Capitalizing On Your Strengths

Hello everyone!  I’m Coach Briley with Complete Performance Coaching.  Today I want to talk to you about how to find and capitalize on your strengths, especially during this strange time of transition in sports and our world. 

In times of uncertainty and stress, it’s definitely a lot harder to refer back to our strengths and what brings us confidence.  It’s so much easier to draw upon past failures and poorly executed plans when instead, we should be remembering what we’re already great at.  In order to build upon that, I want to suggest some questions you can ask yourself when it comes to identifying and focusing on your strengths. 

If you’re having trouble thinking about your strengths, below is a list of questions you can ask yourself to see if anything sparks discovery.  When going through these questions, I find that writing down three solid answers per question is a great start. 

Thinking Inward

1. What do you like about yourself?  These can be traits related to your sport or outside of your sport.  As long as you think of things that you genuinely appreciate about yourself, that’s what matters.

2. What sets you apart from the rest of the crowd?  What makes you unique?  While I don’t often encourage social comparison, when it comes to finding positive attributes about yourself, this is an opportunity to brag.  Celebrate what you have to offer the world and your sport!

3. What kind of challenges have you overcome?  How did you overcome them?  This is an excellent question that forces you to look back on what has already worked for you.  You have been successful before, so remind yourself of what action you took and what thoughts led you to experience confidence, success, and motivation. 

4. What do you value in life?  What makes you happy?  Draw upon what you tend to prioritize and appreciate.  You might find that what you value is a pillar that lifts you up and brings you strength.  Draw strength from what you value in life.  Maybe you value good friendships and have accumulated that through teammates, other parents, or multiple coaches around you.  Perhaps you place your identity in things outside of your sport that make you feel like you have an additional sense of purpose.  Whatever it is that you value, use those values, and find where you have made the most of them. 

If you find that you’re having a hard time thinking about internal attributes, perhaps try to think outside of yourself for your strength discovery.

Thinking Outward

1. How do other people describe you?  Ask your friends what they think your strengths are.  Sometimes friends and family know your tendencies better than you do. 

2. When are times you have made other people happy?  Maybe you volunteer your time for charity, or you complimented a teammate about getting over a fear, or you have been extra supportive of the younger athletes that train around you and you have gone out of your way to make them feel important.  Perhaps you gave someone a gift that made them smile.  All of these are examples of strength that we sometimes forget carry so much positive value and influence on our own sport experience.  Give yourself some credit for the good things you have done for other people. 

3. Think of compliments you have received from others.  What do those compliments tend to focus on?  Maybe they’re related to your sport or maybe they aren’t, but compliments are compliments. 

Boost Your Mood

Take a few minutes today to pick a few of the questions from both categories and write down your responses.  There’s something about putting thoughts to paper and genuinely thinking about what good things you have done.  It may be a challenge at first, but I think the value that comes from finding out how you can brag about yourself in a healthy way can boost your mood, your confidence, and motivation to accomplish even more. 

We all have strengths, it’s just a matter of finding them, reminding ourselves of them and capitalizing on them to grow into the best version of ourselves. 

Working on weaknesses is of course just as valuable as focusing on your strengths, but I like to start building on my strengths and get myself in a mental place where I am feeling more open to challenge and critique before I work on those.  Hopefully, this blog post serves as a reminder that you have so much to offer no matter what your sport or activity is. Take the time for yourself today to discover your strengths.  Then, keep that list where you will see it often. 

Please feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any feedback or questions about this post.  I’d love to talk to you and hear your thoughts.

Happy training! 

References: Coach Rebecca’s “My Strengths” worksheet

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