We’re all good at something. Actually, we’re all good at multiple things. But asking someone for a list of their strengths can feel like you’re pulling teeth. On the flip side, if you were to ask someone to name some of their weaknesses, it’s likely they could rattle them off with no problem. “I’m terrible at this, and I struggle with this, and I’m so bad at that …” So, why are we like this? Why is it so hard for us to talk about what we’re good at, yet so easy to point out our struggles?
You are your own worst critic. And thanks to your good ol’ built-in negativity bias, your brain automatically downplays the good and magnifies the bad. Not only do our strengths get put on the backburner of our minds, but some of us may not even know what those strengths are. Ask yourself these three quick questions to learn (and be confident in) what you bring to the table!
“What activities make me lose track of time?”
You know those moments when you just feel like you’re in the zone? The world could be in total chaos around you, and you may not even notice because you’re so invested in what you’re doing. Pay close attention when you feel like this, because the things you find yourself getting lost in are likely connected to your greatest strengths.
For you, you might lose track of time when you’re baking, or writing, or giving someone advice. The cool thing about strengths is that we all find them in different places, and sometimes, they’re found in moments we never expected.
“What’s a compliment that I receive often?”
Your strengths may not be obvious to you, but that doesn’t mean they’re not obvious to the people around you. In fact, you’ve probably even been complimented on what you’re good at once or twice (or a million times). But unfortunately, back to our good friend, the negativity bias, it’s likely that you push those compliments to the back of your mind.
What if, instead of thinking that someone is “just being nice” or that they “didn’t really mean it,” we believed every compliment we received? Maybe you really are a great leader. You really do communicate well. Your chocolate chip cookies really are the best in the entire world. The lesson? When somebody goes out of their way to tell you what you’re good at, believe them.
“What’s something that makes me feel good?”
It seems obvious, but people generally aren’t super eager to do things that make them feel bad about themselves. That’s why one of the best ways to find your strengths is to simply ask yourself what you’re doing when you feel your absolute happiest. Are you motivating a group of people? Drawing? Maybe taking a yoga class?
Author Fabienne Fredrickson once said, “The things you are passionate about are not random. They are your calling.” There is no secret for this one … find what it is that makes you feel like the best version of yourself and do as much of it as you can (and read this article if you need help discovering what your passions are!).
We’re all different, and because of that, we’re all good at different things. How cool is that? Take some time to answer our questions and find the unique strengths that set you apart. After all, the world needs what you have to offer!
Looking for more ways to improve your life?
Take a look at our blog post on the benefits of consuming positive news!