February is a month for love and passion! And this month, I’m taking time to reflect on my own life. Am I living a passion-filled life? Does my work light me up? Am I carving out space for the things I love to do?
Here are some thoughts, ideas and research to help you identify and leverage your own strengths and passions.
In my life:
In 2015, I was living in the West Coast. I was grateful to be a part of an amazing school and community while doing work that I loved, with people who inspired me.
Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgeries, treatments, and lots of uncertainty ensued. As many do in the midst and aftermath of health crisis, I spent a lot of time in reflection. I was happy in my current life but was I really living into what I was MOST passionate about?
Due to that reflection, we returned East the following year. to start my coaching and consulting business based out of my home in Peterborough, Ontario. I am now fully focussed on what matters most to me. I get that excited feeling in my gut, as I engage with leaders and teams, talking about what most matters to them. And I have the privilege of seeing some incredible work, and impactful change happen.
Boyatzis et al, in an article entitled Reawakening your Passion for Work talk about the kinds of situations that cause us to pause, to reflect, and perhaps to determine that a change may be needed, that our strengths and passions are not fully being utilized.
Here is a combination of their strategies and some of my own ideas.
First, build some time in for reflection. Even though I am very fulfilled in my work, I can get out of balance pretty easily. As a result, some of my other passions such as family and friends, can suffer. If I don’t actively schedule time for reflection, it doesn’t always happen naturally. This could be a whole blog in itself!
Second, there are many tools that help you identify your strengths. A great tool that I use often with clients is Type Coach This can help identify individual strengths, and then give language to the team as they try to maximize and leverage the best from one another. Keep reading for a free offer from Type-Coach.
Finally, coaching can really support the exploration into your strengths and passions. A coach, or ‘think partner’ can help you align your goals with your values, priorities and the things that really excite you.
You don’t have to wait for life event to happen before you reflect on how you’re living. Nor do you have to move across the country or switch careers. Identifying your passions and strengths can lead to a more fulfilled life through small changes made with intention.
I often use the following resources to help clients identify and build on their strengths. Sometimes having an ‘outside’ perspectives adds new thoughts for us to consider.
- Type Coach
- Reach out to receive a free type-coach verifier assessment code.
- VIA Strengths
- Check out the Free assessment on their website
- The language of strengths in this tool is a little different and quite interesting.
- Marcus Buckingham
- His new book is LOVE and Work – Do what you love.
- His assessment is called Standout and is free on this website.
Even though it might seem like it should be intrinsic, we are often unclear about our strengths and knowing what we are passionate about. And if we take the time to truly reflect, we might be surprised about what we learn. Here are some tips and tools from the Boyatzis article I referenced earlier. They are fun and enlightening ways to help you find your strengths and passions.
Feedback from Friends:
- If you are unsure of your strengths, you can reach out to trusted colleagues and/or friends. Ask them what they see as one of your strengths. Then you can consolidate the data. What are the trends? Do you agree or disagree? What might allow you to take these strengths to the next level?
- Imagine where you would like to be in the future. Pick a specific time – 10 years out? Who would be around you? What would the environment look and feel like? What might you be doing during a typical day or week? Don’t worry about what is realistic or possible, just let the vision unfold and place yourself in it. Try doing some writing, or speak this vision and record it, share with friends. Considering our ideal life, changes our brains and sets us up for connecting powerfully with the possibilities in our lives.
I would LOVE to hear from you about your strengths and passions. Are you clear about them? How much of an impact do they have when you make your life decisions?
If you want to talk more about how coaching can work for you, visit my Contact Page and reach out!