To be able to identify your strengths, first you need to figure out what they are. There are to many ways to do that. A friend of my decided to take an on-line self-assessment to discover his strengths. He even paid 20 USD for it, just to find out that his most outstanding strengths are generosity and kindness. Excuse me but it’s funny to me. I don’t need any software to tell me that I am generous or kind. I don’t think those kind of tests are relevant neither. Essentially because they are not able or competent to make me feel better about myself. And I feel this way because very often we have the habit of seeing ourselves the way we like to be and we do not see the real reflection of ourselves. The only things that can truly make me feel proud of my self are the things I managed to achieve myself with my hard work and effort.
So the good way to find the truth is to ask people from your surrounding to hold up a mirror for you. When you see your reflection through the eyes of those who know you well, you can begin to identify your best talents and strengths.
A nice way to start your research involves emailing people who know you well and ask them to tell you about a time when you were at your best.
Step 1. First choose your sources and wait for feedback. The best sources are a mix of personal and professional contacts. It can be friends, family members, colleagues, etc.
Once the feedback arrives, look for the common themes that appear in multiple answers.
Make a list of the themes that they suggest about your strengths.
Create your self-portrait. Write out a brief of who you are when you’re at your best.
Create an action plan for how and when you’ll utilize your strengths.
If you can see yourself through the eyes of others, your vision will become less blurry. If you wish you can also continue the process by asking people to write about a time when you were at your worst. Many of my friends asked me afterward to do the same thing for them.
Very often, our natural talents go untapped. It is nice to discover them and put them in good use. So, find out what are your strengths and talents, and use them, as Jim Rohn said, if you don’t use it, you lose it. You don’t have to like it, but learn it.
It is also interesting to realize how other see you. But remember the way other see you it is not what defines you as a person. It is just their perception of you. But very often if we manage to see ourselves from other perspective it can help us to achieve more.
Through this research I discovered something that I never considered as one of my strengths. All of my friends and colleagues that participated in my small research to discover my strengths said the same thing. All of them saw me at my best and most excited every time when I pass my exams at the IT Academy. Also when I learned a new skill and when I had a chance to apply my new skill in practice. I never actually thought that studying and developing your knowledge could be a strength and talent. Regarding my friends and colleagues my great joy to gain new knowledge is the one of my most outstanding talents.
Honestly I was a bit disappointed at the moment. I expected of my friends and colleagues to say that I am kind, generous, loving person, maybe that I am funny or creative or what ever. I never expected this. But what actually happened after is amazing. They helped me to increase my performance in developing my self through this research. I was surprised to see that all of my sources commented on strengths that I didn’t realized I had.
It was a time when I was tying to move my career in the hospitality to the next level and as much love and efforts I was putting in to my work I felt stuck at the same position unable to make any improvement.
So I decided to put my new discovered strength into the action. I said to my self, if you want to grow in your career, in the field of hospitality you have to develop your knowledge in order to become competitive candidate for desirable job positions you failed in the past. This is how I decided to enrolled in postgraduate studies in the field of Hospitality Management.
I worked hard so I can be able to pay for my studies. But nothing seems difficult to me, because I was so determined to achieve my dream and to reach my goal and I succeeded. By the way I am 43 years old.
I am learning Dutch now, and I have the intention to got a new diploma in the field of Hospitality Marketing soon. I hope you will find this article inspiring, in the same way my research was inspiring to me. And as Jim Rohn said use your energy, if you don’t use it, it’s lost by the end of the day. If you wish to achieve your goals, you have to put your full potential at work. Use all you’ve got! Good luck!
Dream it, believe it, achieve it!