Discovering your strengths does not automatically happen in a day but it happens over a period of time. It can be similar to a funnel. A funnel is broad at the top then as it goes down it becomes narrow until there is a small hole at the very bottom. The purpose of a funnel is to allow a person to easily pour a liquid into a small whole without spilling any of the contents.
There is a similar process when it comes to discovering your personal strengths. The principle of the funnel shares the evolving progression to discovering your strengths. It says,
Discovering your strengths is a process. A person starts with a broad perspective of their strengths (Top of a funnel). Then with time and effort the person begins to have a clear perspective of their strengths (Toward the middle of the funnel). Until they have fully found their unique strengths (At the very bottom of the funnel).
I can’t say how long this process will take but know if you are being intentional about discovering your strengths, at some point you will fully find and be in your strength zone. To discover or clarify your strengths so that you can move close to your strength zone, I suggest implementing these methods:
1. Take time to experiment-
Experimenting in a variety of activities that you enjoy or have a passion to do can help you identify your strengths. The key is to participate in activities that pull at your heartstrings and desires. Take time to play or work in a variety of areas until you begin to see the activities or tasks that come easier and more natural to you. Once you begin to find those strength areas, concentrate your time on them. Allow experimenting to direct you toward your personal strengths.
2. Allow time for self-reflection and thinking-
Your past leaves clues to your strengths. Reflecting and thinking on your past life experiences and job responsibilities can assist you in discovering your areas of strengths. Pushing the pause button for a couple hours so that you can think deeply about your past is a valuable exercise. The focus of that time should be to find patterns, habits, and activities that will direct you toward the areas of your personal strengths. A few questions to think or reflect on include:
- What activities or tasks do I produce extraordinary results when doing?
- What activities or tasks bring energy, passion, or enjoyment when doing?
- What activities or tasks draw my attention?
- What specific strengths (skills or talents) are aligned with my personal purpose and vision?
- If I could choose what activities or tasks I could do while at work, what would they include?
3. Ask God-
For people of faith, this is a crucial element when it comes to discovering your strengths. Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.” When we ask and allow God to direct us toward our strengths, He will be faithful in answering our request. I’ve learned that God teaches us by leading us through different experiences so our answer might come in the form of God telling us to go or do something, which would in turn help us see our strengths. One last thing to remember, God’s timing is different than our own timing so we should not expect a direct or clear answer right away (However, He might just give you that clear answer right away).
I suggest reading my book The Leadership Mandate to learn more about how you can discover your strengths. The three ways I write about in the book include: “finding and following your purpose and passions”, “through a strengths survey”, and “asking a trusted friend or colleague.” To purchase your copy of the book, click here.
Questions: Have you been through the process of discovering your strengths? What other methods of discovering your strengths would you include?