What did I learn from my Horses this week? My Strengths



My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” —Jane Austen.

How to identify my strengths

I have just launched a new online retreat called “Create Your Life Purpose” – the content is largely based on what my horses have taught me. It’s a DIY, available-on-demand, in-your-own-time, where-you-are 2-hour long retreat, designed to help you clearly identify your current life purpose.

Most find-your-life-purpose experts recommend listing your strengths, as an essential step, towards identifying your life purpose. Since I test-drive all my retreats myself, before I launch them, I could not skip this step.

The horses are still subdued, none of their usual spring exuberance on display, nothing since we lost Belle de la Babinière, Aurore’s mother and Tess’ half-sister, in January.

I am doing my best to be strong, for all of us. Belle was my soulmare, the light of my life for more than 20 years, my strength and shield against the storms that so frequently came our way.

To be honest, I feel a bit lost. Vulnerable. Insecure. Overwhelmed. Emotionally exhausted.

I was struggling to name even a single one of my strengths.

Until this Easter weekend.

On Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn, I have just posted these 16 words:

Sometimes you don’t realise your own strengths until someone tries to take advantage of your weaknesses.

When I read these words, I froze on the spot. I had a light bulb moment, because this Easter weekend, outside forces were trying to take advantage of my weaknesses to threaten the wellbeing of my remaining two mares.

Nothing like a threat from the outside to remind us of our inner strengths.

If you have difficulty identifying your strengths, just ask yourself this question: What will you do if something or someone threatens those you love?

More questions to ask yourself that will help you identify your strengths:

  1. What have I achieved so far? Reflect on moments in your life when you have felt proud of your accomplishments. Think about the skills, talents, abilities and attributes that you used to help you succeed.
  2. What do my friends, family and colleagues think? Ask people who know you well what they think are your strengths. Think about times when others have praised you or you received recognition for your contribution.
  3. What skills, qualifications, knowledge and experience do I have? These may include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, leadership, organisational or technical expertise.
  4. Are there any assessments I can take to help me identify my strengths? There are various assessments available, such as personality assessments, skills assessments, and strengths assessments, that can provide insights into your strengths. Examples include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), StrengthsFinder, and VIA Character Strengths.
  5. Do I have any strengths that I have not discovered yet? You may well have, so experiment, try new activities, learn something new, challenges yourself, take calculated risks, and move out of your comfort zone.

Remember that strengths can evolve over time. You may no longer be much good at what you excelled in 10 years ago (I can name several skills that I no longer use or need) and you may need to develop new strengths to cope with the challenges that come your way in future. Embrace your strengths, past, present and future, as they can be valuable assets in both your personal and professional life.

Your strengths can help you make your life more meaningful and help you to determine your life purpose. You can find out more about my new “Create Your Life Purpose” online retreat here.

“We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” —Kavita Ramdas.