Chapter 30

30: How to Unearth Your Hidden Strengths

Have you ever realized that you, like anyone else, have a gold mine of strengths deep down within yourself? Most of us are unaware of the fact that we possess such hidden talents. The rest of us, even if we know that they are there within us, do not know how to bring the strengths out into the open and put them to use in improving the quality of our life or in leading a more fulfilling life. Let us explore ways and means of unearthing our hidden strengths to enrich our lives.

To begin with, you must believe that you have some inherent strengths. Banish all negativity in thought and action. Never say to yourself, “I can’t. I don’t have it within me.” Instead, think that you have the strength within you to encounter any situation, no matter what that is, and that you can, and you surely will, succeed in dealing with it in an appropriate manner. Remember, self-belief is confidence and gaining confidence is half the battle.

The next step is to start exploring your self. Closely examine your background, the genetic as well as the acquired. Not that you have not done this before. You might very well have. Now you need to do it more systematically. Write down what you inherited from your parents or grandparents. If you don’t think you’ve inherited any, think about what they have taught you. Is it possible that somewhere deep within you, you have those very strengths, but you have not realized that you could use them? List all the strengths and talents of your parents or grandparents. See if some or all of them you can put to use. For instance, does music run in the family? Did you ever notice that your mother had tons of patience? You too may have it within you, without being aware of it. Have you ever noticed that you have, by nature, a way with words that others you know do not have? Have you not put this skill to good use? Maybe you are endowed with a strong physique, but you are not aware of the ways in which your physical strength can be utilized profitably. Explore, experiment and, finally, exploit. That should be your strategy in drawing out your strengths into the open.

Educational strengths
Your acquired background appears to you to be easier to analyze. But actually it needs a more detailed examination. Again, draw up a detailed list of the strengths your education and training have given you. What is the skill set you have acquired? Are you utilizing your skills and your talents to their fullest extent? Have you pursued your interests, converted some of them into hobbies, and thought of the possibility of turning at least one of the latter into a second profession? Enlist your inner strengths like composure, compassion, conflict-resolution, self-control, perseverance or determination etc. for achieving success in your life.

This is not once in a lifetime exercise. As your life keeps progressing, periodical reviews of your strengths help you pinpoint unknown strengths that may help lead you down the right path. Who knows, you may strike gold!