Have you ever done something, or had a skill, that seemed to amaze people? Did it perplex you as to why others were so enraptured by that ability you have, because to you it seemed so easy?
Maybe it is being positive. Perhaps it is the ability to read others emotions and understand how they feel. Maybe it is taking action when you notice others are only talking about the action. Or maybe, it is knowing how to diffuse tension in the room amidst conflict. That ability is likely a big key to your success.
But they aren’t always laid out in plain sight. In fact, we may only realize they are there because other people tell us about them. Someone might say, “Wow, I really wish I had the ability to ________________.” It’s probably something you’ve been able to do your whole life, or evolved to be able to do as you moved through life. These actions and abilities seem to be a part of who you are, a part of your character. And because it is so natural to you, you might not even know what it is, or the power it gives you.
We all have a few of these hidden gifts. Let’s call them personal success factors. And when you are able to uncover what they are, and fully utilize them, your ability to successfully navigate the world rises to a whole new level. So how do you begin to discover your personal success factors (PSF)?
- Look for contrast. What do you see others struggling with, that is simple not a problem for you?
You probably noticed there is something challenging or tough for others, and yet you don’t seem to understand why it is so easy for you. For example, one of my PSFs is the ability to ask for what I want. I’m not afraid to stand up and simply request what I need or want in a situation in order to make things better for, not only myself, but for everyone involved. Yet, I started to notice how fearful others were of doing that same action. My co-worker would tell me about how she has been waiting to ask for a raise for 6 months. Or a friend would mention how she’s terrified to ask people for their business at the end of a sales conversation. I didn’t get it for a long time… “Why can’t you just do it?” was my thought. Well of course they can’t, because their fear of rejection at the end of that request is much stronger than their longing for the desired outcome. I however had developed the belief that, if I don’t ask, I won’t get it. So asking wasn’t scary for me anymore. What skill set do you have, that seems to stand out as valuable among your friends, family, and colleagues?
- Look for compliments. What do other people typically say are your greatest strengths?
These things typically shine through when you are with other people, because they stand out as unique to you. They aren’t the typically things you would list on a job resume, but if we had life resumes, they would probably go on there. When people say they admire you, what is the reason why? That is probably a big clue to your personal success factors.
Continuing with the example above, my ability to ask for what is needed, was quickly found out by my friends and co-workers, and I became the honorary point person for all requests. If we needed to be moved to a bigger table at dinner, I was the one picked to go talk to the hostess. If all of my co-workers felt they weren’t getting adequate break time, I was the one sent to go request a new system for breaks. You probably have had similar instances with your PSF. What do people count on you for, or often compliment you on your ability to do?
- Look for connections. How do your personal success factors help you earn more money, make meaningful relationships, or find more fulfillment from what you do?
Because these personal success factors are natural abilities you have, you probably already utilize them in certain aspects of your life. As you bring more awareness to them, you can start to mindfully put them into play whenever called for. Once I connected my ability to ask for what I want with my success, I realized I could use it as a business owner. I started asking for potential clients business, if I knew I wanted to work with them. I would ask someone for help, if I knew it was an arena I didn’t know much about. The answer wasn’t always yes, but because I started asking more, I started getting more. How can you use your PSF to have more success, happiness, and fulfillment in your life?
Spend some time this week looking for your personal success factors. Make it a fun experiment to uncover these unique gifts your have. Once you find one, notice where you are making use of it, and where you could be utilizing it.