By Ettie M. Rutherford B.Ed., Dip.Ed., M.Ed.
As we find ourselves still engulfed in the ravages of the pandemic, it is of utmost importance to know who we are, what we can tolerate, as well as what abilities we have, so that we will not get snowed under, while ignoring the many strengths, which we need, for a season such as this.
We must get to know ourselves if, we are to not merely survive these perilous times, and if we are to overcome the with confidence and faith.
One of the most important strategies that I use in my coaching sessions with women, is to provide tools for them to find their strengths, because research has shown that a large portion of the population wastes an inordinate amount of time trying to perfect skills, which they will never master, instead of focusing on the few things that they can do to perfection.
Identifying our skills will determine the elements of our lives that come naturally, so it will be much easier to foster peace and success, by being aware of our authentic self.
If this is not done, too many people’s experiences will be unhappy, even after retirement, because they were never taught how to identify and build on the elements that determine the pathway that they should have taken — or should continue to take.
At five years of age, I found myself by realizing I had to be a teacher. Nothing else could have brought me satisfaction. On two different occasions, I bought sewing machines, but I still cannot master the simple task of sewing a handkerchief. I am a teacher. My strengths are talking, telling, listening and teaching. I cannot do anything with my hands.
What then should be done to tap into our strengths and our gifts?
Regardless of age, religion, or education, we can be more attuned to our strengths, by focusing on these simple self-discovery questions:
- What am I good at?
- What do I love?
- What makes me happy?
- Where am I now in my life?
- What path must I take to utilize the skills, which enable me to feel fulfilled?
It is never too late to use our strengths to arm ourselves with confidence and faith, in order to survive these extraordinary times of uncertainty. Interestingly enough, there are people, who will attest to the fact that they “found” themselves after retirement, and started businesses that they had contemplated in earlier years. The confidence was not there.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American poet, says “What lies behind us, and what lies before us, are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”. We all have abilities yet to be discovered.
If ever there was a time when we need to identify hidden strengths and use them, it is now. So go ahead and find your element. It will be the difference, between merely surviving or bravely overcoming these days of challenge and daily upheaval.
Award-winning Ettie Rutherford, B.Ed, Dip.Ed, M.Ed, is an educator, life coach, consultant and author of “Why Perch Like A Chick When You Can Soar Like An Eagle?”. An accomplished public speaker, Ettie is the Founder and CEO of Women Are Worthy, which provides step-by-step strategies for women to achieve their goals, with a minimum amount of stress. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org