How to Uncover Secret Personal Strengths You Never Knew You Had

By Kelsey Brown

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If someone asked you to write down your best friend’s personal strengths and then write down your own, chances are, your friend’s list would be twice as long as yours. This isn’t abnormal at all, as we typically find it easier to identify others’ personal strengths than our own.

However difficult it may be, becoming aware of your personal strengths is an important life skill. It can help you develop more confidence, self-awareness, achieve goals, and also establish a deeper appreciation for the things that make us all different.

You may already know a few of your primary personal strengths due to life experiences, but you’re very likely to have some untapped personal strengths just waiting to be explored. Uncovering your secret personal strengths is a process, but the tips below can help you achieve greater clarity over time by encouraging self-discovery and personal growth.

Ask a close friend or a loved one

finding personal strength

Sometimes it’s difficult to objectively analyze your own strengths or weaknesses. So instead, why not find out what other people think about you? Consult with a close friend or a loved one who is very familiar with you and is willing to be honest. It’s important to consult with trusted friends or family members who know you very well and have your best interests in mind.

Analyze your failures

By analyzing your failures, you can practice more self-awareness. For example, ask yourself, “What is one mistake I keep making?” If you have tried for years to become a great pianist but still can’t manage to carry a tune, perhaps this is not one of your personal strengths. It’s important to recognize that you don’t have to be good at everything.

This doesn’t mean you should give up playing the piano or that you can’t improve, but if you keep trying something and it just doesn’t fit, stopping doesn’t mean you’ve given up. It simply means that you’ve chosen to focus your efforts and time elsewhere.

Don’t run from adversity

We often discover and develop powerful personal strengths as a result of adversity. Difficult times force us to develop resilience, which is the ability to recover quickly from challenging circumstances. Ask yourself how you’ve changed due to a recent challenge in your life. What personal strengths emerged as a result of it? Did you learn anything from how you responded? How do you see yourself responding to stressful circumstances next time they arise?

Know who you are

Having a clear knowledge of your own identity can help you discover personal strengths you never knew you had. All of us experience times in our lives when we feel lost and unsure of who we are. If you find that you’re having an identity crisis, the best person to turn to is yourself. Only you can determine who you are!

Think about your dreams and passions. What things give you purpose and meaning in life? What do you like to talk about? What are your core beliefs and values about life, relationships, and work? What new things would you like to try? Observe your feelings, reflect on your past, and think about what you want for the future. Pondering on these things will shed some light on who you are as a person.

Find your flow

Another great way to uncover your personal strengths is by identifying the things and activities that feed your soul. For example, you may spend a lot of time writing and view it as a personal strength, but if it leaves you feeling depleted and exhausted, it may not be your “flow.” Instead, think about the activities or tasks that leave you feeling energized and alive.

Where do you most enjoy spending your time? What tasks seem to fly by? Are there parts of your job that you do better than others? What skills and activities have led to your greatest success in life thus far? What skills and talents do you have that could benefit your own life and others’ if you were to fully develop them?

See Also: Flow: Discovering The Secret to High Performance and Happiness

Invest in yourself

find personal strengths

Sometimes it can take months or years to fully understand our personal strengths and weaknesses. And that’s okay! The important thing is that you take the time to invest in yourself and pursue personal growth. That could mean setting aside the funds to see a counselor every month or attending martial arts lessons regularly. Or, it could mean spending ten minutes each morning meditating or journaling. As you continue to invest in yourself in various ways, you will gradually achieve more clarity about your strengths and learn how to leverage them to achieve more success in life.

See Also: 5 Benefits of Journaling To Inspire and Motivate You

Kelsey Brown

Kelsey Brown is an Austin-based writer. She received her B.S. in Journalism from Missouri State University and writes about addiction recovery, health, and well-being for Briarwood Detox Center, which offers medical detox program programs in Austin and Houston. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys outdoor activities with her family like hiking, camping, and kayaking. Learn more about Briarwood Detox Center:

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