The Duchess of Sussex, otherwise known as Meghan Mountbatten-Windsor, has recently opened up about the challenges she has faced as a well-known celebrity and royal. Meghan has pointed out that she does not intend to merely survive, but to whole-heartedly thrive, and for that we must applaud her.
Of course, as part of the royal family we understand that Megan has been afforded an enviable lifestyle and many opportunities. But she has also had her fair share of problems, and these are regularly played out for the world to share! Megan could have hidden away and hoped that the hubbub surrounding her family life would eventually calm down. Instead she joined forces with her regal prince (also known as Harry – her husband) and together they have weathered the storm.
Meghan has managed to remain composed in the face of adversity. We can assume her resolve is partly due to her past experience as a well-known actress (the press have long been hot on her heels). The Duchess has therefore been able to draw on her strengths and rise above the naysayers. Instead of bowing to the pressure, she has elected to “thrive” in her new role as an ambassador, royal, wife and mother.
Shouldn’t I Concentrate on Fixing My Weaknesses?
Meghan is not alone, there are countless examples of people drawing on their experience, skills and strengths to rise up and live life to the best of their ability. They do not ignore their weaknesses, but they do not agonise over them either!
Let’s be honest – we all have a weakness or two, for instance, you might be terrible at public speaking. You could worry about this and spend hours trying to improve your confidence and technique. Whilst this is commendable (after all, self-improvement rocks), you must take care that you do not obsess over your weaknesses in favour of enhancing your strengths, E.g. In the time it’s taken you to transform yourself from a poor public speaker to an average one, you could have morphed from good writer to an amazing one.
How Do I Identify My Strengths?
Before you work on enhancing your strengths you need to identify what they are! This can be challenging, but there are some super tools available to help you. Strength assessments such as Gallup’s strength finder can point you in the right direction and help you to highlight all of your best bits. You complete an online assessment designed to pinpoint your talents and the results are analysed to pinpoint your signature strengths. This might be a good time to mention that if you want truthful results you must be brutally honest about yourself.
As human beings we have a natural tendency to overplay our own qualities (especially when we are answering interview or survey questions). For instance, if you found a soggy £50 note on the floor would you really hand it in? You might feel the need to select the “right” answer if you are merely ticking a box, but in real-life you might be inclined to pop the note in your pocket! That said, assessments such as these can be a good place to start.
Ask the Audience!
To get an honest reflection you could also ask others what they think of you. This can be a risky business – your nearest and dearest might offer up a sugar-coated opinion! Alternatively, they could be brutally honest and you could find yourself feeling a little put out! Be brave and request a frank appraisal, but keep it simple. You just need a brief outline of your strengths and weaknesses. You don’t need a glowing reference (or a character assassination)!
Analyse your Findings
Now for the interesting part – it’s time to collate and analyse your results. Take a critical look at your strength assessment and the opinions provided by friends, family and colleagues. You might find a few common elements and this will help you to detect and confirm your strengths and weaknesses.
Formulate an Action Plan and Play to Your Strengths
You need to look on your findings as an opportunity to learn and move forward.
Look on this as a time to take stock – to discover what you are good at and to figure out how you can play to your strengths. This may include embarking on training or a course, or simply giving more focus to the things you enjoy.
It’s time to open your eyes to the opportunities around you. It’s time to put up your hands up and admit that you can’t be great at everything. It’s time to pinpoint your strengths and to develop them. It’s time to do a Meghan – let’s not survive – let’s all thrive!