In a world where we constantly compare ourselves to unrealistic beauty standards and uncommon success stories, many of us have become our worst critics. We constantly push ourselves to do better and work harder. Nothing we do will ever bring us 100% satisfaction, because there’s always someone out there who can and will do it better. So, when we get asked the question, “What are your strengths?”, many of us tend to find ourselves staring at a blank screen with a blank mind.
This personally happened to me last year. I was asked two different questions. This first question asked about my weaknesses and the second about my strengths. I was able to answer the weaknesses question in 5 minutes, but I sat at my desk for 3 hours trying to figure out my strengths. I wanted the position I was applying for very badly, but I simply could not think of a single strength that I could contribute that made me unique. Though I eventually pieced together an answer, this incident made me feel disappointed in myself. Was my self-confidence really so low that I couldn’t think of a single good thing about myself? I knew that I needed to change, and I did. If you ask me to write about my strengths today, I could easily write you a paragraph in 5 minutes. Here are a couple of tips on how you can find your strengths (so you can easily write about them).
Change your mindset.
Start thinking about yourself in a positive way in order to have an easier time finding strengths. If you have a lot of self-love, not only will you have strengths to write about, but you will also truly feel like these qualities bring out the best in you.
When you do good things, praise yourself.
If you consciously celebrate yourself when something good happens to you as a result of your hard work or your actions, you are more likely to remember these positive feelings and will feel more confident in yourself. More self-confidence = easier time finding strengths.
Put quality in every thing you do.
This is really important when trying to find your strengths. When you do work and don’t put in a lot of effort, you’re normally left uncertain and doubting yourself. Your work may feel artificial, because you know that you’re selling yourself short. Doing quality work gives you confidence in yourself and your abilities, which will help you truly find your strengths. You’re going to have to do that work anyway, what’s stopping you from giving it your all and putting in your best effort?
Ask the people around you.
Sometimes when you’re stuck on your strengths, the perspective of your friends or family might help you out. A couple months ago, I asked some of my friends to describe me in one word. To my surprise, I found myself agreeing with their responses. It is almost a human instinct to judge oneself harshly, and by doing this, we tend to overlook some of the best parts of ourselves. This is why having an outside perspective on yourself can be especially helpful.
The question, “What are your strengths?” is a question you will continuously see over the course of your life, so it is important to self-reflect and truly find your inner strengths. When writing about your strengths, you are essentially giving the reader an elevator pitch about yourself. You want them to have the best impression of you, so it is important to word it in the best possible way. Here are some tips to help you write a strong paragraph about your strengths.
Think beyond the basics.
Many people end up writing similar strength paragraphs, so one way to stand out is by putting a creative twist on a strength that you may think is commonly used. Think: Why is this strength significant to me? How has this strength shaped me into the person I am today?
When you use specific examples of how your strength is actually your strength, you provide a personal connection to that strength, allowing the readers to believe and see first-hand the extent to which your strength plays into your personality.
Write coherently and formally.
If you are asked to write about your strengths, it is most likely going to be read by someone you know in a formal way (like an adult, a potential boss, or a selection committee). It is important that you write in a respectful tone, which shows that you are serious about your topic.
We are all born as unique individuals with something to contribute to the world. Our strengths are hidden inside of us, and once we find them, we can work towards making them even stronger. So today, I urge you to take 30 minutes out of your day, self-reflect and find what makes you who you are. After you do this, the words will naturally flow out, enhancing your best qualities.
About the Author
Prerana is a rising senior at Enloe High School. Writing short stories has been her hobby for as long as she can remember, and she has even been a finalist in a couple of short story competitions! At school, she is on the executive board of Key Club, a Lead Marshal, and Vice President of Boys & Girls Tutoring Club and International Business Club. Outside of school, Prerana is involved in climate activism, as an Action Fellow for Alliance for Climate Education. She has also been taking vocal lessons in Indian music for the past 12 years. In her free time, Prerana loves to read, go on hikes, watch Netflix, and make montages.