Marcus Buckingham is the author of Go Put Your Strengths to Work. He addresses how to ascertain your strengths and weaknesses in his book. According to Mr. Buckingham, a general assumption is that “strengths are what you’re good at, and your weaknesses are what you’re bad at.” However, he advised that simply being good at something doesn’t make it a strength. He defines strength as “an activity that makes you feel strong. A weakness is an activity that makes you feel weak.” This article will share 10 ways that you can find your specific talents and strengths.
1. Discern What Activities You Enjoy
The first step is to discern what activities you enjoy participating in. When you find enjoyment in a certain activity, it is usually a clear indication of your natural strengths or talents. Make a list of those activities and ascertain any specific factors that overlap amongst the activities. For example, maybe your favorite activities involve interaction with people and your underlying factor is good communication skills.
2. Ascertain What Stands Out in Your Mind
After discerning the activities you enjoy, then review the list to ascertain the strengths and talents that stand out in your mind. Figure out where you have exhibited any of these strengths and talents, whether in your personal or professional life.
3. Decide Which Strengths You Like Best
When you have figured out the various strengths and talents that you exhibit, decide which ones you like best. For example, if you are the type of person who makes a plan and works diligently to see projects through to completion, that is an admirable quality which you may like best about yourself. Learn how to cultivate those strengths and talents and develop them more fully.
4. Discuss this Topic with Those Closest to You
Any time that you want to evaluate yourself, you should ask an outside observer to address the issue. Discuss this topic with close family members, friends or a trusted mentor to get their opinion on what they see as your top strengths and talents.
5. Focus on Your Current Job and Your Enjoyment Level
In this step, you will turn your attention to focusing on your current job and daily work activities that you participate in. You need to clearly discern how you feel about the job and evaluate your work performance. If you currently enjoy your job, then you should easily find areas where your strengths and talents are exhibited daily. However, if you don’t like your job, those factors may be missing from your work experience.
6. Discover When You Feel Energized
Experiencing feelings of being energized can clue you in to what your specific strengths and talents are. If you are working in a field where you are constantly drained and have no motivation to excel, you may be hard-pressed to exhibit strengths in that job. However, if you are feeling energized at work, chances are, you have a positive work environment and are daily exhibiting strengths and talents.
7. Examine When You Feel the Most Pride
An over-active ego is not healthy. However, self-confidence and pride in your work is honorable and a genuine sign that you are enjoying yourself. Take the time to examine several examples of when you felt the most pride in your work. In each of these examples, you should see several factors of strengths and talents that you exhibited.
8. Make a Listing of Those You Admire Most
Generally speaking, we tend to focus on successful, genuine and kind people as our role models. Make a list of the role models in your life—whether family members, friends, colleagues, celebrities or others—and evaluate these people. Figure out what their strengths are and what most attracted you to “follow” them and their example. You can get a sense of your own strengths and talents by evaluating these role models.
9. Listen to Others During Your Daily Routine
In step four, you were advised to seek out the advice of those closest to you. However, in this step, you can learn a lot about yourself by listening to the unsolicited comments from others throughout your daily routine. You need to take the good and disregard the bad, focusing only on the constructive criticism, compliments and advice that you receive. The feedback you receive may have some gems of wisdom with regard to how others perceive your strengths and talents.
10. Complete an Online Assessment
This final step can be helpful as it will provide another set of “eyes” to review your personality, qualities and talents and provide you with helpful answers that you need. There are a variety of online strength tests that you can take to evaluate yourself.
Fully comprehending your specific strengths and talents can help you to further develop them and become a better-rounded and fulfilled individual. As addressed in this article, you can follow these ten ways to ascertain your current strengths and talents.