Episode 3: How to Develop your innate gifts and passions
A key part of our personal growth is developing our innate gifts and talents. How well does your work support this process? Learn the key elements to do work that aligns with who you are:
- Discover how to determine what your innate gifts and characteristics are
- Gain insight into how to develop and harness these gifts for the benefit of everyone
I believe that the most important element in our professional success is our personal growth. One of the steps in our personal growth is to develop our innate gift and talents. We grow personally when we excel at what we’re doing and can make our highest contribution. Think about your own life experiences. When have you been immersed in work that captured your passion? When has the opposite been the case? What difference did that make in the results you produced and the fulfillment you experienced?
Growth, which is another word for improvement, happens naturally when we do the things we like to do and are good at doing. When we focus our efforts in these areas, we have more potential to continue to improve. We bring a substantial amount more energy and enthusiasm to the tasks. We also access more intelligence and creativity when fully engaged in these activities.
Reaching Your Full Potential
If the work you do doesn’t allow you to do things for which you have passion and can develop your innate abilities, you’ll never reach your full potential professionally. Also, your organization will never get the most value out of what you have to offer. Grinding away at work we don’t enjoy saps our energy and lowers our engagement level. That’s why developing our innate gifts and talents offers so much potential for growth.
Determine What You Enjoy
One of the first steps in developing our innate gifts and talents is to focus on doing what we truly enjoy doing. When you think back to when you were a young child, there were things you wanted to do and things you didn’t want to do. These are great clues to innate gifts and talents.
When I think back to my childhood, I did not like a lot of things other boys my age liked such as building things. I also had limited interest in trucks, cars, and trains. I wanted to interact and talk to people. These clues are not the entire picture but provide a good start.
Aligning work with Innate Abilities
If you want to make some changes so that the majority of the work you do aligns with your abilities, the first step is to get clear on what these abilities are. Often, people aren’t sure what these gifts are due to distorted messages they’ve received from themselves and others. Sometimes they don’t know because they simply haven’t used them much.
I learned this the hard way early in my career. I worked as an accountant in my first four jobs out of college. The problem was that the work I did was not a fit with my innate abilities. Being a good accountant required someone who is very detail oriented and tends to follow policies and procedures closely. That’s not me! I became good at getting accounting jobs but poor at keeping accounting jobs. When I left accounting and went into sales, I found that I enjoyed what I did and was good at it because it fit my core nature.
Think about yourself for a moment. How much of the work you do is aligned with your natural abilities? Are you a top performer who enjoys what you do or do you feel that most of your job duties are not aligned with your natural abilities?
Most people find it helpful to get objective, science-based information on their innate talents by using a high-quality assessment tool. There’s a lot of confusion around assessments, and many have severe limitations that go beyond the scope of this article. I’ll talk about assessments in my next article.
Develop the abilities you possess
Once you have more clarity on your innate talents you can then start the process of moving into work that aligns with these traits By understanding the specific traits or talents involved in different types of jobs; you can gain a sense of how well it aligns with the way you are designed. This often involves advocating for yourself to take on more of the work that’s in your wheelhouse by helping others understand how this benefits them as well. Most people want you to make the highest contribution you can so that you contribute more to their success. Often they need your help to realize what this contribution is.
The more time and effort you invest in developing your abilities, the greater the level of skill and productivity you can contribute to others. When you do work that truly aligns with who you are, you’re set up to excel professionally, contribute more to others and have far greater personal satisfaction.
Most people have inaccurate or incomplete views of their greatest strengths, so they can’t be their absolute best. If you’d like to get clear on your greatest personal strengths, I’m offering a free science-based, objective assessment to help you. Click here to get yours today.
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- Episode 9: The gift of self-awareness – Five steps to access this treasure - June 26, 2019