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How to discover your strengths

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

Light your spark

Do you ever wonder if you're doing what you're supposed to be doing with your life? What if you have talents that could lead you down a new path and change everything for the better? Stop wondering and start doing. Uncover your strengths, light your inner spark and live life like you mean it!
Woman decorating cake

Do what you love

One sure way to get yourself moving in the right direction is to do more of the things that make you feel good and less of those that don't. If you love to write, start a blog. Who knows? That might lead to writing a book or a movie or a career in writing. If baking treats for friends and neighbors gives you great pleasure, take it one step further. Upgrade your packaging and look into selling your goodies at a local farmers market. Can't wait to bolt from your cubicle to the gym at the end of the day? Maybe your passion for pumping iron could lead to a profession in personal training.

Ask your friends

Go ahead and ask your friends what they think your strengths are. If nothing else, it will give you a nice ego boost. But we think you might be surprised at what they have to say. It's not always easy to self-identify what we're good at. Sometimes it helps to get an outside perspective. Are you creative, organized, a motivator, socially outgoing? Talk with your friends about the strengths they see in you, and brainstorm for how those strengths might lead you down a particular path. Get specific and talk through how your strengths might be applied in real world situations.

Have a vision board party

Vision boards can be instrumental in helping you identify your strengths. It's a lot more fun to make a vision board with friends, so invite your girlfriends over one evening for a vision board party. Ask them to bring a stack of magazines they don't mind cutting up and a pair of scissors. You provide large foam-core boards for each of your friends, plenty of glue sticks, snacks and drinks. Go ahead and make it a pajama party, so you can all sit comfortably while you get to work. Spread out the magazines, cut out any images or words that appeal to you, and see how your vision board unfolds.

Find a mentor

If you have an idea of where your untapped strengths lie, it may help to identify an individual who has achieved success in a related area. Chances are, your mentor would be happy to share tips and motivation to help you as you embark upon your new venture. Use this relationship to get hands-on experience. Think you might want to open a bookstore or cafe? Ask the owner of a shop you admire if you can work part time or volunteer in order to learn the ropes and see if it suits you.

Quick tip: Want more help discovering your strengths and following your passions? Read The Passion Test. This book includes a simple test that helps you identify your passions and develop an action plan:

Set goals

Sometimes setting a goal can be the kick in the pants you need to shake up the routine. It's easy to stagnate and just wonder what your strengths are — and wonder... and wonder — without doing a thing. Writing down a concrete goal forces you to identify a potential strength, make a plan of action and give it a whirl.

More on being your best self

Building esteem as a family
Esteem-boosting mantras
Creative ways to celebrate accomplishments

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