How To Find Your Personal Strengths

Are you stuck in life without any real meaning or purpose?  Are you not really sure where you fit or what you really want to do with your life?  Are you stuck in a shitty job that you hate.  It’s at this point that you want to begin taking inventory of your personal strengths, meaning the things that you are really good at and do well in life.  The things that “define you” as a person.  Not the things that you might “think” you are good at, or brag about at parties to your buddies, but the things in life that people will back you up on.

Here are some sure-fire ways to figure out what your personal strengths are:

#1: ASK AROUND

Guess who’s going to tell you the truth?  Your friends, family, and colleagues.  Some of these people will be more to the point than others, but they all will eventually tell you the truth in some shape or form.

Ask them what they think you are good at, what they think “defines” you, what comes to mind when they think of you.  Maybe you are good at fixing their computer, or a good handyman, or a great singer.

Now ask those same people what they think your greatest weakness is.  This shouldn’t be a bash Johnny session. It should be constructive and used to steer you in the right direction.  You might get a little too much of this category from your mother, but don’t blame it on me.  The reason you want to find out what your weaknesses are is so you can eliminate them from your pool of possibilities.  If you were thinking about becoming a rock star, and everyone tells you that you are tone-deaf, cross that off your list buddy.

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#2: THINK BACK

Use that wonderful brain of yours to think as far back as you can to the times where people have praised you for something or, just the opposite, pointed out your failures.  Was there a recurring theme to any of these?  Does any particular activity or event stand out as happening more than any other that would make one your strength and one your weakness?  This is going to be difficult because you may have a skewed memory of some of the events, but we are in the digital age, so you might even have some email or text messages saved with some praise or hate mail.

#3: GET EXCITED

Do you get excited when you talk about or think about a certain subject?  This is a sign that you have a deep love and excitement for it.  It may not be your ultimate strength, but it is a great place to start your search.  You can go back to #1: Ask Around and ask your fiends and family if they see you get excited or animated when you talk about a certain subject.  If you find a subject you both love and is a true strength, you have found the unicorn my friend.  Take it run.  Turn it into a business, make a million dollars and retire.

#4: GET UNCOMFORTABLE

You always hear people saying that nothing is ever accomplished in your comfort zone.  Well, this is mostly true, unless you find the unicorn in #3.  What you think your strengths are and what they really are, may be different.  You are so used to doing the same thing that you have been doing for years and years and years, which may not be what you are really good at.  It may just be what you have been doing for so long that it has become mechanical at this point.  So many people are terrified to leave their current job for something new because they think that are only good at what they currently do and that is the only thing they can make a living doing.

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You need to find your strengths, take inventory of them, and put them to use to make your life worth living and profitable.  Don’t think that you have one sole purpose in life because that is what you went to school for or trained for.  Your life and view change over time and your skill set also changes as you grow as a person.  Use your experience and knowledge to find your strengths and skills and make the move that benefits you.

I want to hear from you if you have found your strength and made a move.  Tell me your story.

  • Jane says:

    Passion should be in every job we do. This list is helpful, especially thinking about what gets us excited about what we do every day.

    • Robert says:

      Thank you so much for the comment Jane! Passion is a key for any strength and should be harnessed to its fullest potential. Even in the littlest things.

  • Mr. Thrifty says:

    This is definitely something I struggle with.

    On the one hand, I think we should give our best in whatever circumstances we might find ourselves.

    On the other, I’ve certainly found the most energy and success playing to my strengths.

    I agree that others can be a good sounding board for an exercise like this.

    Great post!

    • Robert says:

      Thanks Mr. T! I struggle with it as well. It is so difficult to figure out what you do well and see yourself through other people’s eyes. It is even more difficult to see what you don’t do well.

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