At your core, there exists a unique set of abilities. We refer to them as strengths. These are not difficult to discover. There are many “strength finder” type assessments that are more than capable of pointing these abilities out.
What usually goes unnoticed are the multiple enablers that surround our lives and enhance our abilities. They make our abilities come alive. And they come in many forms. They stem from opportunities and circumstances that are unique to us.
Some are from the place of privilege (which is true of most even though often not apparent). And some are from the place of adversity. They are the parts of life that make you one of a kind. It’s more than your strengths. It’s your strengths combined with your life’s events.
I could have the same strengths as someone else, yet my opportunities and circumstances surrounding my origin and experiences make me unique.
Let me give you seven enablers surrounding your strengths that make you unique. They also highlight your potential.
This is an essential—not an elective. It’s a must if you want to do something of significance. This usually gets top billing when you are observed. What is it that marks your character for those who know you the best? How can you be intentional in creating it and building on it? Write down two.
2. Your experiences are unique.
The total of your experiences have left an indelible mark. You can’t deny them, make them up, nor change them. They are yours. Even though time moves on, it passes to the present from those experiences. They are, therefore, to be embraced. What are two experiences that were points of demarcation for you?
3. Your advantages are unique.
There are things in life that have given you a competitive advantage. Do you know what they are? Others do! This should not be a haven for self-pity because of what you lacked, or guilt because of what you gained. They are what they are—advantages. No two people’s advantages are the same, so rule out comparison or self-pity. Ignorance will underplay them. Acknowledgment will leverage them. Can you name and claim two of yours?
No one gets far in life without some “game-threatening” challenge. The victim posture never creates learning. At best it will neutralize you and at worst it will nullify you. Neither is a good option. The resilient person is either up or getting back up. Your obstacles have been significant in making you who you are today. Your greatness lies outside your circle of comfort. What are two obstacles that stand out?
5. Your resources are unique.
Everyone has access to resources. What’s uncommon are the resources themselves. There are external resources—money, influential friends, community, technology, etc. And there are internal resources—motivation, resilience, time, commitment, etc. An accurate assessment of resources is essential for the best life decisions. They might be different from others, but for you, their value is just as high. What are four of yours?
6. Your value is unique.
There is an ascending and descending scale of the value we bring to people. We can bring a number of valuable things their way, but not all of them are of the same value to the recipient. The value you bring is multiplied in its benefit. Since they are a part of who you are, the recipient gains more than you give. It’s exponential for them and therefore a great investment of your efforts. Can you describe four of your points of unique value? False modesty is not helpful here.
7. Your markets are unique.
You are capable of running in many venues, but what is that niche where your effectiveness peaks? Some call this your tribe—that place where you exert the greatest influence. The distinctions of these markets might be fuzzy, but they eventually self-define and will reveal themselves as your most likely place of impact and influence. It’s difficult to be all things to all people. What are three of those markets, those niches that are a great fit?
Your key to developing the leader in you starts at your core, but doesn’t end there. Be aware of these seven enablers that highlight your unique abilities and increase your ever-expanding potential. They are a great resource. And the good news is, they are yours!
This post originally appeared on LeadershipTraQ.com.
Mick Ukleja, Ph.D., is the founder and president of LeadershipTraQ. He empowers leaders to optimize their talent and equips them to excel in their professional and personal life. Mick is an author, speaker and generational strategist. He writes and speaks on engaging millennials at work. He is the co-author of Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce, 2nd Edition, which is used in corporate training and business schools. He co-founded the Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership at California State University, Long Beach, which promotes ethics across the curriculum. Mick is an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Concordia University. His book Who Are You? What Do You Want? has been praised by legendary coach John Wooden: “I have always taught that success can be achieved by each one of us. These principles provide an excellent life-planning guide for bringing out your best.” Mick has been featured on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business Network, NBC and in numerous publications. Keep up with Mick at Leadershiptraq.com.