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a lasting imprint on the world." (M. Dezelic)
Shift from Weakness-Finding to Strength-Focused
© 2010 by M. Dezelic & G. Ghanoum
Most people spend their time focusing on their weaknesses and on what is not going right in their personal, financial, health life, etc. If you spend a lot of time around problem-finding people, you will soon see that your own focus, energy and productivity are being drained, affecting your emotions and consequently your wellbeing.
Rather than dwelling on whatever problem faces you, once you’ve identified the problem or challenge, it is important to shift the focus to what you want and drive your thought process towards how to fix the problem! This simple mind-shift will do amazing things for your productivity, energy and success.
When you direct your attention to your weaknesses and problems, you feed them and grow them. Not only do they seem to expand, but you limit your ability at problem-solving and your capacity of finding solutions as well. Instead, focus on what works, what is good, what your strengths are, and build upon them! In our culture, we are brainwashed to find a problem and "fix" it, rather than to discover our strengths, what works for us, and to cultivate them!
When you pick your mental focus, positive or negative, your words accompany your thoughts. It is extremely important to “listen to” what is coming out of your mouth, because your words continue pulling your focus in that direction. What you say gives definition to what you are thinking and feeling at that moment. And many times we do not even realize what we are saying, and how hurtful our words can be to ourselves and others. Words Hurt! And the power of negative words leaves a lasting scar difficult to heal. We hardly remember good words said about us, but we always remember the words that gave us a painful sting. Look at your spouse, family, friends, colleagues, and treat them like teammates in life. Don’t tear them down, defeat them and make them feel worthless because at the moment you do not have your emotions under control. Use your words to build them up, encourage them, support them, so that together you can make a difference and have a lasting relationship!
The words we use towards ourselves impacts how confident we feel in our abilities to get through challenging situations. We might need to change words and change focus! When you find yourself in the middle of a problem or difficulty, apply a “small steps” thinking to face it. This approach will solve any problem at hand; it just takes focusing on one piece of the problem at a time with a positive attitude. Stop, take a deep breath, and ask yourself “what is one thing I can do to make this better?” Even if that one thing doesn’t seem to be much, there is plenty that one little thing will do to improve your situation! Remember the importance of words; build yourself up, pat yourself on the back and say “Job well done!” for accomplishing the task. Once you’ve actually done the first thing, repeat the process and look for the next thing. Before you know it, you’re well on your way to solving your problem and feeling good about yourself in the process.
The focus on solutions (not problems), strengths (not weaknesses), and on what’s going well (rather than what’s gone wrong) leads to a positive and pragmatic way of making progress and creating a new and healthy belief system. When you shift your views to being Strength-Focused, you begin to use words to define and act on what you want, and create workable and manageable solutions!
“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” (William James)