideas of your strengths, consider how you can apply them in your day to day life. For example, if one of your strengths is creativity, think of all the fun ways you can keep your team in touch with one another. Or perhaps your strength is listening – you could let people know you are there for them to check in with for a virtual coffee and a chat.
Finding your strengths and finding ways to use them is very motivating and will help you stay positive whatever else is happening.
When we take care of our own wellbeing we are better able to support others in both our professional and personal lives. Visit our Total Wellbeing and Mental and Emotional Resilience pages to learn more.