Most people are their own worst critic, unfortunately. We have an inner dialogue with ourselves that is continually judging, criticizing, comparing, and putting down anything that you do. Sometimes we are aware of this but mostly the dialogue is running on autopilot. Often it’s the only voice we hear with us so we think it’s perfectly normal. Between when we are born up to the age of 6 or 7, we are a totally blank slate and are like a recording machine, absorbing what we hear and see from our environment. After that age, we start to have our own opinions and begin our own conscious thinking…but the foundation of how we react to situations has already been set. This becomes our belief system or programming within our subconscious thinking. The environment we grow up in is crucial to our future success—or lack of success. The good news is that we are discovering ways that we can reprogram our brains and there are many experts now teaching about this and also how to bypass the consciousness to change beliefs systems that are deeply rooted in the subconscious.
I mention all of this because we need to understand that we all have our own unique talents that we are meant to work with, and because we are so often our worst internal critics, it can be hard to identify these unique talents. When you start to identify your talents, be aware of the inner critic and tame that voice down. You deserve to understand really why you are here and what you are meant to contribute. Discovering your unique talents is a part of that process.
These talents are things that you do so well and naturally, that you may not even be fully aware of them yourself. It’s just a part of who you are. And it is very likely you’ve been doing these things since your childhood. There are a several ways to really figure out your uniqueness and I’ll cover a few ways here.
The first way is to think about your life and what have you loved to do. What comes naturally to you that you really enjoy doing? It’s easy and you feel good whenever you are engaged in these activities. When have you felt that things have gone really well in your life and what were you doing at that time? What have been the best moments in your life and why? Start a list of all the activities, events, or situations where you have felt really good about what you were doing.
Next, ask people who know you well and who you trust—your parents, siblings, spouse, children, friends, co-workers, therapists, etc—a few questions: what do I do well that makes me stand out from everyone else? What comes so easy to me, that is hard for other people, that I don’t even see it? What do you think makes me special and different from everyone else? Write down the answers. The good thing about this exercise is that you may find yourself pleasantly surprised to know how others perceive you. And it definitely will help you identify many of your wonderful attributes and talents.
The other exercise I recommend is work related. Take a look at each of the jobs you’ve had and find your “WOW” factors. These are the things you did in each position that made a difference. They are your accomplishments and how you served others in the best possible way. They can be specific goals you reached, or the support you gave. These are the points your bosses, clients, employees, and co-workers would be raving about you.
Once you have all three lists completed, you can look to see what the common threads are. What keeps coming up in each? So many people end up spending a small percentage of their time working with or using their unique talents, which causes a lot of discontentment. If you know what your unique talents are, then you can begin to structure your time and days around using them as much as possible. We see so often that people will try to fit themselves into a job description, instead of doing the internal work to figure out what unique talents you have that you love to work with, and THEN finding work that fits that.
Happiness is not a goal, it’s a process. Knowing yourself, your special talents, and what you can do to make a difference in the world, is only going to have positive affects in your life. Take the time to do your inner homework and you’ll find yourself on a path to a better life where you feel the amazing contribution you were meant to give to the world! You ARE special and you ARE unique! The question is, do YOU know that?