If you are like me, you grew up in a generation that didn’t really pay too much attention helping us focus on what our talents were.
When I grew up, talent were seen as sporting talent, or musical talent, or artistic talent and the like. And if you didn’t fit into one of those categories, then you weren’t talented.
If you were sitting in front of me now, and I asked you, ‘what are you talented at?’ what would you say back to me? Or if I said, “what is your gift?”
Did your body just go into freak out? And your mind go, ‘holy shit’? Or shrink or withdraw?
If it did, no matter, it’s normal sweet human human.
Unless your talent is an obvious, socially acceptable talent, then it’s highly likely you don’t know because you haven’t been validated because of it.
Talents and gifts are a tricky things, to be fair.
Often, we have a particular talent that everyone can see, but because it is innate to us, we don’t actually see it as a talent, and more of a ‘yeah, but everyone can do that’.
Just today, I was having a conversation with my 11 year old, about how someone couldn’t understand something that she found so easy and effortless to navigate.
Often, its the things that are easy and effortless for us, that have gifts and talents wrapped up in it, and we do it so naturally, we can’t see it as a gift!
If I was to sit across from you and ask you, “what is my talent?” I wonder if you would have a different reaction to when I asked what your talent is.
It seems easier to see what others have a natural flair for then ourselves.
Did you know, that there are some people in the world that believe they don’t have a talent or talents?
And I can totally understand why by the way! We are brought up in a world that is geared toward educating the masses. And not really sitting and really zero-ing on on what our individual talents are. So, don’t feel bad if you don’t know what yours are.
And maybe you are one of them.
Maybe you are still thinking that a talent must be something really big and grand and that if you aren’t representing your country in it, then you don’t have a talent.
Maybe you are like a lot of folks who see gifts and talents as being able to sing, or perform, or act, or paint, or speak in public.
But let’s shift our wee little glance for a second.
A talent is something that you posses that when expressed, adds value not to just the lives of others, but to you as well.
When you are expressing your talent, you feel energised and full, and purposeful. It’s kind of effortless.
It the things that you can do with ease that you genuinely enjoy.
Not just what you are good at or have practiced a lot at.
It’s a charge. An essence. An embodied expression.
You may have a talent for listening. Like deep listening. Really hearing where someone is at. Trust me, not everyone has that as a talent. I know many more people willing to talk than listen. True listening is a talent.
Maybe you have a talent for motivating others. If you have ever been around someone who has this talent, you kind of can’t help but want to do whatever they are encouraging. It’s a gift that!
Or maybe you are insanely curious..yep, that is a natural talent.
Perhaps your talent is making folks feel comfortable in a new setting. Or solving complex puzzles or directing traffic with ease.
It could be that you have a talent for seeing talent in other people. Could be that you have a talent for taking candid photographs, or making iMovies, or arranging items in your house that make it just feel “ahhhhhhh”.
So many folks undervalue their talents. And yet, the world needs our unique expression of our talents. Not just the world, but we need it too. It makes us feel purposeful and meaningful and whole.
Below are a few ways that might help you zero in on your natural talents. Because humans, the world needs us all to express our natural talents. Because when people are connected to building on their natural gifts and talents, folks feel better and when folks feel better, that shit is contagious!!
1. What do people thank you for?
After you have had an interaction with someone or a group of people, what are folks most likely to thank you for? Did you make them something, or teach them something, or give them suggestions or advice? Have a moment to think, what do folks thank me for?
2. Check out your bookshelf.
Often what we are talented at will lead us to gather up content that aligns with that. We are drawn to things that resonate with us. Let your bookshelf we a reflection of what you are naturally connected with. If it’s romance books, perhaps you are talented at relationship building or, intimacy, could even be sex!
3. Who do you admire?
Again, we are likely to be drawn to like. When you think of the 3 people you most admire, what are the qualities that speak to you? That you are in awe of? Also, while we are on the topic of checking out who we admire, also consider who you are jealous of (that is normal by the way). What is it you see them expressing and would like to express as well? Let that give you some more insight.
4. Keep a journal or do morning pages.
I first heard of morning pages when we read the book, “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron in book club. The process is to write 3 pages of free flow writing, first thing every morning. No structure, no rules, just write. Then, after you have written, you rip it up and get on with your day. The process is to allow any stuck energies to move (from head out to paper) and free up valuable space in your creative brain centres. I completely recommend this as a process! Keeping a journal on the other hand, allows you to free flow, but to then go back and review and sort through any common links in your words. Like a treasure hunt. Both are extremely valuable.
5. Ask your closest friend what they think.
Like I said earlier, sometimes it is hard to see our own innate gifts and talents. By asking someone who is close to us, that we feel like will share the truth with us, and who isn’t envious of us, it can help to get a clearer mirror of our talents.
6. Ask your family what you like to do as a child.
Maybe as a child you liked to play alone, or loved making up stories, or danced around the room while singing and dancing. Or maybe you were always telling jokes, or reading books, or acting out scenes. By engaging in play, the brain has the best chance of releasing talents and gifts. Most likely, those activities are still connected with us today, but sometimes becoming an adult makes us a little bit serious!
7. What do you spend your money on?
Are you more likely to spend money on a music concert or a personal growth course? Are you more likely to buy gifts for others or buy more books or clothes? When you follow the money trail, it helps get clear on what you value most.
8. Take a personality test.
I really enjoy personality test things. I never used to, because I hated being put in a box. But now that I understand the idea of taking what vibes and leaving the rest, I find it fun and enlightening. The Meyers Briggs test I find is pretty accurate. The one I have attached here is an online test, but you can have these administered by certified coaches and psychologists as well. To do the test on line it’s going to cost about $50 or so. A spin off of the Myers Briggs is 16 personalities which when I did it was a little spooky on how it connected with me (I’m and ENFP in both cases, in case you are curious). I also really enjoyed the detailed information I received from the Gallup Strengths Finder as well.
9. Book a session with a coach or career councillor.
We don’t know what we don’t know. And sometimes, just sitting with someone who has a talent for listening and taking what they hear and helping you sieve down the information is priceless. Sometimes you have to work through a bit of shit to get there, but it’s all part of the journey of getting to know and like ourselves more and more. If you’d like to have this experience, I offer a 3 session Path Re-Ignition package to help guide you in the direction that your body and soul wants to go. Get in touch with me to book yours in. Done in person, or via Skype, we can get you clear and focussed.
I hope that some of that helps you feel less hard on yourself if you are still not clear on what your talent is.
Until next we meet, keep being brave, keep showing up and keep sharing beautiful you.