Find Your Hidden Talent

Wish you could sing like the ladies of Mary Mary? Or paint a picture like an artist? We all have a talent to be proud of, but we don’t always take the time to tap into it, says Dr. Nicola Bunting, an internationally renowned personal and professional coach and author of Who Do You Want to Be?

“The best approach is to be proactive and devote some time to exploring not only your strengths, but your passions," she says. "The New Year is the perfect time to take a step forward and really shine a light on yourself.”

The best way to start is to ask yourself a few simple questions:

What comes easily to me? Dr. Bunting suggests starting a journal so you can jot down the activities you excel at doing. “Too often, people ignore their strengths because we simply take them for granted. They tend to be invisible. And we think we need to focus on something more challenging, like learning a new skill. But discovering your talent—whether it’s for a hobby or a career change—should actually be enjoyable.”

Dr. Bunting suggests writing down your top five strengths.” Not sure what they are? Start by asking yourself, “What are the times in life when I’ve had the most success?”

What do others think? Don’t forget to ask those that know you best what they think your strengths are—you might be surprised what they come up with. People often see skills and positive personality traits that we don’t see in ourselves.

When am I at my best? Think about the times in your life where you’ve truly shined. Maybe it was putting together the floral centerpieces at your friend’s wedding or listening to a loved one who was going through a rough time. “Finding your talent is the first step, and then if you’re able to spin it into a new career or business endeavor, then that’s a bonus,” says Dr. Bunting.

What do I value? It’s not just about what you’re good at, says Dr. Bunting. You also want to feel good while doing it. Take stock on what’s most important to you in life: love, creativity, vitality, etc.

Does it make me happy? Figuring out what you’re passionate about and what you find most enjoyable is another crucial step in discovering your true talents. After all, if you enjoy an activity, then you’re more likely to want to do it again and again (and practice makes perfect!).

Will I make time for it? “Too often, women put themselves on the bottom of the to-do list,” says Dr. Bunting. “We feel guilty taking time out to find out what really brings us fulfillment. But the truth is, when we find out what we love to do, it benefits everyone around us, including your spouse and kids.”