Life at UCB through the eyes of our international student bloggers

How to recognise your strengths

How to recognise your strengths

Recently, while I was helping a friend with updating her resume, she had asked me what I think her strengths were. It made me think that people don’t really give themselves enough credit. When it comes to recognising their own strengths, we seem to depend on the strengths that other people see in us. I believe that we spend most of our time with ourselves more than with other people, only we know what exactly is going on in our mind. So why is it that we seem to fail to recognise our own strengths?

We don’t see ourselves the way other people see us and for that reason, I think we can became very strict with what we see as our strengths. I don’t know about other people but sometimes I do feel like I don’t see the potential that people see in me. They may be able to see what I have accomplished, but those accomplishments that other people see only reminded me of the struggles that I went through to get there. I would tell myself that luck was on my side rather than my own efforts coming to fruition.

Most of our strengths are overshadowed by our weaknesses because we often became more invested in trying to minimize our weaknesses rather than developing our strengths. I guess recognising our weakness does help us become more aware of our capabilities. Still, we may also find that our weakness could become our strength if we just look at it from a different perspective or with a different mindset.

Our strengths and weaknesses are often two sides of the same coin. Whenever someone asks me what my strengths are, I usually focus on things that I am confident and comfortable doing on my own rather than having to ask other people for help. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this. However, I often fail to recognise that asking for help could also be one of my strengths. In a way, it shows that I am brave enough to admit that I lack something and that I am willing to learn to overcome it.

I think the problem is that we think too narrowly of what a strength should be. It doesn’t have to be something different than other people’s strengths or something more significant. Think about the small daily things that help us get through the day. It could be something related to our personality, behaviour or even just the way we view things in our life. Just because we think it comes easy to us and that it’s the same for others, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be one of our strengths.

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