Few things in life can be as frustrating as not knowing your strengths, and having them developed. I vividly remember the painstaking process of discovering and uncovering what my gifts and talents are beyond playing football. It was a process that took years to identify and cultivate. And without the support of my wife and family, I don’t know how I would have been able to have the resiliency needed to develop the new skills that I could have as much confidence in as I did with my talent on the football field.
This journey of discovery is something we all have experienced. Everyone wants to be successful doing what they love to do, andat they know they have the talent and passion for. Unfortunately, too many people don’t spend the time cultivating their strengths and God-given gifts. Instead, they live their life being reactive to life situations, rather than proactive and working their gift.
Everyone wants to be confident and competent in what they do. Competence is simply when something works well. People tend to get depressed when they don’t know what they are good at, or they are stuck in a job that isn’t in alignment with their passion. Helping people develop a work ethic to “focus their energy on a good goal, they can delay gratification, and frustration tolerance, and to identify and develop their talents” (Townsend).
One of the things that helped me in my competence was learning more about myself by taking a personality and emotional intelligence assessments. I discovered that I am an introvert that prefers to make decisions logically rather than based on feelings. That I’m best suited for leading or visionary roles to inspire, which is exactly what I am doing now. For years, I struggled with mild depression while trying to discover what else I could do after playing football. Understanding the gifts that God placed in me, and how to best use them has been liberating.