Are you doing what you love or what you’re good at – and does it matter anyway?

Up until recently I never really thought about this question. To be honest I didn’t even know such a distinction existed. That’s until I discovered a game changing tool for me, and the innovative and inspiring company behind it.

The tool is Strengthscope®, the company Strengths Partnership. They introduced me to the concept that you can be good at something but not necessarily enjoy doing it, and that actually we operate at our best when we are doing what comes naturally to us or what gives us the most energy.

This was a complete mind-set shift for me and after completing the Strengthscope® questionnaire and feedback session, I had a real awakening to something that made complete sense.

In many of my previous jobs I had been known as the person who was great at detail, so much so that my Managers would navigate projects towards me that needed just that kind of a focus. They even bring it up now when they see me, and it’s been many years since I worked for them.

However, my Strengthscope® profile did not identify Detail Orientation as one of my top strengths, in fact it was one of the lowest scores. Dumfounded, I interrogated the coach who gave me the feedback (this happened to be Paul, one of the Directors of Strengths Partnership). Through his help I came to realise that it scored low because it did not come naturally to me, nor did it give me energy. In fact we discovered that although I was good at it, it actually really drained me.

This was such a revelation to me and made me see why I hadn’t been completely fulfilled in the jobs I had been doing. Interestingly the complete opposite strength of Strategic Mindedness was identified as giving me energy, but I never really allowed that strength to come out at work.

Since this discovery, I now try to regularly ask myself the question of whether  I’m doing something because I love it, or because I’m good at it, or because someone else has told me I’m good at it.

This question often leaves me feeling quite unsettled because quite often I still can find myself doing stuff because I’m good at it, or worse, because I need the money (but that’s a whole other story!)

But I’m glad I’m asking the question. I’m glad because it means I can do something about it and it helps me to understand why some days are better than others. It also gives me the opportunity to re-focus on doing more things that boost my energy rather than diminish it.

I believe this subtle change in my awareness of my strengths was a crucial turning point for me and enabled me to find the energy and the confidence to leave my 11 yer stint in corporate life and create the life I’m now living.

Strengthscope® is now a regular feature in my coaching toolkit and I have found it to be immensely powerful for others, just as it was for me. I will be ever grateful to the guys at Strengths Partnership for creating such a simple yet mind-blowingly powerful too.

So are you doing what you love or what you’re good at? Because you know what, I believe that not only does it matter; it can significantly change the quality of your life!

Visit the Strengthscope website to find out more

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  1. Great post Steph – I’m totally with you on this one and it’s reminded me to dig out my profile and have another look at it.
    Keep the great posts coming.

  2. Another great blog Steph! I’m just realising how true this is 🙂

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