Do you know your introvert strengths?
Chances are good that you’ve spent more time thinking about your weaknesses than your strengths. As an introvert living in an extrovert’s world, you may have heard people say:
- “You should speak up more.”
- “Get out more.”
- “Why are you so standoffish?”
And you may even be adding to the negativity.
Do you compare yourself to others? Are you your own worst critic?
Introverts are introspective, reflective people. Their tendency to think can leave them vulnerable to negative thoughts. They may dwell on the past, mistakes they’ve made, or ways they don’t measure up to other people.
But that kind of thinking benefits no one.
We all need an honest assessment of our strengths and abilities. And introverts like you have several wonderful gifts.
Here’s a proven way to discover yours.
Nancy Ancowitz’s book Self-Promotion for Introverts has several great suggestions for introverts looking to identify their strengths.
Consult Your Dream Team
First, she suggests consulting your “Dream Team”. Your Dream Team is a group of people who cheer you on. It consists of mentors, cheerleaders, coaches, people who offer solid advice, and anyone who might encourage you.
Who are the people in your life that help you succeed and the want the best for you? Find out who they are, and get them on your Dream Team. If you don’t have these kinds of people supporting you, think about where you can find them.
- Encouraging you?
- Offering wise counsel and constructive feedback?
- Urging you on?
- Equipping you with valuable resources?
- By your side for the long haul?
Write any names down that come to mind. Then, get in touch with them.
Send them an email or text message – or give them a call. Ask, “What do you think my top strengths are?”
If you’d like to avoid finding out which person says what, Ankowitz recommends creating an anonymous survey. Use a tool like surveymonkey.com or google forms to create one. Then, share it with your Dream Team.
Ponder Their Feedback
Next, when you hear back from them, record their responses, and file a copy for a rainy day. Their words of encouragement will build you up when you’re feeling low.
Also, spend some time analyzing their feedback. What patterns do you see? Are certain characteristics, abilities, or traits coming up again and again? If you see any particular strengths showing up a lot, that’s a gift of yours.
Don’t overlook or downplay any of your abilities just because it comes easily to you. Not everyone can do what you can.
About a year ago, I tried this exercise, when I learned about it from Jonathan Milligan. I asked friends and family members what they thought my strengths were. And most replied, “Words and people.”
Their responses encouraged me to start this blog, and I don’t think I’d still be writing weekly articles if it wasn’t for them.
Thanks to their feedback, I better understand what makes me unique and special. I know what skills and abilities I have to offer the world. And that knowledge gives me confidence.
It’s a wonderful thing to know your introvert strengths. Take some time to research and reflect on what makes you unique.
As you do, take a look at 1) research, 2) listening, and 3) writing. These are three talents most introverts share. You’ll find them in Ancowitz’s book and in Jennifer Khanweiler’s book Quiet Influence.
When you nail your introvert strengths, be grateful for how God has made you. Delight in putting them to use. And don’t let anyone – including you – look down on what you have to offer.