We have established that it is critical for higher performance to get our mindset right at the beginning, and we have talked about how objectives and plans help us do so. Now we move into how evaluating our performance helps us to establish an enabling mindset at the start of performance.

What are strengths

Strengths are those acts and attribute we do well. They are the positive aspects of our performance and our life. Strengths are built through deliberate action, and deliberate action comes from having an objective and a plan. When we want to accelerate our development, to reach our objectives, we need to keep our attention on our strengths and those positive moments in our development.

Since childhood most of us have be taught to look at our weaknesses as a mean of improvement. If we get rid of our weaknesses we will improve, right?

Not always. Simply focusing on our weaknesses to rid ourselves of them will do nothing for developing our strengths. We know through psychological science that the things we focus on grow within our mind. With this bit of wisdom we learn that neglecting our strengths and paying attention to our weaknesses will only weaken our strengths and make our weakness more prominent in our own mind.

Our strengths are the key to accelerating development. By keeping our eye on our strengths we prepare our mind to repeat them in the future. To get our mind right we need to first understand our capabilities.

Why record strengths

Recording strengths systematically accelerates development through the principle of the Law of Occupied Space. If we occupy our mind with positive knowledge and strengths there won’t be any room for doubt or self-pity.

Recording strengths can also act as a form of self-research. As we perform each day we always have little successes, things that work—strengths. As we record those moments and attributes we are creating a template for our own personal success. We can make conclusions on what works best for us, and what we are able to achieve. Overtime we can put that knowledge together to elevate our performance.

How to record strengths

Recording our strengths depends on honesty. We must be honest with ourselves. Sugarcoating our performance will not help us, but neither will false-humility (denying your own abilities in the belief that it will make you humble. It doesn’t, it only makes you a lier). When we record our strengths we need to dive deep and fully understand ourselves and our performance. Listing strengths can be one of the most difficult practices for some individuals. It takes practice, and like all things worth developing, it takes repetition.

Where to record strengths

The Cognitive Structured Journal includes an area (step 3) to record three strengths in every journal entry. The Journal becomes a research tool you can look to and see what has worked well (strengths) in the past that you can replicate in the present and future.

The self-research capability of The Journal depends on your implementation of step 3 and your dedication to recording your strengths each day.

Establishing a higher performance mindset before we start begins with setting an objective, having a plan, and knowing our strengths. That does not mean that we don’t look for aspects of our performance we can improve upon. Next week’s installment of this blog series will be about step 4 of the Cognitive Structured Journal—weakness/improve.


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