Are you good enough?

Do you sometimes make the mistake my friend Tammy makes? (I know I have.)

Tammy is a good writer. But whenever I tell her that she’s a good writer, that writing is one of her strengths, she responds with something like, “Thank you. But there are so many people who write better than I do. I have so much to learn about writing.” And that’s how Tammy convinces herself that she’s not a good enough writer. In fact, whenever Tammy tries to identify any of her own strengths, she struggles to come up with something to put on the list. Tammy confuses being good at a thing with being the best at that thing.

This a tempting trap for many people, myself included. It is a noble goal to excel, to become an expert. But you don’t have to be an expert at something for that something to be a strength that has value. You can be good at something without being the best in the whole world, the best in your country, or even the best in your own home. Calling something a strength does not mean you are done learning how to use that strength.

For those of you grew up being a perfectionist, like me, how do you know what’s good enough? And how do you identify real strengths you can embrace without your inner perfectionist arguing with you?

  1. First, you need to re-frame your perspective on the subject. One way to do this is to make a list of the people you love. Then, for each one of them, make a list of their top strengths or skills. Now go back and review your lists, for each strength or skill you identified, ask yourself, is that person the best at that strength? Are they an expert in that skill? While you may have an occasional “yes,” most of your answers will be “no.” Now, ask yourself, do these strengths and skills still have value? Of course they do. Consider how this also applies to your strengths and skills.
     
  2. Next, you can begin to identify your own list. My favorite strategy is to contact 3-5 people you trust to tell you the truth, and ask them to list your top three strengths and top three skills. This helps you see yourself from a different perspective. These lists describe how other people see you, people you like and trust. (Note: No matter what your inner perfectionist does to tempt you, do not ask for weaknesses. Let’s be honest, you have that list already.)
     
  3. Spend time meditating on this quote, “Use what talent you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” — Henry Van Dyke. I have a version of this written in special calligraphy and framed in my home, as a reminder.

Your talent, your strengths and skills, have value. No one has the same combination of strengths, skills and passions as you do. This is what you uniquely offer. This is what I encourage you to embrace, celebrate, and leverage into a thriving career.

 

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?


I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?


Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit me...it was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?


Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?


Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing Sherlock...to be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.

LORI ROCKS!!!!!!

Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA