Discovering Your Skills and Talents
Everyone has skills and talents. You may not have figured out what your particular set of skills and talents are (yet), but you definitely have them.
But let’s back-track for a second. What is a skill or talent? A skill or talent is something that you are good at. For instance, you could be skilled at cooking up a gourmet meal or fixing cars. Sometimes a skill could be a particular quality or set of qualities you possess, such as talking, listening, negotiating, planning, organizing, typing or analyzing.
For some people, figuring out their skills is simple. They seem to have been born with it. For instance, I have a friend who is talented at playing the piano. She has always been talented at the piano since the time she was a child. Other people acquire their skills over the years. I have another friend who is skilled at making beautiful cakes. She wasn’t born with this ability, but learned it after years and years of practice.
It doesn’t matter whether you are born with a skill or have developed it over time, what matters is that you figure out what your skills are and use them. Figuring out your skills might seem hard at first, especially if there are no obvious signs to point you in the right direction. Pay attention, then, to what others notice about you. Often times, your friends, family and colleagues may recognize a particular skill or talent you have before you do. In fact, it might help to ask those around you what your skills are. A few years ago, I e-mailed my family and friends and asked them, “Are there any skills or interests that you see in me, that perhaps I am not aware of?” The answers I received were eye-opening. I never knew I possessed certain skills and talents until those around me told me I did!
Interestingly enough, I discovered that many of my skills and talents were in areas I was interested in. For instance, I am skilled at writing and research – and I also happen to enjoy doing both! It’s no coincidence that this happens. You tend to spend more time doing things that interest you, and when you spend more time doing something, you inevitably get better at it. (Practice makes perfect, right?)
So do yourself a favour. Figure out your skills and talents (either by observing your own behaviour or by asking others) and then use these skills and talents. You will be a much happier person for doing so. The majority of the time, what you are good at also happens to be what you are passionate about!