I have no idea how I responded to her question, that put together lady interviewing me for a possible job. “So Jess. Tell me, what are your strengths and talents? What are you good at?” I probably said something along the lines of, “I don’t know.. but I’m willing to learn anything.” (Awesome answer, right?! I know.. I should totally have gotten points for that!) I do remember my mom giving me a smile from her chair across the room. A confident, you’ve got this smile that I probably returned with a frantic help me! look. I also remember thinking about my strengths and talents for quite some time after the interview ended. I seriously had no idea what I’d call my strengths or talents. (Sound familiar?! Then you are most definitely in the right spot!) I didn’t even know where to begin with defining them. Like I mentioned in my last post, I needed someone to just lay them out for me. “Hey Jess, you’re really good at x, y and z.” (When my best friend proof read this for me she nicely commented, “Hey Jess! You’re really good at the a,b,c’s..” Well thanks for that, Tips!)
Like I was, you might be wondering how to find your strengths and talents. Will they just happen by chance? One day you’ll be doing something and it’ll “slap” you in the face. Oh hey! I’m actually really good at this! It very well may happen that way, if you’re all good with waiting for that moment to happen. I’m not. I’m too impatient for that. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! Lucky for me, and you, there’s way we can figure out what our strengths and talents may be. (Are you happy dancing at the thought of that? Cuz I am. And nobody likes to dance alone..)
There are many things to consider when trying to figure out what your strengths and passions are. You can start by listening to your “inner voice” and reading in between the lines. More than likely there are things that cause you to day dream and lose track of time; things that you will always find yourself thinking about or smiling over. So what are they? What brings a smile to your beautiful face? What make you lose track of time? What do you day dream about, all day e’ry day? What’s one thing you’d do without getting paid for?
Another way to figure out what your strengths may be is to take a step back into childhood. There may be things that you really enjoyed doing as a child that you no longer spend time on due to not having the time, money or other reasons. Did you know, I used to spend hours and hours behind our old Windows 98 computer, writing all sorts of ridiculous stories? Yep! It’s true. My parent’s probably thought I was crazy but I didn’t care! I’d dream up characters and scenarios and time would slip by as my fingers flew across the keyboard (96 words per minute, folks! That’s where it’s at!), designing the world of a fictional girl and her friends and family. At some point the computer stopped working and my story writing stopped along with it. I started writing in journals instead and eventually that dimmed too. Now looking back, I can see that all those hours spent behind the computer was because I was actually somewhat decent at it. I’d like to think I have a way with words, at least when it comes to writing. (I know, I know.. there I go, tooting my own horn. How dare I, right? *rolls eyes*) Speaking, well maybe not so much! (Gotta bring myself back down a notch or two haha) So would I call writing a talent of mine? Yes, ma’am!
Once you’ve honed in on a list of what you think may very well be your strengths and talents, there are questions you can ask yourself to check if they really do belong on that list. Has it been present throughout much of your life? Do others see it? Do you feel energized when you’re living that way? Does this come naturally to you most of the time? Even in hard times, does it usually come through somehow? Does this really fell like the core part of who you are? Chances are, if you can confidently say yes to most or all of those questions, then it more than likely really is a strength or talent of yours.
It’s easy to think that our strengths and talents should come easily to us; that something you were born to do shouldn’t take a ton of work. That’s not the case. Talents and strengths always take discipline and work, just like any job. You have to work at your strengths and build your talents. Someone amazing at painting (ahem, Jess VD) isn’t born amazing at painting. (She’ll probably argue with that haha) They may have an eye for it, a passion for it, a drive and desire to do it.. even a certain talent at it (let’s face it, some people are a whole lot better at painting than others! The same can be said for all sorts of things, really!) but if they don’t put in the time and the work then that talent won’t become anything more. You need to put in the effort, time and the hard work in order to finish that painting. These strengths and talents are usually present through out our lives but can be enhanced with training and experience.
I want my heart, passions, talents and strengths to be the most beautiful things about me. I want that for you too, sweet girl! So I challenge you to think about it; think about what your strengths, passions and talents are.. and start to think about how you can use those things to not only better yourself but to also better the world! Because we can make a difference! We will make a difference! We are forces to be reckoned with and we’ll show this world how truly beautiful and amazing our talents and strengths can make us when we whole heartedly embrace them! Go get it, girlfriend!