March 9, 2018
I recently came across the following quote β€œIf you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ― Maya Angelou This is my new goal in life. Not to conform to be normal, but to be amazing and I hope to inspire you to be amazing too.

Believe in yourself and work to your strengths

I've always believed...

For as long as I can remember I've always told people, and always believed, that everyone is an expert at something. Everyone in the world is an expert.

This may sound strange, people try to pick out flaws in the comment by referencing academia and other certificate related stuff, but I then point out that it's not all about passing exams.

What do I mean?

So what do I mean by that comment? What am I trying to say? People always think of subject like maths, English, computing and so on. It goes a little deeper though, not everything in the world is academia based.

So, for example, someone may be an expert in 'Eastenders' (a British TV soap in case you wondered). Someone may be an expert in the different types of road tarmac. Someone may be an expert in spotting different types of stones. One of my friends was an expert in making models.

There are unlimited subjects out there, things that people can be experts in. This is what I always mean by everyone is an expert in something. I'm sure you can take a second, think and come up with 1 thing you're an expert in - mine used to be PacMan πŸ™‚

Work to your strengths and not your weaknesses

So, this leads me to the other part of this conversation. So, as I was saying, I believe everyone is an expert in something - but something else I always talk about, and again some people sometimes can't get their head around, is to not bother trying to become good at the things you're not good at, spend that time to improve your strengths.

Now, a bit of a caveat to that statement. The first being, the subject that you're not good at, but want to learn maybe something you're interested in and want to learn. If that is the case, then it's worth your time learning it.

The second caveat is, it may be a subject you have to learn. A good example is when we found out little Mr had ASD. We had no idea on parenting a child with Autism - but its something we needed to learn, so we did.

For all other subjects though, unless there is a good reason I never spend time on subjects I'm no good at. A lot of people will say, spend the time learning, you'll get it. I look at it this way, let's break it down to time so to make it a little more emphasised.

So, I need to spend 20 hours (for example) learning a subject I am no good at, just to be OK at it and use it occasionally. On the other hand, I could spend that 20 hours improving my skills in something I am good at it and then at the end be great or an expert at it.

What I have done is work to my strengths, I've improved something I am good at and something I will be using a lot. I've not wasted time learning something that is not a strength.

Improve yourself

So, what I am suggesting is work to your strengths. Remember, we're all an expert in something - and working with your strengths you could become a thought leader in that subjects - or maybe an expert in 2 subjects.

Always work to your strengths and don't worry too much if you're not good at everything.

3 Little Buttons

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I recently came across the following quote β€œIf you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ― Maya Angelou This is my new goal in life. Not to conform to be normal, but to be amazing and I hope to inspire you to be amazing too.

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46 comments on “Believe in yourself and work to your strengths”

  1. Hi, reading this is a nice positive way to start the day. Indeed we can’t be good at everything and can be an expert at something I like the link to Eastenders and tarmac. We can allimprove at something what ever that may be #dreamteam

    1. Thanks for the lovely comment. It's amazing what you can achieve when working with your strengths. I've also met some people in the past who didn't think in that way - so gave them my point and they were so happy when they just looked sideways at their skills and realised they were brilliant at somethings.

      Not to say we should not stop trying to learn - more, let's look at everyone as an expert in something and let's treat each other that way. πŸ™‚

  2. This is true. Not everything is about academia. Just because you did not study something in school, does not mean that you will not be good at it. My parents always say, if you have a talent for something, nurture it and it will take you to great places. #DreamTeam

    1. Exactly. I left school with just a few bad grades. They just didn't teach anything I liked or was good at. I found my calling after that and have met so many people who have skills they never thought off being worthy skills. As you say, if you have a talent... and I believe everyone does. Thanks for sharing your thoughts too.

  3. I love the idea of kids being able to focus on subjects they are strong at in school ... it's such common denominator stuff to cater for the majority, but then kids can often close themselves off to experiences too soon. It's about balance, as always. But my aim for our kids in school is they would uncover what they are good at and are interested in and that will lead them to further study and a career direction organically. #DreamTeam

    1. Great point. The great thing about school is that they can try new things to see what they like. Then it would be great if they can learn on their strengths. It also can build confidence when anyone feels they are learning and improving - which playing to your strengths also can help with.

  4. I needed this post right now as I have an appointment with my boss for the kind of conversation, as a people pleaser, that I hate. I need to seek my strengths. Wish me luck!
    Congrats on the position of #dreamteam host this week. X #dreamteam

  5. Lovely article, I think focussing on what you're good at is such a positive idea as quite often we spend too much time getting down about what we're bad at! Slightly off tangent, but I always used to try and finish books (especially 'classics') that I didn't enjoy as I felt I should. Then I realised that it was a bit silly spending all that time reading something I didn't enjoy so instead I move on to another book! #DreamTeam

    1. I think reading is a great skill to have. I'm terrible at finishing books - I tend to get the audiobook. But I feel positive for the books I can finish πŸ™‚

      We have so many things that we could be negative about, but life is really too short I always think. Especially as you get older πŸ™‚

    1. I found I had spent a lot of time trying to get better at something I just was not good at. then I started reading strength finder 2.0 and it just made sense.

      I already knew everyone was an expert at something, even if they had not found it yet. But to then concentrate on that strength and make it better just seemed right.

  6. This is such a thought provoking post and it is so true. Sometimes people are too focused on things being a certain way for a child to achieve success. People have different abilities and talents and we can't all be the same. Some are academically strong, some are good in art, some are good in creating things with their hands. My kids have their own interests, with their own strengths and weaknesses all I as a parent can do is to support them #dreamteam

    1. So true. I believe we should encourage people to embrace what they are good at, and if they don't know support them and let them know there is something - until they click and find that one thing they are excellent at.

  7. As a teacher I find this to be so true!! Regardless of what my students have as weaknesses, I find the strength in them. Point out what they do well. Encourage that and the rest will come. #dreamteam

  8. It is so true. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and I see that everyday now that I have four kids. All brought up the same way, but all so very different and showing themselves as experts in different stuff. Myself - I am currently an expert in dealing with potty training although I can't wait to be able to forget everything I have learnt about that and move onto a subject I am interested in. #dreamteam

    1. Expert in potty training is a good skill to have πŸ™‚ I see many people leaving posts on how to go about that. Embrace the skill and share your expertise πŸ™‚

      What I love about having kids myself, is watching them discover what they are good at. I know you will have fun watching and help yours through their learning an life.

  9. I love this idea that everyone is an expert in something - what a great way to think about people. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what I'm good at and what I enjoy - now I just need to convince my employer of that...#dreamteam

    1. Ah the world is you oyster now. This is the same position my wife has found herself in - she also is looking for things to get involved in. Hope you find something you enjoy

  10. I am going to share this post with my 17 year old as I try to show him less than perfect GCSE results does not mean his whole life is doomed. Thanks. #DreamTeam

    1. When I left school I had very few and not so good results - back in the CSE and GSE days πŸ™‚

      I did eventually go back to college, learning the things I was good and then progressed through to other things. It was that time when I discovered what I was good at and have spent a lot of time working to those strenghts.

      I often think back and thought what I could have done sooner. The thing is, especially at a young age, you shouldn’t be worried about such things. 17 years should be discovering what they are good at and then progressing. I read many a success story from those that have found that skill and at early 20’s are living their dream.

      I hope he finds what he enjoys and progresses to what he will enjoy through life. I’m sure he will find many things he is good or even, expert at.

  11. I've definitely cut myself some slack since having kids since I have to set a good example! My two are are so different and I really try to support their strengths and boost their confidence in different ways. #DreamTeam

  12. Sean I love this! And you are so right, there are many more things to be an expert in than academia based things. I like to think I am an expert in Seinfeld (the show) and know all of its references by heart! #DreamTeam

    1. Brilliant. You certainly know much more than me for that show. I wouldn't be surprised if a fan website using your knowledge would do really well.

    1. O you should never keep trying to improve what you are good at. It's more about identifying what you are good at and continue learning this and not spending time trying to learn things you are not so good at.

  13. This is such a great motivational post! Especially to read on a dull Monday morning! Thanks for sharing #DreamTeam

  14. I think your spot on, we do things better if we play to our strengths, and generally we also become happier that way. To feel that you're doing something well is a great feeling, while just about managing a task (which many others seem to manage quite easily) is no fun at all really.
    I also think this is something worth remembering when it comes to teaching children, and even more so when a child has learning difficulties/differences: We should try not to spend too much time on the things they find difficult, and always make sure they're given a chance to explore and develope their strengths. So that they too can feel the satisfaction of being an expert in something ? #DreamTeam

  15. I absolutely love this post Sean. I'm sure you are very right in that everyone has a thing that they are an expert in... it's just a matter of finding a way to let that expertise shine out. Thanks for being an amazing guest host on the #DreamTeam - it's been a pleasure having you.

    1. I really enjoyed working at a guest host with you this week. Great fun and got to chat to many people which is great too. Thanks

  16. I bloody love this post!!! The thought that everyone is an expert in something is kinda inspirational. I have certainly spent way too much time in my life focused on trying to better at stuff I simply never will be, had I put that effort into the skills I do have I'd have been much happier #DreamTeam

    1. I totally agree with you there - I kept putting a lot of effort into things I was not so good at. Then putting in the effort and concentrating on the things I was good at I progressed more.

      There are always things in life that we want to learn, and we should - but I personally thing that we should do that for pleasure knowing that we may not be the best at them. But still really focus on the things we are expert in and improve and share.

  17. So true that often things are put down to academic studies but there are other things out there that you can be great at. I was terrible at exams and much better at coursework. I knew this so you can guess which I opted to do module wise. #DreamTeam

    1. I was put off academia because I was never interested in the subjects I was taught, well apart from one. It was only later on I discovered that what I was good at I could study and work in. I too am much better at module work as oppose to exams.

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