Take Control of Your Life (Part Four: Strengths)

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the importance of asking yourself why the goal you have set is a goal. Ideally, that goal should build up to your vision, but it should also make you feel or experience something positive. It is important to recognize your own strengths, as well as the supports you have in your life.

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Functional Strengths.

A functional strength is a strength that you can employ at a moments notice. If you have a goal of “getting into college” which builds up to your vision of “becoming a social worker,” than it is important to identify strengths that will help you get into college.

Perhaps you identify “organized” and punctual” as strengths. Getting into college requires a fair amount of paperwork and there are deadlines for scholarships and financial aid. Likewise, if you have an employment goal, having strong interview skills is a plus.

It might seem trivial, but being able to stay organized and meet deadlines is a critical strength in completing college application requirements.

Therefore, it is important to note that your strengths should support your goal. A strength that is outside of the parameters of your goal is still a strength, but might be better used elsewhere.


It is worth recognizing that you are not alone. Having friends and family that support you is a strength, for instance. Draw on that. Ask a loved one or a friend to hold you accountable and check in with you regarding your progress.

Recognize friends and family as informal supports. These are people you will see regularly, even daily. You will inevitably have a stronger bond with supports at this level.

Informal supports are coaches, counselors, therapists, etc. They can also act as supports while you are working on a goal. People in this category will often act in a paid, professional capacity.

The End Game.

Above all, the goal is . . . to achieve your goal. Remember – these goals should support and act as a foundation for your vision. Similarly, your vision should act as a foundation for your core values.

Stay focused. Draw on your strengths. Use your supports.

It is important, however, to truly and accurately identify your strengths. If it is not a strength, don’t list it as one. If it is, and it relates to your goal, list it! Be honest with yourself about what you are good at and what needs work.

Your supports can also help you fill in the gaps where you might need a little persuasion or assistance.

Tiger Woods had a caddie, and Mike Tyson had a trainer.

If they needed help, so do you.