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Are You Living Your Strengths?


You know how you know the devil is liar? When he has your GPS send you to 3 different, very out of the way locations and has you running 45 minutes late in the hopes that you will head back home and miss the truth bombs being dropped at book club.

Luckily I’m made of tenacious stuff…and large chunks of FOMO, so I eventually found my way to where I was “post to be” and it was a goodie.

Before I go any further, I am going to kick off with a disclaimer that my book club is made up for serious women, reading serious books and then having serious discussions about them for 1 – 2 hours nne. The food, wine and giggling happens after all the legit book-clubbing business has been undertaken (this is for those unbelievers out there who believe “book-club” is code for something of the either the frivilous or nefarious kind.

Okay, where was I?

Ah yes, so we had finished our riveting discussion of last month’s book choice, “The Bookseller of Kabul” by Asne Sierestad (look out for a review of it, this coming Friday) and had now launched into our personal catch up sessions with the crew. On remarking to how gracious host that she was pretty much superwoman because whilst hosting us she was still keeping an eye on her 2 gorgeous cubs running around, coordinating all our catering requirements and not skipping a beat in our lively conversations and her response was “Live Your Strength”.

I remember when she first said it I was a smidgen confused like, “Huh?” as I sipped on a refreshing glass of…honestly, I have no idea what it was, it was just refreshing. Anywho, I then asked her what she meant and she explained that she was by no means a super-being, what she was good at was playing to her strengths – as a mother, as a wife and as a general human being.

The wisdom that my book-club host was dropping reminded me about my longtime struggle and grudge at the much applauded and much coveted concept of the “all rounder”. This, my friends is a myth and legend spouted from the hallowed halls of foolery that one must not pay any attention too.

I remember losing lots of sleep and some tears at a point in my corporate career because no matter how much I exceeded in key areas of my role,  I got heavily penalised for not shining as bright (but still succeeding) in areas that were not my forte. This idea that I was not doing my best unless I excelled at everything and was an all-rounder was impressed upon me so much in that environment, that it ultimately led to me believing I was a failure at everything because I wasn’t great at everything.

Such utter beans, smh.

So hearing N talking about living her strength, this Saturday, revived the idea around focusing more on attention on playing to our strengths than using such time to lament on our weaknesses. This is not to say that we must completely stop working on our weak areas, no siree, instead it speaks to being honest about the places where we come up short and finding work arounds (that may or may not involve you) to close that gap.

For example, I have spent a large portion of my adult life mourning the fact that I am not a morning person. I have self-sabotaged myself on countless occasions insisting that, that new workout regime I need to get on will happen at 6:00am every morning *cough* or that I will suddenly stop being so Zombie-like in the morning if I [insert all manner of lies I have told myself here]. I have now made peace with the fact that a successful morning for me is one where I make it out the house not looking homeless, with matching shoes, brushed eyebrows and my packed lunch.

Now if you want to see me perform some extraordinary feats of magic work-wise, exercise-wise or even human-being wise, then 3:00pm – 12:00am is the time for such things, and I own this fully now.

Listen, I have finally made peace that I will never have Mariah Carey’s 7 (or is it 9) octave vocal range, but I do know that still won’t stop me from belting out my favourite tunes all day and being amazing at the stuff that I’m amazing at 🙂

Here’s hoping that we all become that much more aware and appreciative of our strengths and live them fearlessly this week, going forward.

V x

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