How to discover your strengths

Here are some suggestions as to how to discover your core strengths.  

  1. Gifts are often apparent in childhood. What did you enjoy doing as a child? What did you do in your spare time? Stephen Covey asks, “Starting with your earliest memory, what did you really like doing and did well?” 
  2. What do you do well that you didn’t have to go to school to learn (although formal education may have enhanced your strength)? For instance, someone with the gift of writing may study creative writing in college to hone her gift, but it was innate before she went to college. 
  3. Other people are often amazed when they see you exercising your strength, but it’s so natural for you that you think, “This is no big deal.”
  4. If you were a member of a village of 100 residents, how could you contribute best? 
  5. In what areas might other people accuse you of being obsessive?
  6. We are energized when we function in our strengths; instead of being fatigued we feel invigorated. What energizes you in life?  
  7. Functioning in your natural strength gives you a sense of joy and fulfillment. What do you feel deep satisfaction doing?
  8. Marcus Buckingham asks, “What are your spontaneous, top-of-mind reactions to situations you encounter?” 
  9. Buckingham also observes, “The best way to identify someone’s talent is to observe his behavior over time.” What behaviors do you exhibit “over time”? Strengths are enduring. What strengths have you been able to sustain for many years?