Brent O'Bannon CliftonStrengths

Just knowing your strengths isn’t enough; you must make your strengths a part of your daily habits. The best way I know is to improve your self-talk. Here’s what you do: Find a quiet place, clear your mind, and take a deep breath. On a piece of paper, write, “I feel strong when…” Finish the sentence with what immediately comes to mind. Here are a few examples from my own life:

I feel strong when speaking to big crowds. I feel strong when serving during a tennis match. I feel strong when I’m sitting with someone and talking one-on-one, from the heart.

When I did this exercise, I wrote volumes. Then, I began to apply my realizations to specific areas of my life.

To better understand your strengths, complete the sentences:

I feel strong at work when…

I feel strong in my marriage when…

I feel strong in my parenting when…

I feel strong on my team when…

I feel strong spiritually when…

Who is the best judge of your strengths? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not your boss. It’s not your spouse. It’s not your kids. It’s not your parents. It’s you. While it’s true that other people have valuable insights on your strengths, they don’t know what’s in your mind or your heart; therefore, they aren’t privy to all your strength signals.

I am a long-time tennis player. I started playing when I was thirteen years old, after finding out that I had a natural talent for the sport. I was quick, I had fat hands, and I was focused enough to keep my eye on the ball. Plus, I liked the independence and freedom I felt while playing tennis. Over the years, I have developed my tennis talent, knowledge, and skills.

As a result, I became a skillful tennis player at an early age. Within two years of aiming to leap from the bottom rung of the tennis ladder, I won the Texas state doubles championship. That was the first experience in my life where I felt like a winner. It was a momentous success, but it was also the product of hard work and quite a few losses. In the summertime, I spent nine hours a day hitting balls on a ball machine while my friends were swimming and having a good time in the pool next to the tennis courts. I was there by myself, but I was determined, and I felt strong. So, I set a goal for myself that tennis would pay my way through college. And it did. Tennis has been an incredible gift of pleasure and exercise for thirty-four years of my life. Today, I’m on a tennis team and I still compete in tournaments.

The point of this story is that I feel strong when I’m playing tennis.

You probably have something in your life like that. It could be music, art, technology—something that makes you feel strong. Identifying what makes you feel strong is vital to your success.

Turn the best of your life into the most of your life. That’s what discovering your strengths is all about. Instead of trying to whittle down your weak spots, strengths-based living is about focusing on your talents and designing your life accordingly. Structure your relationships with your kids, your spouse, your friends, and your extended family around your strengths. Plan your free time around enjoying your strengths, too. Discovering your strengths is the most exciting, meaningful, purposeful thing that any of us can do.

Please share below at least 1 of your answers to, “I feel strong when…” I’d love to hear about your strengths.

3 replies
  1. Marvin G Ferguson
    Marvin G Ferguson says:

    I feel strong when…. I’m communicating ( influencing ) someone regarding something I truly believe in.


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