Keep your unique strengths in mind when working on self-growth

When you want to be successful, it’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others. You think keeping up with those around you is a good way to boost your productivity. But comparison is not only the thief of joy, but can rob you of the unique traits that bring out your best self. Here are some ideas about creating a personal system of productivity that works for you.

Shift your perspective


We’re all taught to look at others we respect as role models for success. Despite the positive impact that can come out of this type of inspiration, it can sometimes lead to problems. What works for one person may not be the best strategy for someone else. There are infinite paths to success; your job is to find your own, best path.

Sometimes we start negatively comparing ourselves to a role model – tearing ourselves down because we don’t meet someone else’s image. The person we are modeling ourselves after might seem as if they’re successful on every level – and perhaps they are. But you can’t know whether the inner experience of their life is what you see on the outside. For example, a person can be very successful in their career yet can inwardly struggle from low self-esteem or other issues.

It’s counterproductive to try to make yourself into someone else. Instead, shift your perspective on how you look at your role models in a way that’s energizing rather than depleting you. Though it can be helpful to get ideas from others who are productive, use that as a starting point, not a goal.

Document strengths

If you do fall into the trap of comparison, try listing your strengths on paper. For example, if you admire someone who is energetic and confident but feel you aren’t, try to think of related qualities you do have. Perhaps you aren’t energetic, but you’re persistent, which still gets the job done. And maybe you aren’t confident, but you have a strong sense of self-respect. So, like your mentor, you’ll stand up for yourself and what’s right. Keep a list of your finer qualities and remind yourself of them as often as needed.

Set personal goals

When you set a personal goal, it should be exactly that – personal. A goal must be about your life and tailored to your own strengths. This offers the best chance for true growth and change. A personal goal based off another person’s life or success could dampen your spirit when you find it’s not workable for you.

If you know you’re a morning person, don’t set a personal goal to get paperwork done every night before dinner. Work with what you’ve got – your unique, positive qualities and specific lifestyle.

Working from your own strengths builds a sense of accomplishment, pride and energy. This is the true path to productivity.

Celebrate small achievements


We are more likely to be successful when we’re held accountable and celebrate small achievements. Keeping your goals in sight and noting what you’ve done at the end of the day meets both those needs. Keep track of daily goals and remind yourself of them often. The main idea is to have your goals written somewhere you’ll see them periodically.

At the end of the day, keep a record of even tiny accomplishments. It could be a desk calendar where you note what’s been done. Even simple things like arriving to work early, taking time to meditate at lunch, turning off your cell phone notifications – note these.

In this way, you become aware you’re achieving your goals the way any of us do: one step at a time. Each day when you choose to move toward the best version of yourself – and not your image of someone else – you become more productive.

Value the power of focus

When we think of productivity these days, it’s often as a whirling energy of getting things done. In fact, one study showed productivity increases with focus, and multitasking may not be good for your brain.

To boost your own efficiency, focus less on what others are doing and more on whatever task is in front of you at this moment. Try incorporating this meditation into your daily routine to gain a greater sense of self-awareness and greater productivity.


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