We are all good at different things and have inherent personality traits. There’s no easier way to illustrate this than to think of families with two very different children, born to the same parents. One of your children may have been born difficult and wildly creative and fun. Maybe the other was born quiet, analytical, and sweet.
Or maybe they share many similar personality traits, but anyone who really knows them can see how different they are. Children, even those with the same circumstances in life, think and create differently. They want to do different things and they approach the creative process in different ways.
This holds true for you as well. There’s no one else on this planet that thinks like you do. There’s no one else on this planet that has your set of strengths and your creative potential. That makes it your job to unleash your creative potential based on your strengths—you’re doing the world a disservice if you don’t.
I’ve spent a lot of time in this book telling you to try different things so you can become more creative. That’s to get you out of your comfort zone and give your mind additional input from which to be creative. But, I don’t mean to say that you should leave your natural strengths behind as you try these exercises. Your strengths are what make you who you are. They are going to shape which creative ideas you get out into the world.
So, yes, you have to try new and different things. But you can also stick with what works for you–the things you’re naturally good at and that you enjoy doing. Focusing on strengths is as important as out of the box, out of your comfort zone, thinking. Paying attention to both helps you become a more well-rounded person, leading to more creativity.
What Are Your True Strengths?
It’s very surprising how many people ignore their natural talents—or don’t even know what they are. They try to fit themselves into whichever box life has put them in. Do you know what your true strengths are?
Maybe you were really good at a certain activity when you were younger. But people told you to grow up, stop chasing your dream, and focus on something of THEIR choosing. Your natural talents and inclinations may have faded away as if they were never part of you. These strengths have been dulled over time—long forgotten. But they are still part of you, and you can get them back.
As part of your journey, I want you to think about what your true strengths are. Whether you regularly use your strengths and talents or not, now’s the time to identify them. Really think about what they mean for your life and your work.
Nurture Your Strengths
Depending on your level of awareness of them, you may not be feeding and nurturing your strengths. Do you regularly practice them and put them to good use? Just like you have to feed your creativity, you have to feed your strengths. Absorb new information and practice your skills so you develop incredible knowledge about your natural area of interest. Knowledge gives you the power to be more creative and form new connections.
We all have a natural inclination to be a certain way and to be interested in certain things. You have something to offer the world that no one else has to offer. But first, you have to figure out what your strengths are.
Brainstorm To Figure It out
Start brainstorming your strengths. Maybe you’re really good at organization. Or maybe you are a fantastic writer. Maybe you have a natural empathy that allows you to work exceptionally well with others. Or perhaps you’re great with numbers, and can calculate just about anything in your head.
It’s hard for some people to zero in on their strengths, because it can almost feel like bragging. It’s kind of sad when you think about it, but we’re often taught to dumb down our strengths and not ever tell other people what we’re good at. In doing that, we often swing the other way–we forget what we’re all about. We neglect talents and strengths we were gifted with.
Take a Personality Quiz
It can also help you to take a personality quiz, such as the Myers Briggs. This can show you your working style and your way of relating to other people. This personality quiz is commonly given in workplaces as a way of demonstrating that we all have different strengths and ways of relating. Take this quiz, or something like it, on your own, as it will offer a lot of insights into what you are good at. This personal understanding can help to open your creative mind.
How Do Your Strengths Apply to What You Do?
Now that you’ve had time to zero in on your strengths, consider how you can use those strengths in your line of work. If you’re in a job you dislike, it’s possible you aren’t using your natural strengths at all. This disconnect causes a lot of trouble for you. But it’s also possible to ignore your inborn strengths while working for yourself, because you’d never really given it thought before.
Think about whether you’re happy and whether you feel what you’re doing is naturally in line with who you are. Start to brainstorm ways you can bring your strengths to the forefront of your life now. What can you do differently to make use of the way you naturally are?
Now that you’ve taken the time to identify your strengths, work on making them even stronger. Seek out activities that improve or make use of your strengths. This, combined with exploring new things out of your comfort zone, will help you become more creative on the whole. You’ll have more information to work from and a better understanding of who you are and what you want to do.
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