"Relief of poverty, relief of illness; relief of doubt, relief of ignorance--relief of all that hinders the joy and progress of a woman."
--John A Widtsoe

Friday, March 8, 2013

Filling My Reservoir Exercise - Finding My Living Water

(March, or when you are ready)

Identifying How I Will Fill My Reservoir

Now that I've done a self-assessment, I will have a better idea of my strengths and weaknesses. Now is the time to put together my plan of action. Now is the time to dream.

What are my strengths? Knowing these will help me maintain them. Knowing my strengths gives me confidence and bolsters my courage. I can recognise my self-worth in myself, in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of my Heavenly Father. This is the core of my being and I want to keep it solid.

Just because my strengths are strong does not mean I do not have to maintain them. I can select goals that keep my edges sharp and keen and that add to the strength of my successes. This will be my baseline to work from.

What are my weaknesses? Once I have identified them, I can work on them and improve them. Weaknesses are only weaknesses if I allow them to be.

Granted, there may be some weaknesses I cannot change (for example, I suffer a physical condition that cannot improve, or I suffer an incurable mental illness). But these challenges are manageable. There is a big difference between saying, "I can't do anything about that," and "What can I do to better cope with this?" A blind woman may never see again, but that doesn't mean she can't learn to read Braille. There is always a work-around for something that may see impossible. Can I find it?

Part of identifying my weaknesses is accepting what I can't change, and changing what I can. Attitude can make all the difference.

Exercise B

Part A: On separate pages in a journal list the following:

  • What are my strengths?
  • What are my weaknesses?

Part B: On the next pages of a journal, list the following:

  • How can I maintain my strengths? Include an occasional idea for improving on a strength.
  • Why are these my weaknesses?

A funny thing about weaknesses: a weakness is a symptom of something else going on in my life. Sometimes it is not enough to address the weakness itself, but to address the underlying cause. If I can identify that underlying cause, I am well on my way to dealing with a weakness.

Part C: On a page of a journal, answer:

  • What do I want to change or improve about myself?

I'll keep this simple. I will make these generalities. These are grand, sweeping changes I want to make. I'll set my ultimate goals in mind. Later, I will identify little ways or stepping stones that will lead me to my ultimate goals.

"I wish I was smarter." "I wish I was closer to God." "I want to be a better mother." "I want a better job." "I want to lose weight." "I need to balance a budget better." "I want to learn to drive a car." "I want to own a home." "I want a college degree." "I want people to like me more." "I want to be able to speak in public." "I want to learn how to sew my own clothes, or fix my car." "I want to bake delicious things (I can't even boil an egg right now)." "I want to speak German."

I shouldn't worry at this point how I will achieve these goals. The first step is to identify what they are.