Insecurity: How to Know Your Strengths
At job interviews, there comes a point when they ask you about your strengths.
I never liked that question.
It was already hard enough not to sweat like an onion, try to come across as a confident interviewee, and answer every question in the right possible way.
But avoiding that question was impossible so I had to prepare it.
What are you good at?
As someone who struggled with her confidence, I didn't think I was good at anything. Or good enough at anything.
Sure, I was social. I could have a nice conversation with someone.
I thought my writing was mediocre but better than that of the average person.
And I considered myself a team player—does that count as a strength?
I shared these answers but if I was honest, I wasn't sure if those were really my strengths.
That had to change.
If I wanted to deal with my insecurity, I had to know what I am good at.
And I had to believe it.
I figured that I owed God an exploration of how He designed me. I needed to discover what strengths He put in me.
To be able to do that, I collected a couple of ways or tactics that would help me.
And since I would love for you to know your strengths as well so you can become more confident, I'd share them in today's blog.
#1 Ask the people around you
When I was going through career coaching sessions, one assignment I had to do was to ask people in my inner circle what I was profound at. These people know you and can share their opinions.
I sent out an email with a survey made in Google Forms where friends and family could fill out what they thought I do well. Of course, sometimes the answers didn't really resonate, but remember that the answers are their perceptions. It's not the complete truth, it's meant to help you in your discovery journey.
I can highly recommend the exercise.
It's not just informative, it's also like taking a warm bath when you read all those compliments.
#2 Ask yourself: when do you get the most appreciation?
To answer this question, you have to dig deep into your memory. Think of any situations or events when people complimented you for what you did.
Sometimes people don't tell you but you notice a change in behavior, positively, or you can sense their appreciation. What was it for? What did you do? Or say?
#3 Ask yourself: what were you good at?
What, in the past years, were you good at? Go as far back as childhood.
At school, did a teacher point something out?
At work, was there something you were complimented for?
There are little hints that you can pick up along the way. We have a tendency to skip over compliments and such hints but they are needed to inform us about our strengths.
#4 Ask yourself: what things require no effort but are done well by you?
You can spot a talent easily: it's the thing you're good at but doesn't require much effort.
Do you make the best meals without much thought?
Do you write with great ease?
Do numbers have no secrets for you?
Do you create formulas for calculations in a fraction of a second?
Then it might be a talent. And a talent is definitely part of your palette of strengths. Note that it can be hard to realize your talent, as you don't deem it special since it doesn't cost you any effort. But that's exactly why it's a talent and why you're good at it 🙂.
#5 Ask yourself: what are things you do for fun?
What you answered on #4 is probably something you enjoy as well. But it doesn't have to be. Sometimes you are good at something that you don't particularly enjoy.
I, for example, am good at organizing stuff but I don't necessarily enjoy it that much. It is a strength, but one I'd rather not develop more or use too often.
Writing, on the other hand, is something I love and am talented at.
Now, how would you rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 5 on how good you are at a certain task If it's a 5, it's definitely a strength.
#6 Take a personality test
If coming up with answers to previously mentioned questions is still hard for you, it will be helpful to take a personality test.
A test can also affirm the answers that you've given.
For those two reasons, I would recommend doing a test.
One that I took that I'm very positive about is:
The thing with these tests is that they can be daunting or make you endlessly doubt a certain answer.
Therefore, try to go with your first response. Don't overthink and be as honest as possible. Or else, you will go mad—at least I know I do.
Answer from the person that you are, not the person you want to be.
After finishing the test, answer these questions:
1. What personality are you?
2. What are your strengths according to the test?
And do they overlap with your own answers?
#7 Clifton Strengths
This last resource is an incredible one.
I had the opportunity to do a test based on Clifton Strengths and discuss my results with an expert, Gina Marie Lokken.
Doing a test like this and being able to discuss it, is the best way to understand yourself better and become more confident.
Asking for help is never a bad idea. If you can't figure it out yourself, don't hesitate to reach out to someone.
If you want to know more about Clifton Strengths and how others can help you, I invite you to listen to my podcast episode with Gina Marie. Gina Marie is an amazing woman whose desire for helping other women become confident and utilize their strengths is contagious.
Document your process
If you want to determine once and for all what you're good at, try a couple of the suggestions I mentioned. I know from my own experience that they are really helpful when it comes to exploring what you're good at.
What you should not forget is to log your process. Our busy lifestyles make it easy to forget where we came from and what we discovered.
Seriously, create a place where you write down what you're good at because you will forget ;). I have it written down in the front of my planner for example.
I pray for you that God reveals how beautifully He's made you. It's an amazing discovery🙂!