So often in life we seem to focus on our faults, failings and shortcomings with the belief that by focusing on these we can learn how to change them, acquire new skills to overcome them, and become more well-rounded, successful or an even better person!

The truth is that, whilst increased awareness may well be useful, the more we focus on our weaknesses the longer our strengths and talents go unnoticed and unused. We are much more likely to be successful and happy when we play to our unique strengths and talents and, instead of spending time and energy trying to be like everyone else, focus on developing, refining and applying those skills and talents we are naturally suited to.

Just as you wouldn’t expect a talented artist to develop the same skill set as a brain surgeon, nor the brain surgeon to become the next Picasso, why would you put pressure on yourself to be brilliant at everything at the expense of your own natural talents.

When we begin to appreciate our personal strengths we can begin to appreciate ourselves more and recognise that we we don’t need to become a better person…….we are already enough. We are then free to choose which talents and skills to practice, develop and refine, without our sense of self worth being threatened.

Unfortunately many people have little awareness of what their true strengths are. If you’d like to understand more about your own personal strengths have a go at the following exercises or take a look at the book Now, Discover your Strengths by Buckingham & Clifton

Exercise 1

Create a Personal Inventory of your personal skills and assets. Your assets are those things that represent your strengths and offer value to your business, your employer, your colleagues or your customers.

Either on your own or with a friend list your strengths under each of the following headings; Experience, Knowledge, Skills, Qualities, Achievements, Reputation. Notice any specific strengths that you would like to refine, practice or use more often and seek out opportunities to do this.

Exercise 2

Ask 7 people who know you (friends, family, colleagues, customers etc) to tell you what they see as your Unique Skills and Abilities.

And if you’re not very keen on this idea initially just imagine how good you’ll feel once you’ve received all the positive feedback!