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Image Source: Finer Minds

Know Thyself — a popular aphorism since the time of ancient Greece — is the best lesson anyone at any point of time has had to offer. We are so immersed in the world outside that we completely forget to look inside, never quite understanding who we are deep down. It’s unfortunate that we allow the outside world to tell us who we are and believe them like they know best. The truth is, they don’t. While you aren’t the best judge yourself, you can certainly find out your strengths reliably and use them for success and happiness. Here are six steps.

1. Identify your core values.

Not enough people do this in their lives even though it’s crucial. Identifying or putting in place your core values and internalizing them fully is key to knowing yourself well. It’s only when you know yourself well can you get in touch with your true strengths and leverage them to make your life more meaningful.


2. Identify your best traits.

What are your key strengths as an individual? Are you kind, generous, empathetic, efficient, good at communicating ideas, solving problems? Find out what your best traits are and, on the basis of your list, identify the areas in which you fit well. This will help you learn about your core strengths and use them to succeed.


3. Identify things that you do with ease.

There are some things that probably come naturally to you. It could be solving math problems, driving a car in any terrain, or singing on pitch and improvising with the tune. These are things you don’t break a sweat over because you seem to ‘get’ them. These things can help you learn new insights on what your strengths and abilities are.


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4. Identify things that give you the most joy.

The things that you’re great at aren’t always the things you love doing. You may be exceptional in listening to people and being empathetic, but you may not really enjoy the company of people, preferring solitude in nature instead. What you enjoy doing reveals a lot about your personality.


5. Identify your areas of success.

Go back into the past and try to think of things that you did really well back in the day. It could have been a project at university, an internship at a big firm, or organizing your university’s annual cultural festival. These different areas, where you did exceedingly well, can help take you in the direction of your strengths.


6. See your strengths through another’s eyes.

Many are not a great judge of themselves. They either overestimate themselves or, much more frequently, undermine their strengths and abilities significantly. In this case, asking others — anyone from a mother to an acquaintance — can tell you what they honestly think, which can help you identify your true strengths better.