overusing strengths, balance

“Beautiful Girl, You Can Do Hard Things.”

This is a phrase that I see on cups, blankets, posters, etc. I love this phrase. I have embodied this phrase my entire life, whether I recognized it or not. Resilience is one of my strengths. I push myself, thrive on challenge, and have high expectations of myself. I always have. When this strength is in optimal balance for me, it serves me well. It allows me to move past fears and try new things and take risks.  I can have tough conversation and make difficult decisions that I would rather punt on. It also allows me to grow in my creativity and my impact. Let’s talk about how not to overuse strengths so you can find balance. 

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should

Unfortunately, though, I don’t always operate from a place of optimal balance. Because I can overuse this strength, I typically add another sentence to the phrase above. “Beautiful Girl, You Can Do Hard Things. But You Don’t Always Have To.” Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. When resilience is a strength of yours, you can take on a lot. You can move multiple challenging projects forward. You can do it.

But, at what cost?

The cost to me, personally, was significant elements of burnout. It can also cause a decrease in quality, a decrease in intentional choice, and a decrease in connection with people or other things that are important to you. There is a cost to doing hard things. Some times the cost is worth it. Other times, the potential costs have a significant impact on your life, your career, your leadership. 

Overusing strengths can cause burnout

This is true of all our strengths. When in optimal balance, our strengths allow us to have a unique impact on our people, career and life. They allow us to grow and develop, and to have the impact we are seeking. However, keep an eye for when these strengths start to be overused. When we are over-indexing on our strengths, there are likely costs you are experiencing. You might not notice them at first. Others usually see it before you do. By the time you notice them, typically the costs are high. The goal is to find a balance that will allow us to avoid the burnout that overusing strengths can cause as much as possible. 

Keep yourself in check and find balance

Think about your strengths. What does it look like to use this strength in optimal balance and what are some of the costs if you overuse this strength? What are some of the early warning signs when you are over-using these strengths? Start to notice and pay attention. Using those strengths close to the optimal balance for you, will help keep your energy levels in check and your connections in check. 

Need more help finding balance? I’m here to help!