Most, if not all of us, have heard about the importance of addressing our weaknesses. Improve the areas where you lack needed expertise or skill and excellence will soon follow.
But what about your strengths?
While it’s never a bad idea to get better in your areas of weakness, identifying and leveraging your strengths will make you stronger personally and professionally.
The first step, however, is figuring out your strengths.
1. Ask for feedback
Asking for honest feedback from friends you trust and whose opinions you value is an ideal way to understand where your strengths lie. You might ask your friend to name 3 of your strengths. Or, you may solicit the opinions of many and then look for common themes among their responses.
2. What excites you the most?
One way to recognize your core strengths is to identify activities that truly excite you. In most cases, these are the things which you’re good at and those that keep you energized and motivated.
3. Take an assessment or personality test
If you’re having trouble identifying your unique abilities, you may want to take an evaluation like the Reflected Best Exercise or Gallup’s StrengthFinder. Or, you may opt to take a personality test, like the DISC Personality Testing, which is a useful resource to help identify your strengths and weaknesses.
4. What are your values?
Knowing your core values makes it easier to identify your strengths. Your values, after all, shape how you think about yourself, others, and the world. Think about people you respect and the traits that you admire about them. Or, think about your community and the one thing you’d change about it if you had the opportunity. Moreover, consider if the life you’re leading now agrees with your values.
5. Do your own evaluation
It’s great to receive feedback from others when recognizing your strengths but it’s important to do your own honest assessment, as well. Think about the aspects of your personality that you’d call strengths, including kindness, generosity, open-mindedness, etc. Consider the innate talents or abilities that fit with your sense of self and your vision for the future.
6. What do you do differently?
If you’re truly using your strengths, chances are you’ll stand out from the crowd. What are you doing that’s unique and separates you from others during those moments?
7. Try new things
What you think may be a weakness is actually something that you’ve never tried or you lack of experience. A great way to grow – and uncover new strengths – is by pushing yourself to do things you’ve never tried before. For instance, you could take a painting or dancing class, launch your website, or try a new athletic experience, such a yoga or rock climbing.
Numerous studies have shown how useful journaling is for becoming more self-aware and reflective about your strengths and desires. Whether it’s listing the memorable moments of your day, diary-style, or including more detail about your thoughts and desires, you’ll learn more about yourself and your strengths.