“Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What’s a sundial in the shade?” — Benjamin Franklin
You may already know your own strengths. Or you may not recognize them and believe that your unique abilities are available to the general population, something everyone has.
Not true. Inside you, there are special talents that others covet.
Want to uncover your special skillz?
I’ve got two resources you’re gonna love, people!
VIA Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS), formerly known as the “Values in Action Inventory,” is a psychological assessment measure designed to identify an individual’s profile of character strengths.
The VIA-IS is comprised of 24 character strengths. Each of us have our combination of these strengths that make up our own unique profiles. It’s your secret sauce, yo.
“The strengths are universally valued, encompass our capacities for helping ourselves and others and produce positive effects when we express them. Knowing your constellation of character strengths is the first step towards living a happier, more authentic life.” ~VIA Institute on Character
(You can take the FREE VIA Survey here.)
The good people at Gallup (yup, that Gallup) created an online test that uncovers a person’s natural talents. The “father of strengths-based psychology”, Donald Clifton developed the Strengthfinders on the idea that every one of us has natural talents.
“From the cradle to the cubicle, we devote more time to fixing our shortcomings than to developing our strengths.”
The message of Strengthfinders is to flip that formula! When you know your natural, in-born talents, you can focus on doing what you do best. Every. Damn. Day.
What’s funny is that you may not even recognize some of your own talents as strengths. You take them for granted, because they come so easily to you.
My own BFF helped me to recognize something I do naturally as a talent that other people value. My top strength on Strengthfinders is INPUT. (Sounds totally lame, right? I thought so.)
It means that I’m inquisitive. A collector of information.
But when I read this in the Strengthfinders 2.0 book, I got chills:
“You might naturally be an exceptional repository of facts, data and ideas. If that’s the case, don’t be afraid to position yourself as an expert. By simply following your Input talents, you could become known as the authority in your field.”
And it explained why I love to help people become known as leaders and experts in their industry.
It’s the same for you: whether you’re self employed or working within a business or non-profit, you have unique talents that you can leverage. You just have to discover them.
Knowing (and using) your special strengths has three powerful benefits:
“No one is you and that is your power.” Dave Grohl. Philosopher. Foo Fighter.
Get on Dave’s level, please! When you recognize, use, and OWN your strengths (and by “own”, I mean letting other people know about them), you become distinctive.
When you shift your work to suit your talents, your performance improves. We’ve all struggled to perform tasks that we’re not just not good at…and it sucks. But when we work from our natural strengths and talents, time flies, and we become energized. Work is a joy.
Confidence is believing that you can do something. It’s what spurs you into action.
Confidence comes from playing to your distinctive strengths and values. And you want to do everything you can to boost your confidence levels because studies show that confidence trumps IQ when it comes to predicting success.
Take both these tests to uncover your unique combination of strengths. The VIA-IS is free, but the Strengthfinders 2.0 test requires a special code that you get when you purchase a book. Believe me, the $15 bucks or so that it costs is totally worth it!
Knowing your one-of-a-kind brand of awesome will fire you up with confidence and energy, attracting followers and fans like a magnet. Time to unleash your special kind of magic, friends.