Everyone is good at something, although figuring out where your strong suits lie isn’t always easy. You may wish to utilize your talents for a side hustle or even a new career, but how do you know where to start?
Here are my top tips for determining your skills and talents:
- Keep a log of the things you do
- Identify patterns
- Think about your hobbies
- Try a personality assessment
- Expand your radius
- Consider your passions
- Ponder your accomplishments
- Ask your loved ones
- Hire an expert
Today, I’m here to #momivate you to get up, find your strengths, and use them to your advantage. By the time you’re done reading, you should be able to determine what you’re good at, which is going to feel great!
9 Things to Try Today to Determine What You’re Good At
Keep a Log of the Things You Do
I don’t know about you, but my days go by in such a blur sometimes that I barely remember what I even ate for breakfast.
If it’s the same way for you, then keeping track of the things you do can be difficult.
Starting tomorrow and for the next seven days, I want you to create a log. The log should include the activities you do on the weekdays and the weekend.
When I say activities, by the way, I mean every last activity.
You want to track when you brush your teeth, when you cook dinner (and what you cook), when you do your laundry, when you sit down and watch TV (and what you watch), the whole nine.
I know, this sounds silly, and it’s going to feel silly, at least at the very beginning. As you continue logging everything though, you’ll eventually use the log to help you recognize your strengths.
Don’t stress too hard over what you’re logging right now. Just provide the most complete dataset you can at the end of seven days.
Now that you have a data log of all your activities for the week, it’s time to assess it.
You’re looking for patterns or recurring habits in your everyday schedule.
Then you need to sort those recurring habits into one of two categories, the ones you have to do or those you want to do.
Let’s use doing the laundry as an example. You may do the laundry twice a week, but that’s not because you want to do it. It’s because you have to do it.
Even cooking is one of those things that you have to do, but you should have jotted down what you cooked in your log. Maybe you notice that you went out of your way to make nice dinners three nights a week.
See, this is a pattern we can work with.
This pattern tells us that you could be interested in cooking as more than a survival mechanism, but as an interest, hobby, or even potentially a new career.
As you go through your log, keep looking for these kinds of patterns, the ones that emerge out of the things you do because you want to, usually with your leisure time.
If you’re not seeing any patterns in your schedule, don’t panic. You still have plenty of ways to find your strengths, as I’ve only just scratched the surface.
Think About Your Hobbies
Life tends to strip away hobbies from us over time.
You could work such long hours that your only hobby is coming home, reheating food, sitting on your couch, and watching Netflix.
Perhaps you juggle being a parent (or even a single parent) with working full-time. Your life is all about your kids. You don’t even know what you like anymore.
If you don’t have any hobbies, then I want you to think about which activities you would gravitate towards if you had more time.
Would you start gardening? Maybe you’d build your own she-shed or man cave.
Would you like to update an old car, stream video games to a large audience, record your own YouTube videos, try new recipes, or crochet?
You can also use your current or past hobbies to indicate what you like to do.
Of course, keep in mind that people change over time. The hobbies you stopped doing might have been out of necessity, such as with a busy job or having kids, or you could have outgrown them or lost interest.
That’s okay! The great thing about hobbies is that you can always pick up new ones.
Try a Personality Assessment
When you take away your job, your kids, your spouse or partner, and your responsibilities, who are you?
I’ve made it quite clear by this point that answering a question like this is often a lot easier said than done. Time and adulting can cause you to lose track of yourself.
That’s why now is as good a time as any to take a personality assessment, especially if you’re trying to narrow down your top skills.
I’ll let you choose the personality assessment that interests you the most and then go from there.
I would recommend that you use a psychological resource rather than Buzzfeed quizzes.
Look, I love Buzzfeed as much as the next person, but those quizzes rarely tell you anything of value about yourself.
A psychologically-based personality assessment is going to uncover who you really are. The kinds of questions you’ll see on the assessment are going to be questions that perhaps no one has asked of you in years or perhaps that you haven’t asked of yourself in just as long.
It’ll be a great getting-to-know-you session for just yourself.
And before you think that it’s strange to have to get to know yourself, it isn’t at all. You need to stay in touch with yourself.
If you don’t, then you can find yourself in an unsatisfying life working a job you hate and not knowing where to go from here.
Expand Your Radius
You’ve tried a few of the pointers I’ve suggested so far, but you have to be honest. Nothing is clicking for you. You don’t feel any closer to figuring out what you’re good at.
Then it’s time to go way outside of your comfort zone.
I want you to try new things, as many new things as you can.
Not all at once, of course, as that would be crazy. You’ll just get overwhelmed and feel unable to proceed.
Rather, each week, make it your goal to try one new thing.
Perhaps you volunteer at a soup kitchen, or you watch a video on veterinarians. Even cooking a new recipe counts.
When you go to a sewing class, you’re going to realize one of two things. Either you like sewing or you don’t like it.
And that’s okay either way!
That’s the whole point of trying out so much new stuff. You’re trying to get a gauge for what you like and dislike.
I would recommend making a list of everything you’re trying. You can create an Excel spreadsheet or even a simple document on your phone.
Next to each new hobby or activity you’ve done, note whether you liked it or disliked it.
When you feel like you’ve tried enough new stuff for a while, go through your list and look at all the activities and hobbies you like.
Then go through and try them again. Yes, I’m serious.
After all, the second time’s a charm.
In some cases, the novelty of the hobby or activity has worn off and you realize that hey, maybe this isn’t for you or that you weren’t as good at it as you thought. Again, don’t judge. Just move on.
Once you’ve tried everything again, the list of hobbies and activities you like is a lot more definitive.
Consider Your Passions
Deep down, what are you passionate about?
Hopefully, if you bothered to take a personality assessment per my recommendation above, you’ve recalled what sparks the fire of passion in your heart.
If that didn’t do it, then trying all those new things should have reminded you where your passions lie.
Now, just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t always mean you’re good at it, but the two are usually mutually exclusive.
After all, why would you foster such a strong passion for a hobby or activity if you weren’t at least somewhat talented at it?
I’ve written this before, but I want to remind you here that your passions aren’t always the best choices for a career or a side gig.
Relying on your passion as a source of income can take the fun and love out of it until you don’t feel passionate at all.
Ponder Your Accomplishments
If you’re still having a hard time gauging what you’re good at by now, then think back to any and all accomplishments you’ve achieved.
You can browse through your resume, as your professional achievements would likely be documented here. If you have awards, now is a good time to look through them.
People don’t receive merits and awards if they’re not good at something. That may go without saying, but I have to say it anyway.
Whether it was a big project that netted huge sales for your company, an award-winning article or piece of artwork, or some other record-breaking achievement, you did something awesome.
If you did it once, you can likely do it again! At the very least, you’re reminded of your talents.
Ask Your Loved Ones
Trying to figure out what you’re good at can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Why not ask the people who know you incredibly well such as your spouse or partner, your siblings, your parents, or your friends?
Now, is there a chance that you’re going to get a biased answer? Sure, depending on who you ask. For instance, your mom might tell you that you’re good at anything and everything.
That’s sweet, but it won’t help.
Maybe talk to a no-BS type of friend who can tell it to you straight.
I would recommend having the same conversation with your colleagues too. After all, the work you and the personal you are usually two different people.
Since your coworkers see a completely different side of you, they may rattle off skills that your friends didn’t mention.
After chatting with both circles, look at the talents they said you possess.
You may not agree with everything you were told, but I recommend you still consider those skills as a possible direction for your entrepreneurial ventures.
Your friends and colleagues wouldn’t steer you wrong. The self-doubt you’re facing can make it difficult to proceed sometimes, but tell yourself that if someone else sees good in you that you should try to see it too!
Hire an Expert
Perhaps you felt like everyone you talked to in your personal and professional life was too biased. In your opinion, they said what they did to not hurt your feelings. You don’t feel like you’re very talented at any of the things they mentioned.
In that case, then you might want to look into hiring a career coach.
A career coach will work with you to determine where you want to take your working life, whether you want to become a self-made entrepreneur or reach an elevated role in your current industry.
They’ll get to know your personality and then determine which steps you should take to meet your goals. Along the way, they’ll review how you’re doing and offer pointers for getting where you want to be.
A career coach will tell you objectively what you’re good at. You don’t have to worry about bias. This person isn’t your friend, so they won’t tell you what you want to hear.
They’re doing their job, and their job is to help you find a career you’re satisfied with. If a career coach told you that you’re awesome at coding when you’re only so-so at it and you decided to become a professional programmer, that coach would have no business working in such a role.
They would have guided you in a catastrophically wrong direction.
It’s for that reason that you can trust what a career coach says!
Finding your strengths is key to unlocking a rewarding job. Maybe that’s your full-time gig or only a side hustle, but either way, you’ll love doing it.
I hope the tips in this article have helped you determine what you’re good at. Now it’s time to share your talents with the world!