Our personal strengths are part of what makes us unique as individuals, and part of the value we offer to the world around us. If we’re not aware of our personal strengths, however, we don’t always utilize them as fully as we could, and we potentially miss out on true fulfilment in our lives and careers.
In this post, you’ll discover 10 ways to find your personal strengths. You might find that some of the methods below are more effective for you than others, so cherry-pick the techniques that resonate.
1. Notice what you enjoy
The kinds of activities we enjoy doing are often an indicator of the skills we naturally enjoy. Take a few moments to think about the things you really love to do, and look at the underlying elements that enrich these experiences for you. Can you see any patterns or shared skills among these things?
2. Ask trusted friends and family
Sometimes it can be hard to judge our strengths with accuracy. Many of us come from cultures where it’s polite to be modest, and this can make it hard to identify our own strengths without any outside help. Ask trusted friends or family who know you well what they think your personal strengths are, and see if any of the answers surprise you.
3. What qualities do you like in yourself?
The qualities you particularly like about yourself will give you some indication of your personal strengths. For example, if you like the fact that you stick to your goals and see them through, even when the going gets tough, one of your personal strengths might be discipline or determination.
4. What kind of work do you do and what makes you good at that work?
Think about what you enjoy about your work and why. If you’re struggling to find much that is enjoyable, consider what’s missing instead.
5. Take an online test
If you want a more impartial reflection of your personal strengths, try taking one of the many available online tests.
6. What leaves you feeling energised?
We’ve already looked at the activities and skills you enjoy, and now it’s time to look at what leaves you feeling energised. Another way of approaching this is to think back to times you were in what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes as “flow”. When we are in “flow”, time passes quickly and we feel engrossed in the task at hand. Looking at the skills required for these tasks will give you further clues about your personal strengths.
7. What makes you proud?
Think about three instances in your life when you really felt proud of the way you acted or responded. What was it about your action or response that left you feeling proud? What values did you display and why do you feel proud of the way you acted?
8. Who are your role models? What strengths do you admire in them?
Most of us have role models in our business and personal lives, and these can provide clues to our own personal strengths. Look for the strengths you admire about your particular role models, then think about whether you demonstrate any of those strengths yourself.
9. What feedback do you notice from people in day-to-day life?
This tip might sound similar to number 2, but there’s a crucial difference: Whereas the second tip involved approaching and asking people for feedback, this tip involves looking for feedback in everyday interactions. This is useful as it can provide a more accurate reflection of how other people truly perceive your strengths, rather their self-reported perception.
10. Which strengths resonate with you?
Take a look at a list of personal strengths and notice which personal strengths stand out to you. We are often drawn to the strengths that we display ourselves, so think about where each o the strengths that resonate show up in your professional and personal life.