Self-awareness is key to personal success.
When you know what you’re good at, you can efficiently channel your time and energy into a career or a hobby that allows you to capitalize on these skills.
I have found that nine times out of ten, when you are enjoying something, it is probably because you’re good at it.
The things that come naturally to you are what make you unique.
Here are four easy steps to take to get clarity on your unique talents:
1. Take an Assessment
There are many diagnostic tools out there that can tell you what you are uniquely qualified to do in your professional life. While these aren’t always 100% accurate and you shouldn’t base your whole life on their outcomes, they can be really helpful for you to start identifying who you are and what you’re good at.
Here at Pivot Journeys, we use the Gallup StrengthsFinder. This tool generates a concise list of your top five themes based on your answers to a series of questions. The tool points out how each of your strengths is strengthened by another strength. They’re inextricably bound, and the odds of someone else having the save top five themes in the same order as you is one in 33 million! Knowing your unique talents is the first step to effectively using them.
2. Deliberately Go Outside your Comfort Zone
When you’re in a comfortable or routine environment, everything is familiar to you and you may not even realize that you’re doing something unique.
Trying something new, say starting a new job or visiting a new city, naturally causes your skills to come out so you can adapt in this new situation. Your intuition will come out and you’ll naturally apply your strengths to problem solving, or navigating situations.
My boss recently asked me to make a list of seven or eight networking events that would be attended by our target audience so I could, therefore, spread the word about the company.
At first thought, this sounded horrifying because I knew I would be outside my comfort zone.
One of my strengths, as identified by the StrengthsFinder tool, is 'Futuristic'. Being 'Futuristic' means I have the ability to see the big picture and enjoy working towards what this future reality is.
Because of this, I encouraged the people at the event with whom I spoke to imagine their big picture. By channeling my strengths into a few conversations at a bar, people were convinced they needed a Pivot Journey. Mission completed.
3. Think of a Time When you Were a Rockstar in your Craft
When was the last time you accomplished something you were really proud of?
What are the activities you feel you excel in doing?
What activities do you simply love to do?
Do they have things in common?
I bet they do.
The answers to these questions will likely have an underlying thread that make them special to you. And if you don’t see it, tell someone who knows you well about those moments you identified. Chances are they might be able to spot the common thread if you can’t.
By identifying this common theme, you can see how your skills play into the success of your “rockstar activities.”
4. Take Time to Reflect
Maybe you’ve experienced a difficult or uncomfortable situation. Sit down with a pen and paper and write a list of steps explaining how you made it through.
What's your first instinct when faced with the challenge?
How did you react to your surroundings?
How did you eventually find a solution?
Think about when you felt at ease and in your flow when handling it.
What was happening?
What were you doing?
Understanding how you respond in certain situations helps you understand your inner workings and natural talents.
By knowing what you’re motivated by, you can seek opportunities that will keep you interested and fulfilled rather than dissatisfied and discouraged.
And when you do understand and can see what you're good at - this is not the time to be humble!
Own your strengths, don’t let them slip away.
Always remember that your talents are unique and powerful. There are opportunities out there that need someone with your strengths.
If you’re not good at one thing, it’s probably because you’re better at something else.
Rather than getting discouraged in hard times, remember that you are unique, your strengths are unique, and what you do with your strengths will be unique.
Go out there and give your talents back to the world!
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed trying to think of your strengths, that’s what we’re here for!
Pivot Journeys has seen the effect that knowing your specific strengths has in the workplace. We help you work through the identification and sharpening of your unique skills.
You deserve to love your job and your life!