I once read a book that claimed it could you help find your greatest strengths. The magnitude of finding the “greatest strengths” idea wasn’t a new concept, but boasting that it could help me “discover” mine actually was. I eagerly read the premise, thinking strengths are things like courage and intellect. The author wrote that focusing on strengths is much more important than honing in on weaknesses—that we can go much further in life if we develop our God-given talents rather than trying to eliminate flaws.
When it came time for me to “discover” my strengths, I can’t tell you how excited I was. The Clifton Strength’s Finder test was much more like an employer’s personality test than I had guessed. And at the end, my results shocked me.
My greatest strength wasn’t something awesome like longevity, or persistence...instead it was positivity. I stared at the screen in shock. How could positivity be a “strength”? I’d begun to think of this as someone’s super power, but how could that be mine? You’d never see a superhero named Captain Positivity. Why couldn’t mine be something like courage? I turned off the computer a bit bummed. Positivity? Seriously?
The funny thing is that I’ve never forgotten the results of that test. And even as I’ve been having a hard time lately, instead of dwelling on my flaws, I’ve tried to remember my greatest strength. The ironic thing is that there is some power to it—for me. I could be trapped in a hard situation, feeling there’s no way out...but there’s something to be said for being positive. It takes something horrible and flips it on it’s head. Seeing the bright side of everything, well when there’s light the darkness can’t help but leave. Positivity throws a window into a doorless room. It’s hard to be sad when there’s something to wonder over and find the good in!
So on days when I’m having a tough time because I have cancer or I’m exhausted, I try to look at the positive side.
A friend called yesterday and said she’s so sorry for all I’m going through. I told her, “It’s in the dark times when we can try to make our light shine brighter.”
She gasped at the end of the conversation. “It’s crazy. But I think you’re lucky that you have cancer.”
I broke out laughing. “I wouldn’t wish this on ANYONE. But I have to see the bright side. It’s not luck, but no matter what we’re going through there’s always something positive to be seen.”
So while it’s not the fantastic super power I’d hoped for, it’s helping me through some pretty dark times. Maybe the “strength” I have isn’t as bad as I once thought. I’m learning so much about myself. It’s sad that it took something like this, but I’m proud to be coming to peace with who I am—maybe for the first time in forever.