It’s true. I bet somewhere, deep down, you’ve doubted yourself. I mean, you’re human, right? But the truth is, you are a special snowflake — and not in the derogatory way the media has distorted the word. You have natural talents that are uniquely yours, but as such, they are often misunderstood or underappreciated.

There are really good reasons why we doubt ourselves and why we miss our natural gifts. How often do you think about how your nose looks (or contemplate it at all)? Honestly, when it’s that close to you, it’s tough to appreciate — same goes for your talents. The good news is, once you recognize them, you can take charge and begin to step into your spotlight and stand out from the crowd.

1. “Doesn’t everybody do that?” No, no they don’t. Of course you think that, because for you, it comes naturally. And if it’s easy for you, it must be easy for everyone else. It goes along the same lines of thinking if you know it, everyone else must know it, too. Common knowledge, like common sense, isn’t so common. I read the other day that only 11% of people know what the “57” is for on the side of a Heinz glass ketchup bottle. It’s the perfect spot to “knock” the bottle so the ketchup comes out smoothly. I’ve known it for years, and yes, I assume everyone else knows it, too. Did you know that?

When something comes naturally to you it’s possible to miss that it’s really something quite special. Not everyone can see charts & numbers in their heads, or speak in public so easily, or talk to perfect strangers like a long-lost friend. Really. You have something you do without even thinking about it. What is that thing? What do people notice you do naturally well?

2. “Why are you so (fill in the blank)?” Why do you talk so much? Why do you smile all the time? Why do you feel the need to fix everything? Believe it or not, those are all talents going unrecognized — or perhaps in their raw form. Often these talents are spotted at an early age and squashed unintentionally. You see, everyone’s talents are also filters as to how they see the world and perceive others. When your talents are different, you appear different. And in school, and while growing up, different wasn’t usually good.

I can remember that most of my childhood, I was placed next to the teacher’s desk for talking to much. Well, as someone with WOO (the social butterfly) and Communication (yeah, I like to tell stories), it came naturally for me to talk to everyone and difficult to stop. But instead of harnessing that talent, I was punished for it. Sadly, this is quite frequently how we raise our children, to be images of us and our expectations instead of observing them objectively and seeing what comes naturally to them.

3. “This is how you’re supposed to do it.” We often look up to people — our parents, our mentors — and we think that we are supposed to be like them. We may have leadership thrust upon us and instead of becoming the leader we’re meant to be we emulate those above us we admire. And that’s OK, there is such a thing as “talent envy.” But, when you can let go of what you wish you were, and accept who you are, the stress melts away and peace sets in.

When you step into your spotlight, can value who you are with pride and confidence, you will begin to resonate with others who share your passion. For work, this can lead to better roles or finding your ideal clients. In life, this can mean finding the perfect mate or improving your current relationships due to a deeper understanding of each person’s underlying motivations and needs. In all cases, you will begin to shine.

Step back. Really think about what you do well.

What comes easily to you?
When do you lose track of time due to “being in the zone”?
What do people frequently recognize as something you do well?

If you’re still struggling to pinpoint your talents, take the CliftonStrengths Assessment. For me, it was like receiving a user’s manual for myself. I didn’t learn anything new, but it put it into words I could then use to explain myself to others. I think everyone should have that gift.

You can purchase the Top 5 Assessment here (there are 34 total talent themes).
You can purchase your code here for the same price AND book a complimentary 60-minute discovery session with me to help you understand your talents at a deeper level. Just email me and we’ll get started!

It’s up to you to take the first step. I hope you’ll allow me to be a part of your journey.

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