Several months ago, I had a realization that changed how I approach everything in life. Sometimes I lead with my weaknesses. When faced with challenges, I lead with my weaknesses. Often when meeting new people, I lead with my weaknesses. When in times of trial, I lead with my weaknesses.
I conduct myself based on my shortcomings, focus on what I'm lacking--not in a depressing sort of way, but it's at the forefront of my persona. I lead with what I don't have, what I don't know. I let those things be the back bone of what defines me. Sometimes.
This approach is self-crippling.
It feeds insecurities, doubts, and low self-esteem.
Once I had this realization, I thought about my friends who are genuinely confident. It's not that they don't have weaknesses. They lead with their strengths. They let their strengths be at the forefront of their persona, let their strengths define them first.
Leading with your strengths doesn't mean ignoring your shortcomings. Acknowledge your weaknesses and work to overcome them. But don't define yourself by what you are lacking. Start with what you know, your strengths, and then work out from there. Truly confident people don't overlook their flaws. They know they are good enough in spite of them. Their strengths come first. Their weaknesses come second.
When you lead with your strengths, miraculous things begin to happen. You feel more capable of meeting challenges and more worthy of success. You feel happier. Because, you are.
I now make a conscious effort to lead with my strengths in all that I do. While I doubt people can tell a difference in my demeanor, I feel different.
So go forward in life and lead with your strengths in all that you do. Especially when faced with a challenge out of your comfort zone--remember what you know and what you are good at first. Then work from there.
(This post was somewhat inspired by Elder Jeffery R. Holland's talk on faith. You can read it here.)
Bonnie Gwyn was one of the first people to welcome me into the blogging world. She's a teenager, a writer, and loves to blog about being Mormon. You'll frequently find her in good attitude. Thanks for following me, Bonnie!