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What are my strengths?

Strengths are tasks or actions that you as a unique individual can do well, broken down into talents, skills and achievements

You’ve most likely heard the word ‘strengths’ before. You’ve heard it at school, at home, amongst your peers, in your adult life, and probably during a job search, but what does ‘strengths’ mean and what does it mean to you?

Have you ever truly spent time exploring strengths, and figuring out what yours are?

Well, now is the time!

As with many things in life, if you first spend time truly understanding what a subject is and laying that strong foundation of knowledge, it powers your ability to master it.

What are strengths?

Strengths are tasks or actions that you as a unique individual can do well. Furthermore, strengths can be broken down into talents, skills and achievements.

  • Talent: Also referred to as natural talents, these are innate, natural abilities you possess as a unique individual.

Talent = natural ability, for example being a good runner.

  • Skill: The ability to do something well. Without hard work and effort, you cannot upgrade your talents to a skill. It takes time, energy, practice, and dedication to develop skills.

Skill = talent x (effort + experience), for example being an excellent sprinter = ‘being a good runner’ x training and running races.

  • Achievement: Skills can get you places but in order to achieve, you have to use your skills and apply them to relevant situations.

Achievement = skill x effort. For example, becoming the European sprinting champion = ‘being an excellent sprinter’ x continual dedication over a significant period of time, practice, commitment and application of goals.

Image with 3 large blocks, illustrating how strengths can be broken down into talents, skills and achievements. To get from talent to skill takes effort and experience, and to get from skill to achivement, takes effort

How much effort is needed?

As Angela Duckworth (Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania) explains in her book GRIT, effort features twice in the above equations. Without effort, you simply cannot achieve.

However, hard work alone will not get you incredible results. As Duckworth goes on to say in her definition of grit, it is the consistent application of effort over a significant period of time that will do this.

Grit will get you where you want in your career transition. Grit will get you where you want to be in life. Grit will get you where you want to be in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.

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