365 Day Blog Post Challenge 2019
288. What strengths have you developed over your life?
I cannot say that I have actually developed any “new” strengths over the course of my life, but I have definitely improved upon the strengths that have always been inside me. Some strengths have grown more rapidly, while others have taking a long time to bloom. Then there are those strengths that I just know I have in me, but still lay dormant deep down, just waiting for their time to shine.
Some of the strengths that I have improved upon over the years are communication and determination.
Communication has not always been a strength for me and is one that I am still developing on a daily basis. It is hard to imagine with my current lack of communication skills, that they have actually developed and improved over the years, but it’s true. As a young child, it was more than just difficult to communicate with others, it was down right torture. I was so terribly shy that often times I said little to nothing when around other people outside of my immediate family. In school, I had my select group of friends, but was never one that would make an effort to talk to anyone new. I was that one person that would turn bright red in the face if I had to try and communicate something to someone who I did not feel 100% comfortable around. Quiet was always my safety net. When I started in the workforce, I began to develop my ability to speak, but it took a long time. I sometimes look back and wonder what people thought of me because I would pretty much only speak to those that spoke to me first. Not because I was being rude or snobbish, but because I was afraid. Now that I am older, my communication skills have improved tremendously. Are they the best they can be? Absolutely not. I still get sick to my stomach when I have to present something and I am terribly at making idle conversation, but at least now I will try. That is not something I would have done 30 or even 20 years ago. I’ve also found that I am much more open to providing my opinions and feedback when asked. Before I would just say I had nothing to contribute, even though in my head I was raging with ideas or comments. Now I actually speak what I am thinking. I no longer feel the urge to run and hide in the bathroom if I think someone might ask me a question. This is a huge accomplishment for me.
Another area in which I have seen a great deal of growth is my determination. This is a strength that has also taken its sweet time to blossom. I was never one that had a tremendous amount of determination. I was pretty much okay with being the “average Jo”. I never had that fight in me to want to be better than anyone nor did I have the desire to accomplish anything great. I was just fine being average. I took all the basic classes in school. I was never an over achiever. I took the first job that was offered to me straight out of high school and stayed there for over 10 years. Although I guess I had some slight determination in the fact that I worked my way up a little in the company, I honestly thought I would be working there the rest of my life doing what I was doing. I was not determined to go out and find something better or try and advance myself. Eventually that started to change and I’ve seen that the last 15 years or so there has been a slight switch in my mindset. I become much more determined when I decided to go back to school at a rather late age and get my college degree. So many times I wanted to give up but for once I had the determination to stick through it. I have been way more determined in my current job to progress and not just settle for the easiness of staying in a stagnant position. I’ve found that as I grew older, I was more determined to succeed at things instead of sitting back watching everyone else succeed around me. I’ve even noticed a drastic change in my determination to lose weight. I’m actually staying committed and taking steps to make it happen, verse my old self that would complain about it, but do nothing.
There have been other areas in which I have noticed my strengths have grown. Areas like my organization and planning skills, my enthusiasm towards life and my ability to handle my failures and learn fro my mistakes.
Some areas in which I have not seen a lot of growth are areas like flexibility. Flexibility to me equals anxiety. I am not a “wing it” kind of girl and if my mind is set one way, and anything is altered from that, I do not do well at all. This is an area that could really use some developing. But I guess we are all just a continuous work in progress.