Gifts and Skills

Self Improvement Techniques



Draw a circle on a piece of paper. Inside that circle write two or three things that you are gifted at doing. These will be things that people have told you they admire. They are usually things that you do extremely well without much effort. They are gifts that you have.

If you own a business or supervise a staff, it is important that you understand this concept. Putting people in their area of giftedness will increase productivity and satisfaction. If you want a career that you can enjoy for many years, make sure that you are in an organization where you can use your gifts.

Outside of the circle write a number of things that you know how to do. These are skills that you have learned and are able to perform but they usually do not come easily. In fact, they often take a great deal of energy. Many people learn skills but don't enjoy using them and feel like they are "stuck" so stay in the wrong job or career because they feel they have to.

I have been told that I am gifted as a speaker, writer and therapist. I know how to do a number of other things but when I am within my circle, I not only feel comfortable but I feel energized. On the other hand, when I am working where skills are required, I am frequently tired, frustrated or wishing that I wasn't trying to complete that task. For example, I know how to do specific tasks on the computer but doing them is a chore.

For me, it is best to do the things within my circle that only I can do to keep the business running and then delegate the rest to people who are gifted in the necessary area. I therefore do my best when I stick to doing speaking, writing and therapy.

Most people burn out when they are out of their area of giftedness. They are so busy doing the things that drain their energy that eventually, they just run out of steam. They do things that other people could be doing - and enjoying - instead of what they do well!

If you want to be happy and inspired, the best thing to do is to ensure that you are spending as much time as possible inside the circle - doing the things where you are gifted and can get energy back.

Now I know there are often going to be tasks that you need to use your skills to complete. The key is that you don't get caught up in doing them so much that you neglect using your gifts.

Demands over time can steal our objectivity. It is therefore important to always be assessing your situation and making the appropriate adjustments. Keep asking yourself good questions. Are you more tired than usual? Maybe you are focused on the wrong things. Could your work life be improved? What are you not doing that would make things better?

It all begins with a circle. What are your gifts? And how could you use them more?


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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