rediscover your strengths and talents

The other day I asked a mom I mentor to tell me about herself and introduce herself to our group. She later admitted it took a while to formulate and post an answer. She is not alone.

As mothers, this can be a particularly awkward question to answer, especially if we have allowed our role of ‘mommy’ to fade out our other strengths and talents.

If someone had asked me this question three years ago, when I had four children 5 years old and under, my answer would have been short and sweet. I would have probably rambled on about my lack of sleep and the crazy amount of empty bottles and dirty laundry.

At that time, my talents and strengths were buried — or so I thought. Turns out I’m a very strategic thinker, and that came in very handy when I had two hungry babies, one sleeping preschooler, and a dance carpool to manage.

Everyone has talents (even you)

Our greatest strengths emerge through our sacred duty of motherhood. But we also have talents we were born with that can get neglected as we parent.

You have a unique set of strengths and gifts that only you possess. This gift mix makes you one of a kind and incredibly valuable to your family and your community. Using your gift mix will bring you happiness because you’ll be doing what you were born to do.

Has it been a while since you took the time to identify your talents? Do you know your personality strengths?

In his book “StrengthsFinder 2.0,” New York Times best-selling author Tom Rath offers a wonderful formula to identify your strengths. He suggests, “the most successful people start with dominant talent — and then add skills, knowledge, and practice to the mix.”

So, for those visual types, this offers us a nice formula: Talent (or gift) X Investment = Strength.

How to identify your strengths

Rath also writes, “You cannot be anything you want to be — but you can be a lot more of who you already are.” Amen.

So, who are you? What talents do you have? What is in your gift mix? Here are 12 fill-in-the-blank questions to ask yourself and help you understand your strengths (It’s OK to have multiple answers to a single question).

1. Someday I really want to ______________.

2. When I was a kid I dreamed I would ____________.

3. I’ve only tried it a few times but I really like ____________.

4. My friends call me when they need help with ____________.

5. I could teach a how-to class about _____________.

6. Something someone else has done that I just know I could do too is _____________.

7. A homemade gift I would make would include ______________.

8. If I skipped out on work for a day, I would _________________.

9. I could help others by _____________.

10. I am fulfilled when _______________.

11. I really enjoy ________________.

12. The things I do that really excite me are ______________.

Let’s stop trying to be someone we are not and focus on our strengths rather than our flaws and weaknesses.

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