Monday, June 13, 2016

What are you really good at?

I've been a lot of things in my life. I know I will be a lot more things in my life. 
I find myself still, or once again, in a search. 

A search for what comes next for me. 
A search for what I'm meant for. 
A search to find what makes me special and unique in the world that is of value to others.
A search for how I can best serve the world.
A search for what it is about me that was put here to make an IMPACT.
A search for how all of that can support me financially.

I'm scared. I hate looking inside ME. I find it sooooooo easy to see inside others. Like it's nothing. Like it's obvious. Like what I see is as visible and clear as the clothes the person is wearing. (*side note: I know that is part of where my "brilliance" lies - just not sure there's any way to earn income from that)

Maybe part of it is that people find it easy to be vulnerable around me. For a LONG time now, complete strangers will share the more personal, painful, intimate details of their lives with me with no prompting whatsover. I used to get a little freaked out by it but I've learned to embrace it.

I know what I want as far as my life and lifestyle is concerned. I just can't quite figure out exactly what that will look like as far as a business model that brings in income. 

I feel like I get more clear on the vehicle (sort of) but not clear on my real value.

I'm working with some trainers and mentors and keep being posed the questions:

What are you really good at? 
What do you love doing that comes naturally to you?
What would you happily do, all day long?
What gives you lots of energy? (instead of draining you)
When it comes to being of service, what brings you the most joy? 

When I sit with these questions I find myself coming up empty. I can't come up with the answers. I feel pressure and I feel inadequate. 

So I came up with another way to evaluate this for myself and thought I'd share in case there are others out there that find themselves in the same frustration.

When I'm talking with people about my eclectic skill set and explaining why I know x or where I learned y I find myself sharing my past work or project experiences. This led me to a process where I go take inventory and drill down from there. 

Step 1: List my past positions / jobs
Step 2: Drill down to some skills I associate with that position
Step 3: Highlight particular achievements, or areas where I really enjoyed that position or learned a lot
Step 4: Identify patterns, especially in progression through particular positions

For example:

Pre-school teacher

  • explaining / presenting / teaching the same thing in different ways for different people
  • deducing the best information delivery method for people
  • Creativity --- I took photos of my entire class. Each kid had a completely different picture in a different setting that fit their personality.  
  • Patience --- Cameron 

    He was in my 3 year old class who had stopped talking after his mother died suddenly. Other teachers thought he was too much trouble. I worked with him slowly and found ways to reach him (when his face would light up) and will NEVER forget the first word he said to me, or the look on his grandmother's face when he spoke to her for the first time when she came to pick him up one day. He was difficult to understand for a long time but it was one of my proudest moments in life.

***Disclaimer - these photos are 26+ years old. The kids pictured here are adults now.

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