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Understanding your strengths and weaknesses

“You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” — C. S. Lewis.

Making changes involves a re-invention process. You have to first know and understand your strengths and weaknesses. Major life changes are never easy but are worth it when you consider what you can achieve. Many dream of a future different from their present but it takes determination to experience reinvention.

You may be overly optimistic because you have not faced up to what may be ahead. You may be struggling with fear, laziness, procrastination, etc., that holds you back from progressing. Change takes a tremendous amount of dedication and effort. How can you know when re-invention is needed? 

Life changing events — such as retirement, empty nest, loss of job, death of spouse, relocation or transfer, major change in financial status, etc. — may lead you to lose sight of your goals, becoming disinterested in your future. Life is about mental, physical, emotional and spiritual growth, which necessitates an honest look at yourself. Choices have to be made along life’s path with a determination to ensure a successful future.

Following are some steps that one can take that lead to a successful outcome.

1. Get up early after getting a good night’s sleep.

2. Prioritize tasks to be completed.

3. Find a mentor and ask for their help.

4. Associate with positive thinkers.

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

6.  Enhance your knowledge.

7. Be honest with yourself and others.

8. Get out of your comfort zone.

9. Dedicate your energy to things you are passionate about.

10. Learn from your failures.

11. Take life one day at a time.

If you continue to do things the way you have always done them,  you will continue to get the same results you have always gotten. No one wants a future in which you are broke, lonely, sick or simply unfulfilled.

Have a vision and seek a life full of joy and happiness.  It can be accomplished, but not in a day, or  week or even a year or longer. Set realistic goals personally and professionally. You can attain success and regain a meaningful life.

Many interviewers ask candidates questions regarding their own assessment of their strengths and weaknesses. That is the dreaded question in the interview process for the applicant. However, you don’t need to wait for an interview to ask yourself these questions. No one excels at everything. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Determining what they are is key to understanding yourself and moving forward. Consider that strengths and weaknesses generally refer to a person’s character. They will differ according to your personality type, e.g. analytical, driver, amiable or expressive.

Change means reinvention. When you use all the tools  available to facilitate positive change you’ll be on your way to a “reinvented you.”

Becky Vaughn-Furlow retired from Trustmark Bank as executive vice president and human resources director. She can be contacted by emailing bvaughnfurlow@gmail.com.