10 Questions to Discover Your Strengths
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Be happy. What do you like?
Let’s start in the most obvious place, what do you like? What’s your favorite thing to do? What excites you? Coaching tip: The likelihood of you excelling in a field that you don’t like is very low. If you want to ensure career happiness, do what you love. What do you love?
Be natural. What are you naturally good at?
Everyone is a natural at something. Where are you a natural? Are you outgoing? Are you detail oriented? Are you naturally inquisitive? Are you responsible? Are you funny? Are you a great writer? Coaching tip: Take clues from your natural gifts.
Be determined. What happens when you fail?
Have you faced adversity? Have you set out to accomplish something and failed? Oftentimes we uncover strengths we didn’t even know we had when we fail or face adversity. Coaching tip: Think about a time when you failed and brainstorm all the ways that it made you smarter, braver and wiser. “Whether you succeed or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.” -Jim Collins
Be open. What do your friends/teachers/mentors say about you?
Self-awareness is all about knowing who you are and how you come across to others, so what better way to find out then by asking those that you are close to. Coaching tip: It can be scary to ask for feedback because you have to be vulnerable. In fact, you might avoid it because you don’t want to know if you are failing. If so, that’s OK. Go back to “Be Determined” and think again about all the things you learned the last time you failed. Failures are great teachers.
Be observant. What energizes you?
Pay attention to how you feel when you do something - do you feel invigorated or drained? When you know the difference, you can choose a career that is fulfilling rather than draining. Coaching tip: Ask yourself in the morning when you look over your schedule, what am I excited about? Chances are your strengths lie in what makes you feel GOOD!
Be satisfied. What makes you feel useful?
Understand the difference between fear and being bad at something. Fear is always the first step. Just because you’re afraid of making a presentation doesn’t mean you aren’t good at public speaking it might just mean you need more practice. Go back to “Be Observant” and figure out if it invigorates you or drains you. Coaching tip: What do you do that makes you feel useful even if at first it might make you feel scared? “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” -Jack Canfield
Be proactive. What can you do to find your strengths?
We discover new things about ourselves when we do new things. Don’t wait around and expect opportunities to fall in your lap. Ask yourself, “What am I capable of that I don’t know yet?” Coaching tip: It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone, but if you do that, you will not grow. The best way to broaden your skill set is to broaden your horizons.
Be curious. What is your biggest dream/goal?
Dreams come from your intuition, which is a combination of your life experiences and education so trust that if you have a dream it is for a reason. Perhaps the answer to what your strengths are lies in your dreams/goals. Follow your intuition. Coaching tip: Don’t be afraid to dream big and believe that you will succeed. “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, YOU are right.” -Henry Ford
Be motivated. What do you care about?
Where does your heart lie? Are you passionate about helping people? Do you love animals? Are you fanatical about math? Passions shouldn’t be reserved just for hobbies. No matter what career you choose, it will require long nights, early mornings and tough problems to solve and you will be motivated to do all of it if you are passionate about what you do. Coaching tip: What are you passionate about? What do you want to dedicate your life to?
Be yourself. What makes you different than everyone else?
You will not find a crowd that leads you toward your heart’s desire. To find it, you must break away from the pack. To discover your strengths, you also must go it alone. Friends will help, teachers will guide, but no one can discover them for you. Coaching tip: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
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