The first headline for this article was “Knowing Your Strength”. When I thought about it more, however, I was soon reminded that knowing your strength and understanding it are two different things. To know your strength is to have identified what it is. To understand your strength, however, is not only the ability to identify it but to fully comprehend it and to therefore incorporate it into your daily life. To understand your strength is to understand you.
The constant echo of Indie Author advice can be overwhelming. In addition, there are lots of people who take advantage of the new author’s lack of knowledge in its relation to both writing and publishing. (especially publishing) Everyone swears by their method and technique. The only problem is that what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next and it doesn’t take long for new authors to feel doubtful and overwhelmed. While many of you are professional, skilled, and experienced enough to offer valuable insight, what authors must keep in mind is not just what is right, but what is right for them. Look not just at what works, but for what works for you. And not just what works for you, but also where you’re the strongest.
People talk about weaknesses all the time. It is easy to boast in our weaknesses but we cannot be weak without also being strong. Yes, we all have flaws but we also all have strengths. It is when we embrace who we are and tap into what we should offer others according to who we are that we find ourselves performing better, putting out more valuable content, and making a greater impact on the people around us as opposed to “trying” something that may be a good idea but that does not represent who we are.
Strength can be defined as: the quality or state of being strong; strong: able to withstand great force or pressure.
What Happens if I Don’t Understand My Strength?
You become a carbon copy of someone else or a shadow of your real self. A silhouette of who you think you are supposed to be, an outline with no flesh and bone. In short, you become what you think people want to see and attach your actions and thoughts to that image. When that image is destroyed, so are you and you begin to feel just as worthless and as without substance as the image that you’ve made for yourself.
Understanding your strength does not just help you to begin, it helps you also to endure and this we can apply to every aspect of our lives. This message is not just for writers, but for everyone. Take exercise for example. I know that I am capable of doing no less than a 30min. workout but no more than 1 hour. I get up every morning and dedicate at least 30 minutes to my workout but no less. It takes discipline but because I understand my strength, I push myself to do what I know that I am capable of. By looking forward to the 30minutes, it does not seem overwhelming and I am more excited to get up and perform. At the same time, I do not push myself beyond an hour. I understand my strength is not there yet. It will also be taxing and I will be less likely to look forward to doing it or completing it. I will complain more and pretty much whine myself out of doing it.
While Indie Authors will run into many people trying to take advantage of them, people offering everything from products and services that Indies soon discover they don’t really have to pay for, what keeps me grounded—and what I offer to you with the same hope—is understanding the areas where I am the most strong. Having already a firm foundation in those things, it provides a great leverage on which to build. Instead of starting from scratch, pay most attention to those things that speak to who you already are, that connects with your spirit, and that bonds with you mentally in a way that is most you. Don’t just “do you” but know you and understand your strength.
- What can you do for the rest of your life whether you got paid or not and actually enjoy doing it?
- What are you the most skilled at? That thing you’ve always been able to do? That spark?
- What are you the most passionate about?
- What is your mission in life? What is your purpose?
- How can you combine your purpose with your career goals in the most genuine way?
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is a Blogger, Book Reviewer, and the Young Adult, Historical Fiction author of Black American Literature and is currently working on her next book series. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story” (Book One) is due for release July 15-16, 2017 at The Tampa Indie Author Book Convention in Tampa Florida. Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time. For updates from EC, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to her email list HERE.