Although most of us can and will speak right up if someone tries to use our normal human frailties – our weaker points – to make us feel “less than”, we’re often less in tune with what we do well. Perhaps you’ve been told that it’s “not nice” to blow your own horn too much or too loudly, or you’ve been encouraged to take a step back and let others shine because of someone’s else’s insecurities (or your own). However, knowing what you can excel at will help contribute to your capacity for success.
So, how much do you know about your talents? How can you discover more about the things you do really well?
Try these strategies to discover your natural talents:
1. Ask each of your parents. Your parents have observed your behavior and temperament through all your stages of development. They’ll know more than anyone what skills you’ve shown, even as a young child. They’ll likely be just a bit biased in your favor, but that’s not a bad thing – their positive opinion of you can help you to see what truly lies within.
* Listening to their stories can be very inspiring. Consider yourself on a mission to discover your true gifts.
* What does your dad think you’re good at? Your mom’s observations will likely be somewhat different than what your dad says.
* Perhaps you can ask your grandparents as well.
2. Pay attention during job evaluations. One of the best ways to find out about what you’re good at is to listen to what your boss says during your job evaluations. Strive to be optimistic during your evaluations and analyze the feedback given to you. You could also ask about particular large or involved projects that you’ve been a part of. Sometimes we’ll forget the “nitty gritty” of a project when it’s completed, temporarily forgetting all we’ve learned.
3. Listen to comments and advice from others. You’re being given an opportunity to learn from how others see you. They might help you discover a talent that you weren’t aware of. Analyze the feedback you recieve and see how it “feels” to you – if you don’t think it’s accurate, get a second opinion.
4. Complete an interest inventory or aptitude test online or at a local community college. These types of tests are often free or low-cost. They ask very specific questions about your own opinions of yourself. Open up and answer honestly and fully, giving yourself the benefit of the doubt.
* The test results highlight your top interests, which you can then pursue to find out which ones you’re best at. Even if it costs $10 to $50 to take these tests, the information you gain will be worth it.
5. What do you think you’re good at? If you believe you do well at something, you’ll focus on it, do it more often, and develop pride in your accomplishments. Write down the skills in which you think you excel.
6. Consider all aspects of life. A hobby you enjoy could become a lucrative second (or even first) career. Your relationship skills might make you the best parent ever. Becoming aware of your natural talents could move your life forward in wonderful ways you never even considered before. Be sure to consider what activities and skills “come easy” to you that others struggle with – perhaps that’s another indication of a natural talent that you can leverage for additional success.
* At work, in what areas do others ask you for help?
* At home, what can you complete in the blink of an eye?
* What tasks do you look forward to doing?
* Do you enjoy making up a story to tell your child at bedtime?
* Have you developed your own weight loss program or meditation plan?
* Maybe design comes natural to you. Do others compliment your home or yard?
Recognizing what you do best can contribute to truly living the life you’ve always dreamed of. Take some time this week to assess the skills you do well. Increase your chances for success now by determining the things you excel at. Your life’s journey can become one great adventure!