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10 Ways to Find Your Own Personal Strengths

10 Ways to Find Your Own Personal Strengths

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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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