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  • Writer's pictureCandy Widdifield

Using Your Strengths to Help With Your Challenges

Updated: Jun 23

We all have strengths, things we are good at, and qualities that are admirable. Yet when we struggle we are often disconnected from those aspects of ourselves. We get stuck in an unempowered state where our sole focus is on what's not working and where we are falling short. In order to create growth and facilitate change, it is helpful to bring in our resources to assist us.

This is a concept that comes from Positive Psychology. Think about where in your life you feel the most confident & capable. What are you really good at? What areas of your life are going well? Where do you feel the strongest or most like yourself? If you struggle to answer those questions in the present, think about past versions of you. These might include being great at your job, or being great at relationships or parenting, or in your hobbies or creative endeavours. You can write it out or talk it out to help you access it more fully. Really bring in those moments and relive them in your body and emotions. What did it feel like? How were you showing up in the world? Take your time with this to really connect with the experience.


Once you have a sense of that stronger, more competent version of yourself, bring to mind the problem or challenge that you are currently facing. As you reflect on it from this place of strength and competence, what do you see about this experience that might be different from what you were noticing before? How do you feel about it now? As your perspective shifts what options now open up for you? What is one small action step you can take to move forward?


Another variation of this is to think of the qualities that would be helpful to you in addressing your current challenge. Some examples of qualities include grit, perseverance, determination, self-discipline, faith & trust, acceptance, compassion, resolve. Now think of a time or two in the past when you possessed and demonstrated that quality. Bring it to mind and relive the experience. Feel that quality in your being. Then ask yourself how you might bring more of that into your current experience. What would be one action you could take that embodies that quality? If you came up with more than one quality repeat this exercise with each one.


The version of ourselves that shows up when we feel stuck, ashamed, or incapable is only one part of the picture. There is so much more to us than that. Practicing these exercises will help to bring a more whole version of yourself forward to help you navigate. It is from this wholeness that we can make greater change.


Being able to access our resources and bring them to the table is a skill. If you don't get it right away, that's okay. Keep practicing. Have self compassion and recognize you are in a learning process. And if you do get it right away, great! Keep doing it and see what opens up for you as a result.


Best wishes!


Caelum's Insights (A Functional Neurology Perspective):

When it comes to reinforcing new neurological pathways in the brain repetition is key. The goal is to achieve long term potentiation (which is reinforcement of the pathway). There is a specific pathway in which calcium enters the neuron’s via NMDA receptor activation. This reduces the amount of stimulation needed to excite this pathway and in turn we need less stimulation to maintain this new pathway. Frequency is the key to achieving this. Like learning any new skill, do it often and give it time to develop.



If you have any questions you would like answered in this blog or to be added to my coaching waitlist, please email me at candy.thriving@gmail.com


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