“What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.” Eleanor Powell
Eleanor Powell was a well known dancer and actress who appeared in many musicals in the 1930s and 1940s. She was a good dancer, but an amazing tap dancer. In her day, she was known as “the world’s greatest tap dancer.”
I love her quote – it gets at the heart of self confidence and commitment to taking personal responsibility for your life and career success. God (or the universe, if you are so inclined) gives each of us certain talents and abilities. It is up to us to take those talents and abilities that we have been given and develop them, make full use of them. This is our gift back to God (or the universe).
Eleanor Powell was given the gift of dance. She began dancing in Vaudeville when she was 11 and was on Broadway when she was 17. She developed her dancing talent to a very high level.
I have been given several gifts – the ability to write clearly, the ability to simplify the complex, empathy, and common sense. I’ve worked hard to develop these gifts. I use them to help others grow and develop and to create the life and career success they want and deserve. I believe that I owe it to myself, God, and the people who read the career advice I write and those who avail themselves of my career success coach services to keep learning, growing and developing my skills.
That’s why I started blogging. That’s why I write books. Both give me the chance to use and develop my writing skills, and my ability to simplify complex things.
When you focus on your strengths, you are emphasizing what you do well naturally. And this is important. When I was young, I realized that my strengths lie in my ability to think and communicate. I could always write clearly and persuasively. I wasn’t so good at math and science. For a long time, I focused on my weaknesses – taking advanced placement chemistry, physics and calculus courses in high school. I didn’t enjoy these courses, but I suffered through them – and did OK grade wise too. I did this because in those days, I was the epitome of the Protestant Work Ethic in overdrive. The less I liked something, or showed a natural talent for it, the more I chose to master it.
What a waste! I should have been spending my time on the things I liked – and for which I have a natural talent. My four years at Penn State cured me of my tendency to focus on my weaknesses. That was the best thing I got out of my time there – the idea that I should focus on and develop my strengths – the things that came naturally to me, the things at which I could excel because I enjoyed them and they were easy for me.
That’s what you need to do too. Focus on your strengths. Build on them. This will help you build your self confidence and create the life and career success you want and deserve. Don’t ignore your weaknesses – do what you can to improve on them, but don’t make them the focus of your self improvement work. My best career advice on building your self confidence can be summed up in four words: “Focus on your strengths.”
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