Whether you’re looking to land the perfect job or advance your current career, understanding and leveraging your strengths is one of the most important things you can do. When you operate from your strengths, you’ll have less stress, higher satisfaction, and greater productivity—and most importantly, you will be in complete alignment with yourself.
On the other hand, if you’re working against your strengths, your performance will suffer, your stress levels will increase, and you’ll find yourself stuck in your career and your life.
A strength is any ability you have that you are naturally inclined to do well, a natural talent …it’s where you perform at your highest and best. But how do you know what your strengths truly are?
To effectively leverage your strengths, you need to understand them beyond generic statements like “I’m good with people” or “I’m a fast learner.” Here are three ways you can determine your own strengths and put them to work for you to achieve bold success.
CONSIDER YOUR CORE VALUES
What’s important to you, both personally and professionally? Your values and your passions can help point you toward your strengths—people spend more time and energy on what’s important to them, and as a result, skills based on your values tend to improve at a faster rate.
Some common personal and professional values include:
- Work-life balance
- Physical and/or mental health and wellbeing
- Job security
- Financial gain
- Respect and/or recognition
- Advancement opportunities
- Continuous learning / ongoing education
- Helping others / giving back
- Collaboration/ team environments
- Creativity / innovation
LISTEN TO YOUR EMOTIONAL CUES
You will often know where your strengths lie on a subconscious level , but you may not have paid attention to how you feel when you’re performing certain activities so you can pinpoint them. Listen to your internal cues as you work and play to learn which activities bring you happiness and satisfaction. Do you feel confident and accomplished when you’re in a leadership position? Does it thrill you when you solve a complex problem? Do you enjoy brainstorming or taking a class?
GET A SECOND OPINION
Another way to identify your strengths is through the lens of other people. So ask them directly. Sit down with someone who knows you well, and ask them what they feel are your greatest strengths. The answers may surprise you.
You can also consider other people’s responses to your efforts. For example, if you enjoy organizing events, do you typically have a lot of people show up? Do they enjoy the events, and come back for others you organize? Positive actions are a strong confirmation of your strengths.
Finally, if you’re unable to identify any of your strengths innately, try adding new activities to your work or personal life. Choose something that aligns with your natural passions—and you may discover strengths you never expected to find, that could lead you in exciting new directions.
DISCOVER YOUR STRENGTHS
At launchbox, we use Gallup’s Strengths Finder 2.0 book and online assessment. It’s a great tool that helps you identify your strengths, from 34 different themes, and gives you strategies for applying them to your life. Get Strengths Finder now and start living from your strengths.