Play Your Free Square
“The key to human development is building on who you already are” - Tom Rath
Let that sink in. You are enough, you have enough and know enough.
We are notorious for playing down our natural skills, rather than using them to the fullest. We want to be able to do everything, master of all! And then we end up "trying too hard"
Don't you find it exhausting and draining?
For instance, as an introvert, networking is incredibly painful for me. Not to mention the unbearable awkwardness translated to my body language; my shoulders rise up as I try to physically shrink and disappear. I am not good with small talk and the mere thought of it makes me cringe! It is such a draining and overwhelming experience. Meanwhile, I see many people comfortable navigating from one person to the next, effortlessly.
But do you know what I am good at? One-on-one conversations. Because empathy is one of my strengths, it comes easy and natural for me to focus on one person at a time. I feel more comfortable and that helps the other person feel the same way and open up. After a good connection I feel energized and charged up as opposed to feeling drained by trying to talk to everyone.
Do you know what I did?
I played to my strength. Instead of thinking how bad I am in big groups I focused on what I'm good at. Instead of forcing myself to improve on what drains me, I focused on adding to what energizes me.
Now it's your turn.
Shift your focus: Time to play to your strengths
Let me introduce you to a concept called “playing your free square.” Your free square is the area of your life that comes naturally to you. What are your inherent talents? What have you always been good at and been complimented on? Maybe you’re an organization queen, amazing singer, or excellent chef.
When you flex your natural strengths, you can support others in these areas, and vice versa! Now that's lifting each other up!
So start thinking of the activities that are second nature to you, and what people have always complimented you on.