You Are Stronger Than You Know: A Strength Perspective



“I gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which I must stop and look fear in the face…I say to myself, “I lived through this and I can take the next thing that comes along.  We must do the things we think we can not do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Are you overwhelmed by a current problem or situation in your life? 

Likely, you are stronger and more resilient than you know IF you accurately understand your strengths and resources.

Remember Dorothy trying to get back home from the Land of Oz? She tried everything and everyone to help back to Kansas to no avail.  In the last scene, Dorothy discovers the resource to get home is the ruby red slippers; her solution was with her from the beginning. Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.40.22 PM

Sometimes we, like Dorothy, go on a long adventure to solve a problem when the answer is within us all along.  We have solved the problem at other times or we have dealt with worse. 

Here are some questions to help you find unclaimed strengths and reframe your story from victim to victor:

*What is the hardest thing you have ever done? 

*How did you do it? 

*How is it that you have been able to avoid making the mistakes that other people with similar problems usually make?              

*What will tell you if you are making improvements?

*How have you stopped it from getting worse?

*Who has been there in the past for you? What would they say to you about your current situation?

*What are you good at teaching others?

*When have you shown courage?

*What would you be doing, or how would you be acting if the problem were resolved?      

*What is a “sparkling event” in your life, or a time when you were proud of an accomplishment?

Often overlooked strengths are:

  • ·      A capacity to love
  • ·      Hope and optimism
  • ·      Sense of wonder
  • ·      Curiosity
  • ·      Zest and vitality
  • ·      Gratitude
  • ·      Resiliency
  • ·      Persistence
  • ·      Diplomacy

Can you apply these strengths to your current problem?   

Sadie was a single mother without a college degree.  She needed her job but was overwhelmed by the politics going on in the office.  She felt overlooked, unfairly treated and underpaid.

Sadie decided her strengths were persistence, creativity and diplomacy.  She remembered a “sparkling event” in high school when she successfully raised funds for a local charity overcoming similar obstacles and other difficult personalities.

Sadie rallied herself professionally by rebounding from rebuffs with charm, consistently offering creative suggestions and refusing to become discouraged.  Sadie eventually got the promotions she was seeking. 

Try telling yourself: “It isn’t a problem, it is a locked door.  But I have the key, if I will patiently work to find the key on my ring that fits the lock.“ Then click your ruby red heels three times and get to work.

Screen Shot 2017-06-23 at 9.58.55 PM

Faith in your own innate ability to overcome will help you remember talents and resources previously overlooked.  Stop, look fear in the face; you are stronger and more capable than you know.  You can find the yellow brick road.


 Camille Curtis Foster/ 801/472.7134/

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