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Feeling Lost? It’s Time To Hunt For Your Talents — And Use Them


Brig Sorber is an author, sought-after speaker in Bigfoot, LLC, and co-founder of Two Men and a Truck.

So many of us feel we don’t have what it takes to find our place in the world as leaders. Maybe we are independent contributors and want to be managers; maybe we are directors and want to reach the C-suite. Maybe we are in an unfulfilling role. How we deal with these feelings will determine our career decisions and next steps.

Some people do nothing, hoping that one day an opportunity will tap on their shoulders and lead them to their purpose. Others jump at every opportunity that presents itself, never resting and never learning, becoming the jack of all trades and master of none. Then there are those who will continue the mundane life they feel is their lot, walking in a never-ending circle like a wildebeest with a brain worm. You’ve probably seen all these types of people throughout your career.

If you fall into any of these categories, do not be discouraged. There is hope. We all possess talents. In most cases, they are buried in our lives or we’ve buried them under mountains of work. Hints of our hidden talents can be found in our best memories or in lighting flashes of euphoria we may feel from time to time. Some can be unearthed even in our pain. As with any priceless jewel, it takes time and energy to mine and polish them. All of our situations are different, and all of our talents are unique. There is no self-help article that fits every case. However, there are some steps we can all take to better our chances to mine our hidden talents and make the changes we want in our careers and lives.

The biggest misconception is that talent equals making money.

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Nothing will derail growing and nurturing your talents faster than using talent and money in the same sentence. Our talents should make the lives of others better. Every unique talent we possess should solve problems, enhance lives and bring joy to others as well as ourselves. When we assemble processes that allow us to use our talents on a regular basis, we are beginning to build what I call a purpose-driven career. Pursuing these careers, we will be compensated for doing what we love. Financial gain enters at the back door of finding your talents, not the front.

This isn’t always easy to do. We all need to make money to survive. But we can get creative about how we do that. Instead of dedicating every spare moment to a role or job you don’t enjoy, perhaps pull back enough to get a part-time job you do love. Or take some courses in an area that interests you. You may learn that it’s not your job you hate, but the fact you didn’t have a hobby or something outside of work to devote your time to.

Hints of your talent treasure surround you all day.

When we quiet our minds and unlock our bodies from stress, our talents slowly rise to the surface like trout in a quiet pond: first one, then another, then another. How do we do this? Look for physical ways to unlock your body from the knotted stress you carry. Deep breaths can make a world of difference, as can moderate exercise. Just parking your car farther from the store or office allows for a brisk walk; instead of the elevator or the escalator, take the stairs. You get the picture.

It’s also key to give yourself periods of silence. On your commute home turn off your phone and radio and drive in silence. Keep your mind free from the needless noise we fill our heads with. Try watching less news and drama TV (like me, you probably have enough life drama). During these quiet times, start listing the things that bring you joy, the things you do in your free time, the things you wish you had time for. Write them down.

The people in your life may also hold the key to your talents.

With whom do you look forward to spending time? Who are the people who make you laugh, bring adventure into your life and challenge you in a positive way? Who are the people who have found happiness through their talents? Your talents, hopes and dreams will appear more easily around people like this. They can be co-workers, neighbors, family and/or old friends. Keep them close and find more of them.

On the other hand, some people throw rocks into your pond of rising trout.

Their lives are always full of needless drama. These people might be angry, overly opinionated, entitled or self-pitying (and sometimes all of the above). We need to quietly rid ourselves of these people. If you have not taken inventory of your friends lately, you may very well have some of these life-suckers in your world. They have no desire to find and use their talents and they most certainly will not help you find yours. Rays of goodness will shine on you when you remove these unendingly dark gray clouds from your life.

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Your talents, when found, may look surprisingly small. Nurture them.

There are countless internet articles, books and podcasts you can use to educate yourself on the opportunities your talent may open for you. But it helps to start where you are. At your current job, look for ways to discover and leverage your talents. Be a self-starter and spearhead an affinity group, initiative or project that lights you up. Talk to experts in the roles, jobs, fields or industries you’re excited about. The more you explore and use your talents, the more they become part of who you are. That confidence will guide and inspire you to take on additional challenges you might not have been ready for before.


Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?




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