The key to fulfillment, life coaches believe, is to recognize and make the most of your “core strengths.” If you figure out what you are best at, and take advantage of these skills, a rewarding life will follow.
Everyone has a range of abilities, but the things that we do just because we are good at them, or because other people value them, may not be the things that make us happy. These strengths are simply a means to an end. True fulfilment comes from building our lives on our core strengths, the ones we most enjoy using.
But how do we start to identify these specific abilities among all the tasks we complete every day? One good way is to ask yourself a series of open-ended questions, such as:
What do I love doing?
What am I often complimented for?
When am I happiest and most “in the moment”?
What makes me unique, in each area of life?
Try finishing these sentences: “I am really good at…”, “I find it easy to…”, “Faced with a challenge, the way I approach it is…”, “The talents that I use are…”
It may also be illuminating to ask your friends, family and colleagues where they believe your strengths lie. They may think you already know, so have not mentioned it before. Ask them: “What do you value most about me?” “What is the most interesting thing about me?” “What do you think my strengths are?”
The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of where your core strengths and passions lie. These skills can be practical, such as computer literacy, or less tangible, such as the ability to make people laugh. You can then focus your attention on the results, the core strengths that make you unique and can help you achieve great success and fulfilment.
The Three Realms of Core Strengths
Core strengths generally fall into the three key areas of play, personal and work. But of these, the personal area is fundamental. It might include optimism, generosity, energy, empathy, or honesty. These comprise the background of every activity you undertake.
The work area does not simply include paid employment, but all purposeful activity such as money management, housekeeping, or volunteer work. Strengths in this area may include organization and planning, time management, leadership or problem-solving.