Acknowledge your limitations so you can free yourself and work around them. Work on making your strengths even stronger.
According to Alex Linley, of the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology, we get `a real sense of energy` when we use our strengths. We `lose sense of time` because we are so engaged.
We are `repeatedly successful when using the strength.`
We `feel a yearning to use it.` And we `feel drained if we don`t have the opportunity to use it.`
What kinds of limitations do we have? These are the ropes which hold the hot air balloon to the ground. What are your ropes?
I think of my rocky relationship with time. There’s number of hours in a day and how I used to squeeze every last drop out of every last minute. I could fit any task into the day by looking at the small white spaces on the calendar blocks – works well theoretically, but not in real life. Ha! Then I struggled, living up to that calendar of expectations I’d just laid out for myself.
That pace exhausted me, physically and primarily mentally. So at night, when I wanted to enjoy reading a book, dinner out with friends, or working on a craft project, I had no energy left. Too intense during the day.
Once I decided to limit how I used my time, simplifying how much I put into one day, adding in those transitions tasks and mental breaks and “nothing” time blocks, I put some balance back into my life.
And I`m guessing I am a more relaxed person to be around (read: not so cranky). I feel freer. Not so much of a struggle with my friend, time. I can do what I can do.
I feel more competent, because my standards are not unrealistically high as they had been. I don`t burn out like I did when I worked in corporate.
Why would I want to burn out, now that I`ve found the work I love to do and an important purpose? That makes no sense.
A limitation is having trouble getting places on time. When a friend said she always expected me ten minutes after I`d promised, I felt like a lousy friend. What a good friend she was though, to mention it.
I had to figure out why I was late.
Aha. Insight. `One more thing`-it is, which I`d had since childhood, was a culprit.
Perfectionism. Not wanting to admit I had done as much as I really needed to do on a project.
So now I`ve retrained my brain to `one less thing.`
Seriously. I have my list, but if I`m on my way out, now I choose that lowest priority item and it`s my one less thing.
Then I put it on my to do list so I remember to do it later. Written down, so out of my head.
A limitation might be ADD, depression or a physical health issue. How does it show up in your life? What does it affect for you? So then what extra self-care or other needs can you focus on, so you work around the limitation. Or if you consider your ADD as a gift, what are the ways your gift sometimes gets too big for you to handle? Work around it.
A limitation can be your perspective, in that you are only one person. Or that you`re great at seeing the big picture, but not the details. Or so observant of the details that you miss the obvious.
When I have trouble starting a project, I raise it with one of several colleagues whom I trust. We brainstorm and I’m on my way. I don’t have to figure it all out myself, and do better, great work, with those new perspectives.It is why I’m so strong about collaboration with clients,whether coaching or organizing.
If I’m really stuck somewhere along the way, I work with my accountability partner, Sherrill St. Germain of New Means Financial. We brainstorm ideas, ways around the obstacles I put in front of me, and get something kicked into gear or higher gear.
A limitation might be that you need accountability to get started on a project, stay motivated or to finish it up. I realized last year that certain types of projects I procrastinate on. Rather than fighting the battle, I accepted the limitation and moved those projects to someone I hired for support. Things get done faster. And sometimes, they just get done!
Work on making your strengths even stronger. If you don`t know your strengths, ask a friend or partner. Journal about them or think on it next time you have quiet time (in the car, in the shower, on a walk ` wherever!). There are some strength and happiness assessments here which we were introduced to at our conference with the Institute for Challenging Disorganization. Whatever your results, bounce them off a friend to get another perspective and a reality check. It`s only an assessment; you and your close friends know the genuine person you are.
What were my top three strengths? Gratitude, appreciation of beauty and excellence, caution/prudence/discretion. My friends agree.