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Identifying Your Talents

“You will become as great as your dominant aspiration. If you cherish a vision, a lofty ideal in your heart, you will realize it.” – James Allen

Week Sixteen

How would life be different if you knew what you were fabulous at? Often we barely even notice the things we are great at because they come so easily to us. This step is about finding out and connecting with all the ways in which we already perform at a high level. Use the cues below to identify your gifts. Make a note of everything that comes to mind.

1) Over the years, what have people told you that you are gifted at or have a talent for?
a. Recall aspects that you have a knack for or the potential to do.
b. Think about things you have always being recognized, admired, scolded, or reprimanded for.

2) What unusual or unique things do you do phenomenally well?
a. Identify activities at which you excel at or perform in the top 1%.
b. List things that you do that amaze or really impress others.

3) What is your innate ability that comes easily without even trying?
a. Consider things that everyone else struggles with which you do without effort.
b. Think about things that others truly love you to do for them and always request.

4) What lights you up, animates you and connects you to a well-spring of energy and ideas such that it just flows out of you?
a. Think about things that you are drawn to doing that allow you to find your groove and loose all sense of time.
b. Consider what it would be a joy for others to watch you doing.

5) What things do you pick up or learn to do much faster than others?
a. This could be things that you are sensitive to that you notice others aren’t.
b. Identify physical attributes or ways of interacting with the world.

When you can’t think of anything else to add it is time to refine your list. Read it though and cross out any items that you feel are not a good fit or are derived from what others think you ought to or should do rather than what you enjoy doing. Group together similar items and then consider each grouping in terms of its strength and rarity.

Now estimate the rarity of each of your skills. How many people in your year at school had this talent? How many people in your district? You can gauge a ratio 1 in 100 to 1 in a million.
If you can, identify the “sensitivity” or the extraordinary results you achieve which make your gift so powerful. This helps you really comprehend what you excel at. For instance, great singers can be sensitive to which songs resonate with their audience, or how to stretch out a lyric or note. Some athletes are great at consistently scoring while others are sensitive to when the pressure is on and excel best then.

This exercise benefits you by revealing strongest gifts and talents, the things that you have a natural aptitude for. You can now decide whether to express these skills more frequently or find ways to incorporate into what you already do. It also gives you a greater appreciation of the contribution you make just by being you.