Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Finding Your Hidden Talent

I'm convinced everyone has at least one hidden talent. Not like touching your nose with your tongue (though that's also impressive, I can't even roll mine), but a genuine talent that you don't even know you possess, that could be used in your career, volunteer work, organizations, or even personal life. Perhaps you have an talent for poetry, or you pick up languages well. Maybe you're great with numbers or can sketch but haven't done it in years so forgot you're even any good. It doesn't have to be a physical talent. You may be a good leader or organizer. People might love your passion for a particular idea or cause  or the fact that you're a good listener, but it's something you've always taken for granted and never considered a talent.

When I started my blog, I knew that I enjoyed writing and I wanted to put my story "out there". Gradually, I began to post it on social media and get positive feedback from others. Slowly, my confidence started to build, and I decided to partake in both the Kindle Book Challenge, and 30 Day Blog and Linkedin Challenge through I AM WOMAN (link at the bottom of this page for more information). Both took a large amount of courage because, despite the positive comments I'd gotten on my blog in the past, including a few "you should write a book"s, I've generally been pretty convinced that if I show my writing to *real* writers (as in those who are published and have experience beyond a blog they produce themselves), it'll look totally rubbish compared to what they do.

The point of this blog, though, is not to tout my "success" at all. I just wanted to give that background as an example of a hidden talent I've found (I still feel weird calling it a talent but I'm trying!), utilizing it once you've discovered it, and how good it can feel to do so.

So how do you discover your hidden talent?
  • Examine the things you like to do in your spare time. (Eliminate things like "go out drinking with friends" unless you really feel your hidden talent involves beer in some way- and I'm not kidding on that ... I have friends that have become brew masters!). Are there any that you feel you are decent at, or that just really stick out as something you enjoy more than the rest? Note - I say decent because we often under estimate our own abilities. 
  • Ask your friends what your talents are. If you could have another career, or do volunteer work somewhere, what do they think you should do? What others see in you can tell you a lot because they're looking at it more objectively, with less of the negativities that can often alter our self-perceptions. 
  • If you could do or be anything, what would you d/be and why? Often our passions are a good indicator of where our abilities lie. After all, how many of us love to do only things we're terrible at? 
  • Look at the types of things you post and read on social media (or anywhere for the reading part). Do you see any themes? For instance if you always post things about animals, perhaps your hidden talent has something to do with working with animals. If you always share things about how to treat others, perhaps you'd be good working with those going through a difficult time. 
Keep track of the answers to the questions above. Do you see any commonalities? If not, which stick out in your mind as the most accurate or interesting? Give them some thought, and think about how you may be able to use these. It may be, like writing for me, something you just want to do for yourself right now. It may develop into more, or it may just be a form of relaxation and release for you - both of which would be excellent outcomes. On the other hand, you could discover something that you really want to use, either in a career, volunteer work, or some other way. However you choose to use it, I can almost guarantee you'll find something if you just try. And don't let yourself talk you out of it - it can be very easy to dismiss a friend's opinion as "I'm not really good at that, they're just humoring me". Chances are, they're not. There's really no point in them doing so -it's not like you're putting it on a resume for your dream job, you're just asking them their thoughts. So I'm curious - has anyone discovered a hidden talent? Did you find anything that surprised you? I'd love to hear!

This blog is written as part of the I AM WOMAN 30 Day Blog and LinkedIn Challenge


  1. Great post. I agree that we all need to find a talent. When I'm working with vulnerable people, I concentrate on what they can do 'their talents' rather than focus on what they can't.

    1. That's great! It's so easy for people, especially those feeling vulnerable, to focus on the can'ts, but then it also becomes a difficult cycle of negative feeling. Thanks for the comment!