Quit Juggling and Start Cultivating!
Today was our second event for Cultivate Her and we had an amazing time!
I’ve never seen so many ladies that eager to be up at 7AM!!
Our topic for today was discovering your strengths (based upon Strengths Finder).
As leaders, I believe it’s so critical that we do the tough work of understanding ourselves and how we are uniquely wired. As women in particular we have a tendency to allow a lot of other things in our lives to define us and we lose sight of our God-given gifts, talents and abilities. It’ s my passion to help the women of Cultivate Her more fully understand themselves and use their gifts and abilities to lead well.
I shared an excerpt from Marcus Buckingham‘s latest book Find Your Strongest LIfe:
“Over the last fifty years women have secured for themselves greater opportunity, greater achievement, greater influence, and more money. But over the same time period, they have become less happy, more anxious, more stressed, and, in ever increasing numbers, they are medicating themselves for it.”
That statement is heartbreaking to me. It’s heartbreaking because I really believe it’s true. I’ve begun to see this in my own life. Our opportunities have increased rapidly and we’re adding pressure, responsibility and activities daily, but we’re not taking the pressure off in other areas. We’re just piling more onto our already overflowing lives.
Marcus also shares in his book:
“‘Having it all’ doesn’t mean having everything, all at once, all the time. ‘Having it all’ means taking yourself seriously. It means knowing yourself well enough to find your purpose in life. It means knowing what needs to change when you sense that you’ve lost that purpose. It means having the faith to believe that change is possible and the courage to make those changes. It means drawing strength from the relationships in your life, and, if there’s no strength to be drawn, knowing when to cut those relationships out of your life.
The conventional image of a successful woman today is that she’s a virtuoso juggler, somehow moving fast enough to keep all the many aspects of her busy life in the air at the same time. This is a common image, but it’s also quite sad. the core skill of juggling is throwing, not catching. To keep every object in the air, you have to get rid of each one as quickly as possible, barely allowing it to register on your fingertips before you toss it up and away, preparing for the next object to throw.
A strong life is the opposite of juggling. Juggling requires you to keep everything at bay, up in the air, away from you. The secret to living a strong life lies in knowing how to draw a few things in toward you. It asks you to be discriminating, selective, intentional. You can find energizing moments in each aspect of your life, but to do so you must learn how to catch them, hold on to them, to feel the pull of their weight and allow yourself to follow where they lead.”
I’m willing to bet that most of you are jugglers. You’ve learned to be really good at keeping things moving but rarely are you stopping to evaluate what you should be spending your time on. You feel like you can’t put anything down and as a result you tap into your strengths less and less until you are not even sure what they look like anymore.
I challenge you to stop juggling and seek to understand what makes you uniquely you.
What are your strengths and gifts?
And how do you need to reorganize your life to experience the joy of leading from them?
I recommend any of the following resources to get you started on this exploration:
Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham
The Truth About You by Marcus Buckingham
Today at Cultivate Her we gave away a free copy of The Truth About You to everyone who attended compliments of Lindsey Nobles and our friends at Thomas Nelson. (Don’t you just love free stuff? We do too!)
I’m going to give away several more copies here on my blog. Leave a comment and tell me:
1) Your top 5 strengths according to Strengths Finder (if you haven’t taken a Strengths Finder assessment just skip to #2)
2) What is one thing this week that you did that really energized you and made you feel strong?
Have a wonderful weekend!