Let’s look at it this way – what are you good at?
What are your strengths? Right now, get a piece of paper and begin a list of areas in which you excel. What are your best skills? Another list: successes, large and small. When did you succeed? When did you overcome obstacles, problems, set-backs, nay-sayers and do something you were (still are) proud of? How did you do that? When did you face a crisis or surprising turn of events and manage to handle it well? Which of your characteristics enabled you to do that?
Often in counseling and psychotherapy, client and therapist focus on what’s going wrong. There’s a term used when people do things to make themselves feel better that work in the short term – but are not so good in the long term. Those things are called “maladaptive behaviors.” Examples in clude what you would expect: drinking and drugging too much, overeating, overspending, watching too much TV, focus on sexual pursuits including pornography, gambling, cutting, hair-pulling, on and on. Therapists and clients often zero in on those maladaptive behaviors and ways to stop them. And they should but not to the exclusion of what’s going well.
Try this: take your lists of strengths and successes. Identify what you can and would like to build on. Are you a good organizer? Great! Do more of it! Offer to organize an event at work or church. Offer to help organize a friend’s closet or attic. Organize your own office. Get books and take a class on organization to enhance your skills even more. Go to work for a firm that specializes in organizing people and places. Are you a good public speaker? Do you enjoy teaching and giving presentations? Wonderful! Do more of that! Join Toastmasters, teach classes at the community college, offer to give a presentation at work. Play to your strengths and your mood and everything else improves! Try it!