We all have abilities beyond what we are expressing. We may have become distracted from looking for our talents because of dealing with chronic illness, or we may have been blocked in some other way from realizing our potential. Negative programming from doctors, family, teachers, or other significant figures in our early life often limit us to a narrow perspective of ourselves. I have personally been influenced by all of these sources of negative programming. Doctors have not only given me one death sentence after another; but have also told me that if I did manage to ive, I would be very depressed and anxious for the rest of my life. None of these things came true. I am actually one of the happiest people I know. Teachers told my parents that I was mentally retarded; but my parents sent me to a child psychologist who tested my IQ, and he said he had never seen such a high IQ in any child. I think we have all been given distorted perceptions of ourselves from one source or another. These influences can prevent us from experiencing the fulfillment of realizing our true talents.
Look for your talents. One place to start is by simply realizing what you enjoy most. This is often referred to as your passion in life. Ask people who will be very honest and open with you about what they see in you as your strengths We very often do not see our own strengths, and often do not know how we are being perceived by other people. Others usually see positive things in you that you do not see in yourself. You need to see them. Notice what you admire in other people. Those qualities, abilities, and actions are a clue to what you have the potential to express, but might be suppressing for some reason.
Another way to see our talents is to become aware of our basic temperament type. Psychologist David Keirsey identified four basic temperament types (believed to be inborn). One type is in no way superior to another. Knowing your type can lead to clues to your hidden abilities. A brief version of the Keirsey Temperament test is available online. Security Seekers are found doing things that involve supervising, inspecting, providing, and protecting. Sensation Seekers often promote, craft, perform, or compose. Knowledge Seekers are inventors, planners, visionaries, and architects. Identity Seekers are best at teaching, being supportive, counseling, and healing.
Explore yourself more to discover what talents might be hiding in you. Push past anything or anyone who might try to stop you from fulfilling your talents. It is Your Life. Live it!
Christopher Knippers, Ph.D. November 2, 2016