What are you BEST at?

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I work in the world of self-improvement now and, as you might suspect, there are some shady claims out there. A lot of self-help or self-actualization or self-improvement work seems to be focused on what you can do to overcome some essential flaw in your human make up. They imply that if you can just get this one thing in order, you’ll be a champ.

Flaws–we all have them and most of them are not likely to go away any time soon. Stress, excitement, sincerity all speak to the fact that we will let our true light shine when it matters most. We regress to the mean, as it were.

Ok then. Go with that. What is it about you that makes you most YOU? Most unique? Most interesting? It probably isn’t that flaw, so go ahead and stop obsessing over it and focus on that awesome part of you that seems to get positive attention whenever you let it out.

Your public speaking chops?

Your ability to organize groups and events?

Your rapport with students and ability to motivate them?

Your dazzling clarity with the written word?

Your ability to lead efficient and effective meetings?

There is something about you that makes you uniquely qualified to do your job–or the next job you want. Instead of overcoming real or imagined hurdles you need to jump over to succeed, focus on growing and capitalizing on the things you already do well, naturally. It’s a joy and a boost to be valued for those things you already do well–so emphasize those, claim them, draw attention to them.

Watch what happens when you tell people around you, “I am a great public speaker. If you don’t want to talk about our project, give me the most recent notes and I’ll make a killer presentation out of it.” Watch what happens when you emphasize, on your annual review documents or in your tenure and promotion file, that your ability to do X has led to Y and Z benefits for your department, organization, group, etc.

Claim your authority, expertise, and skills.

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