Unveil Your Natural Talents: Answering the Question "What Am I Good At?"
By Julian Lewis • September 20, 2023
Do you often find yourself pondering, "What am I good at?" You're not alone. This existential query not only haunts our minds during late-night contemplation but also plays a pivotal role in shaping our career paths. The essence of this question dives deep into our natural talents, the innate skills that make us exceptional in certain tasks, or the unexpected qualities we never knew we had. Identifying your unique strengths can empower you to lead a successful career, excel in job interviews, and ultimately live a fulfilling life.
In this comprehensive guide, we will:
- Dive into the difference between hard skills and soft skills, and why each set is critical in determining your career path.
- Explore various methods to discover your natural and innate talents.
- Discuss the unexpected qualities that could shape your professional life.
- Offer practical tips for turning these identified strengths into a tangible career path.
Join us in this enlightening journey as we help you navigate through aptitude tests, family opinions, and even some soul-searching to unveil your underlying superpowers. Whether you're entering the job market, considering a career shift, or simply wondering where your true skills lie, this guide aims to point you in the right direction. By the end, you'll not only have answers but also a newfound sense of empowerment and clarity. So, let's get started.
Join our Newsletter
Transform your career with our personal growth insights. Get one valuable tip right in your inbox every Saturday morning.
The Quest for Natural Talents
How often have you wondered, "What am I good at?" You're not alone if you find this question echoing in your mind more often than you'd like. In a perfect world, we would all be intrinsically motivated, zeroing in on our natural talents from a young age and following a career path paved with passion and skill. Yet, the reality is often far from this ideal scenario.
For many, the struggle of not knowing one's strengths can become a debilitating cycle, affecting not just career choices but also personal well-being. It's not uncommon for people to go through multiple job interviews, try out various new skills, and even undergo aptitude tests, all in the quest for that elusive answer. Yet, the search often seems fruitless. Why?
The answer could lie in how little we explore within ourselves. Your family members, friends, and even you yourself might dismiss aspects of your personality or skill set that are actually powerful indicators of where your innate talents are hidden. In this quest, we often overlook the obvious—those skills we're naturally good at, the tasks we find effortlessly simple, and the activities we're intrinsically motivated to do in our free time.
Understanding and leveraging your natural talents can serve as a powerful catalyst. Not only can it set you on the right career path, but it can also influence people around you, make you feel empowered, and imbue your life with a sense of purpose and direction.
So, if you're tired of feeling stuck and are ready to discover where your true strengths lie, read on. You're about to embark on a transformative journey to realize the full potential that has been within you all along.
The Building Blocks: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills
Now that you're intrigued by the quest to uncover your natural talents and set a course for a successful career, let's talk about some basics: hard skills and soft skills. These are the building blocks that will form the foundation of your career path, and you'll often hear these terms during job interviews and in professional settings. So, what do they mean?
Hard skills are easily measurable abilities that you acquire through formal education, specialized training, or on-the-job experience. Think of these as your technical competencies, ranging from coding and data analysis to event planning and foreign language proficiency. Essentially, they're the skills that often make it onto your resume's "Skills" section and can be validated through certifications, degrees, or practical assessments.
On the other end, we have soft skills—those nebulous qualities that are harder to quantify but are equally crucial. Soft skills encompass traits like communication, creativity, and emotional intelligence. These are the skills that enable you to work well with others, solve problems creatively, and adapt to new situations. Unlike hard skills, soft skills are often discovered over a lifetime of experiences and are intrinsically motivated. They may manifest as unexpected qualities that you naturally find yourself excelling at.
Both hard and soft skills have a role to play in your life and career. In fact, they often complement each other. For example, you could have a natural talent for computer programming (a hard skill) but also excel at team collaboration and leadership (soft skills). Understanding this interplay is crucial for anyone considering exploring new career possibilities, as both sets of skills will be your companions on this journey.
So, as you read on and think about what you are good at, remember that skills aren't one-dimensional. They are complex, layered aspects of your personality that will help you develop a full sense of where your strengths lie.
Methods to Discover What You're Good At
Wondering "What am I good at?" is a question that many people struggle with, but fear not! There are tangible steps you can take to discover your innate talents, and therefore, set a more informed and fulfilling career path for yourself.
Taking Aptitude Tests
A good starting point is aptitude tests. These tests often offer an array of questions designed to measure your skill level and natural inclinations in various fields. Whether it's analytical reasoning or creative thinking, these tests can serve as a tool to look for patterns in your strengths and weaknesses. While not the final say in what your natural talents are, aptitude tests can definitely steer you in the right direction.
Consulting with Friends and Family Members
Who knows you better than your friends and family? Sometimes a family member or a friend can provide an outside opinion that reveals something new about your capabilities. Their insights may bring attention to unexpected qualities or skills you possess that you might otherwise dismiss. While it's essential not to entirely base your self-perception on what others think, consulting your loved ones can offer a new perspective.
Exploring New Skills and Outside Opinions
Don't hesitate to step out of your comfort zone and try new skills. Whether it's diving into a cooking class or trying your hand at writing, you'll never truly know where your natural talents lie until you make an effort to explore. It's also helpful to consult with professionals or mentors in fields you're interested in. Their expertise can provide you with a sense of whether you naturally find those tasks easier to accomplish or if you have a good match in terms of skill and interest.
While these methods can help guide you, it's crucial to remember that the journey to realizing your natural talents is often an ongoing process. Feel empowered to spend time in introspection, consult trusted family and friends, and even consider exploring new possibilities for growth. Ultimately, the more you invest in understanding yourself, the more likely you are to develop a successful career that aligns with your skills and passion.
Natural Talent vs. Innate Talent: Is There a Difference?
If you've been following our exploration into uncovering what you're good at, you might wonder about the nuances between "natural talent" and "innate talent." Though they're often used interchangeably, understanding the subtleties between these two can help guide you further in your career path.
Defining Natural Talent and Innate Talent
Natural Talent: This term often refers to abilities that come more effortlessly to you than others. These can be skills you've picked up over the course of your life or perhaps something you've always had a knack for.
Innate Talent: This is the ability you're born with, often manifesting at an early age. Whether it's an exceptional skill in math or an extraordinary ability to connect with people, innate talents are those unique attributes that are hardwired into your being.
How to Identify Which You Have
Recognizing whether you have a natural talent or an innate talent can be as simple as considering when you first realized you were good at something. Was it something you picked up as you went along or did it always just "make sense" to you?
Understanding the difference between natural and innate talent isn't just an exercise in semantics; it's a crucial step toward realizing where your strengths lie and how best to nurture them. Knowing this can help you focus your efforts more effectively, allowing you to reach your full potential in your chosen career or life path.
For additional guidance, check out our life and career coaching FAQs.
Join our Newsletter
Transform your career with our personal growth insights. Get one valuable tip right in your inbox every Saturday morning.
Unexpected Qualities That Can Shape Your Career
When we're on the quest to discover what we're good at, we often overlook some unexpected qualities that can be game-changers in our career path. While many focus on mastering hard skills and highlighting their natural talents, they tend to dismiss aspects that might seem inconsequential but can actually be transformative.
The Aspects People Often Dismiss
Ever thought that your knack for organization or your ability to influence people was just a "side thing"? Many of us dismiss aspects like these, considering them less important than what we perceive to be our "real skills." Yet, it's often these very qualities that can set you apart in job interviews, provide you with creative ideas, or make you a good match for a position you've never considered exploring.
How Certain Tasks or Qualities Can Surprisingly Be What You're Naturally Good At
In a perfect world, we'd all be intrinsically motivated to only do things that make us shine. But people struggle with this, often due to the limits of their own perspectives. Have you ever taken a step back to look for patterns in tasks you enjoy during your free time? Perhaps you find joy in event planning with friends and family or you have a knack for solving problems that others find complicated. Sometimes, what you are naturally good at is hidden within these seemingly trivial activities.
Recognizing and valuing these unexpected qualities can open doors to new possibilities. This doesn't mean you have to overhaul your life; instead, it could simply be integrating these strengths into your existing career or using them as a launching pad for new opportunities.
This isn't just about making you feel empowered; it's about revealing your underlying superpowers that could very well shape the trajectory of your life and career. So don't just ask, "What am I good at?" Dive deeper into the less-obvious traits and tasks that you excel at and give yourself the chance to unlock a world of new opportunities.
Turning Talents Into a Career Path
Discovering your natural talents and strengths is an exhilarating experience, akin to finding hidden treasure within yourself. Yet, a question often remains: "Now that I know what I'm good at, what's next?" You're on the cusp of turning these discoveries into a fulfilling and successful career.
Steps to Take Once You Know Your Strengths
Having a detailed map of your natural and acquired skills is a starting point, but you have to take proactive steps to build a career path around them. So what's the game plan?
- Consult with Trusted Family and Friends: Sometimes an outside opinion can provide invaluable perspectives. Chat with family members and friends who know you well, as they might see skills or unexpected qualities that you've overlooked.
- Skill Level Assessments: Don't just settle with knowing what you're good at; find out your skill level. This can be through aptitude tests, job interviews, or even talking to people already in the field you're interested in.
- Embrace Lifelong Learning: As you gain new skills and knowledge, don't be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone. You might discover areas where your strengths lie that you hadn't even considered before.
- Strategize: Develop a plan that aligns with your career goals. Include milestones that can be measured and achieved. A roadmap will keep you intrinsically motivated and give you a sense of direction.
How to Feel Empowered and Intrinsically Motivated in Your Job
Work shouldn't just be a place where you clock in and clock out. You should feel empowered to bring your full potential into your job. When you integrate your natural talents and soft skills into your daily tasks, not only do you become more effective, but you also feel more intrinsically motivated to put in the effort. The right job should make you feel like you're spending your time in a meaningful way, allowing your creativity to flourish and bringing a sense of fulfillment into your life.
By following these steps, you'll find that building a career around what you're naturally good at is not just a dream, but an attainable reality.
Obstacles People Face
The journey to self-discovery and career fulfillment isn't always a straight path. In fact, many people struggle to figure out what they're naturally good at. Some even find themselves in jobs that make them question their worth, causing them to overlook their underlying superpowers. But why does this happen? Why do so many people struggle with realizing their strengths and talents?
Why People Struggle with Realizing What They're Good At
There are various reasons why people struggle to identify their own strengths. For one, societal norms often push us toward certain tasks and careers that might not align with our natural talents or interests. Another obstacle could be a lack of opportunity to explore new skills, especially when bogged down by the day-to-day responsibilities of life. The influence of family and friends can also be a double-edged sword, steering you in directions that might not be a good match for your unique abilities.
The Importance of Keeping an Open Mind and Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
To truly discover where your strengths lie, you need to keep an open mind and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Try to spend some free time exploring new ideas, solving problems, or even talking to new friends from different walks of life. Seek out experiences that push you to develop in areas you hadn't considered exploring before. Embrace the uncertainty, and don't be afraid to fail—it's all part of the process of discovering what makes you, you.
Recognize these obstacles not as dead-ends but as opportunities for growth and new possibilities. Your path may be filled with detours, but these can often lead you to a more fulfilling life and career.
Real-Life Success Stories
If you've ever doubted that understanding your natural talents can profoundly impact your life and career, prepare to be inspired. Below are real-life success stories that illustrate the transformative power of self-discovery. These individuals, from different walks of life, have successfully figured out what they're good at and have channeled their strengths into a fulfilling career path.
From a Part-Time Job to a Life-Changing Career
Meet Jane, a young woman who thought she was destined for a mundane job. She stumbled upon event planning while working a part-time job during her free time. Not only did she realize she had an innate talent for organization and influencing people, but she also discovered a passion she never knew existed. Today, Jane runs her own successful event planning business, feeling empowered and intrinsically motivated every day.
The Software Engineer Turned Artist
Then there's Mark, a software engineer who always had an itch for art but never considered it more than a hobby. After taking some aptitude tests and consulting with family members, he found that his natural talents lay in creativity and visual thinking. He decided to switch gears, focusing on digital art. His art has been showcased in various exhibitions, and he has never felt more aligned with his career.
The Teacher with a Gift for Writing
Sarah was a high school teacher who loved her job but always felt something was missing. It was only after writing a blog post that went viral did she realize her true calling. Her natural talent for writing and storytelling captured the hearts of readers globally. Sarah now balances teaching and freelance writing, making the most out of both worlds.
These individuals didn't find their calling overnight. It took courage, an open mind, and a willingness to explore new skills and listen to outside opinions. But they all found their path, and so can you.
Unveiling Your Underlying Superpowers
As we've traversed the intricate landscape of self-discovery, one common thread emerges: Understanding what you're naturally good at is not just a journey into your own skills and talents; it's a voyage into the core of your being, your underlying superpowers. Recognizing your natural and innate talents can significantly influence your career and personal life, steering you towards a path where you feel both empowered and intrinsically motivated.
We've explored methods for identifying these talents, from taking aptitude tests to seeking the counsel of friends and family. We delved into the importance of both hard and soft skills and highlighted how unexpected qualities might, in reality, be your hidden strengths. Furthermore, we considered how to turn these talents into a career path and examined the obstacles people face in recognizing their true potential.
The journey of self-discovery is a deeply personal and enriching experience. Remember, life is too short to spend it unaware of the incredible abilities you possess. Don't dismiss aspects of yourself that can elevate your career and life to new heights. Keep an open mind, and most importantly, be willing to step out of your comfort zone. Start today; unveil your natural talents and answer that age-old question: "What am I good at?"
Read more about: Professional Development
About Julian Lewis
Julian Lewis is a driven and accomplished professional with a passion for driving positive change in the business world. He is the co-founder and COO at Zella Life.
His own experience as a professional of color in a Fortune 500 company led him to discover the limitations for advancement that many professionals like himself face. Determined to reach his full potential, Julian became an established business coach and entrepreneur, committed to supporting others in their pursuit of personal and professional growth.
Today, Julian is a recognized corporate trainer, coach, and leader, known for his ability to leverage real-life experiences and evidence-based methodologies to affect positive change within individuals and organizations. As the leader of Zella Life's coaching division, he is dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses to achieve their full potential.
Professional Development: Why It's Pivotal for Your Career Growth
Discover the importance of continuous learning and how professional development boosts career growth.
Leadership Accountability in the Modern Organization
Learn how accountable leaders demonstrate a commitment to duty & foster team success. At Zella Life, we show you how leadership accountability can make a difference.
Going to Work Happy: Achieve Job Satisfaction at Hard Rock International
Transform your workday! This guide from Hard Rock International shows you how to nurture meaningful relationships and well-being for a more joyful job.
Proficient vs Efficient: What's the Difference?
Uncover the subtle differences between being proficient and efficient. Gain a deep understanding of what each term means and how to achieve maximum productivity.
Mastering Self-Directed Learning: A Comprehensive Guide
Unlock the power of self-directed learning with this complete guide. Learn to navigate your own learning process and employ learning strategies for success.
Externship vs Internship: What's the Difference?
Learn the key differences between an externship and internship. Discover which option best fits your career goals.
From darkness to light: the stages of spiritual awakening
Discover the transformative stages of spiritual awakening in "From Darkness to Light". Explore the journey of inner growth and enlightenment as we delve into the challenges, insights, and breakthroughs of this profound experience. Unleash your potential and unlock the power of your spirituality. Read now to begin your journey to spiritual enlightenment.
Building Connections: The Art of Meaningful Relationships
Dive into the essence of building connections and developing relationships. Enhance your social skills and form meaningful relationships in all areas of life.
Zella Life's Guide to Conflict Management Training
Dive deep into conflict management skills and training. Resolve workplace disputes effortlessly with Zella Life's courses.
How To Stop Worrying About Yourself: Steps to Mental Well-being
Tired of constant worrying? Discover powerful strategies to stop worrying instantly, manage chronic stress, and take positive actions for good mental health.
Identifying emotional triggers: how to respond in a healthy way
Learn how to identify emotional triggers and respond in a healthy way with our comprehensive guide. Discover effective strategies for identifying triggers and managing emotional responses, including mindfulness, emotion regulation techniques, cognitive restructuring, setting boundaries, and self-care practices. Take control of your emotional well-being and improve your relationships, work, and overall quality of life by learning to identify and manage emotional triggers.
Boost Your Business Performance with Big Picture Thinking
Discover how big picture thinking can fuel strategic thinking and revolutionize your business performance. Step into future-mindedness with Zella Life.
Optimizing outcomes: Tips for successful organizational workshops
Discover the key to successful organizational workshops with our expert tips on Optimizing Outcomes. Learn how to maximize productivity and drive positive change in your organization. Read now for a comprehensive guide to optimizing workshop outcomes.
Unlocking Leadership Excellence with Executive Coaching
Elevate your business and leadership skills with top executive coaches. Discover how executive coaching can be a game-changer for your career.
Be the best version of you: 11 tips for living your best life
Looking to live your best life? Check out our 11 tips for being the best version of yourself. From prioritizing self-care to setting achievable goals, this post covers everything you need to know to start living your best life today. Start taking steps towards a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life with our expert advice.
Emotion Wheel: A Dive into Primary Emotions
Unravel the mysteries of the emotion wheel & explore primary emotions. Dive into emotional intelligence and its significance.
Resolving workplace conflict: essential strategies for modern managers
Discover strategies for managing workplace conflict effectively. Learn the key role of managers and practical tips for workplace conflict management.