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One topic we discuss in our Heart & Sole program for middle school girls is "Strengths and Supports." In other words, what are my strengths and where can I get support when I don’t have certain strengths? In addition to being a good lesson for our girls, it can be a good lesson for us “grown-ups” as well.
As women (and men!) with family, work and civic responsibilities, we are often under pressure to be everything to everyone at all times and to do everything perfectly. New flash—it's just not possible. There are areas in which we excel and areas in which we need to surround ourselves with supports.
In reflecting on my own strengths, I know I am an executor. When there is a to-do list, I can rock out the tasks and often feel like I can take on the world. Relatedly, I am a planner who can always come up with a game plan for accomplishing pretty much any goal. I plan. I execute. I accomplish. These are my strengths.
On the other hand, I also know that I tend not to be a creator who can come up with innovative ideas. I get overwhelmed by possibilities and because I don’t know where to start, I often do not start at all. This is where I need support. I need to surround myself with people who are better at seeing the big picture and who have visions of the possibilities that could exist.
Every time I teach this lesson to our Heart & Sole girls, I know we are discussing skills and tactics they can implement right now that will serve them as they grow and become successful young women. And, bonus, I am reminded that I cannot do it all or be it all, but I do have skills to offer and there are communities around me, including our own Girls on the Run of Central Indiana community that can support me when my strengths alone are not enough to carry the day.