As individuals, we all possess unique talents and special abilities. You might already know what yours is or you might not be sure. Recognizing our true gifts and abilities can help us answer the question: what is our purpose?

If you’re not sure about your true gifts right now, you certainly would not be alone. That said, it’s never too late (or too soon) to start figuring it all out.

Are you putting your gifts and talents to good use? Using your strengths and abilities is one of the keys to living a meaningful life. Your talents and strengths may determine what you’re meant to do in life, whether that be writing a best-selling novel or finding a cure for a disease.

Our gifts, abilities, and talents matter on a larger scale, too. Your unique talents and qualities may not only help you find purpose and self-fulfillment in your own life, but they can also help you contribute to society and better the world (or at least the community you live in). Even though you might not realize it, your own individual gifts matter.

Sadly, many people don’t realize that their own gifts are important. They also doubt their talents and abilities, which negatively impacts their own self-worth. You might not even believe that you have a gift at all, but you do. Everyone does.

One of my true gifts is helping other people discover theirs. Think of me as a guide, leading you in the direction you were meant to be all along. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can work to find your own gifts and then maximize your true potential.

Here are some tips on how to recognize your true gifts:

  1. What do you love? What are you passionate about? Making a list of the things you really enjoy doing can help you discover your true gift. It’s important to make sure that you’re only considering things that you truly love and not just things you’re good at. While we possess talent with our gifts, it’s important for it to be something you’re passionate about. Passion is what sets a gift apart from a skill.
  2. What talents have you had throughout your life? Consider what hobbies or interests you had throughout your childhood and teenage years. Did you love writing or ballet? Were you thrilled by your rock collection? You may have strayed away from your true gift over the years. You might also consider how your childhood strengths or gifts can pave the way to a career today. If you were a highly competitive child, you might be someone who would thrive in a competitive business or courtroom.
  3. What activities make you lose track of time? Your gift will probably bring you so much joy that you may find that time goes quicker when you’re doing it.
  4. What comes easily to you? Our true gifts aren’t difficult. They often come naturally to us and tend to be so easy that they can be compared to breathing.
  5. What emotions do you feel when doing that activity? Our true gifts often ignite so many feelings in us, ranging from excitement to comedy.
  6. What gifts have other people noticed within you? Have people told you that you were an amazing photographer or that you’re a great public speaker? Sometimes, friends and family can be more in tune with our gifts than we are. If you’ve been told numerous times that you’re talented at something, it just might be your gift.

Once you’ve figured out what your gifts are, here are some other questions you might want to ask yourself:

  1. Would you feel inspired by your gift if you did it every day? Would you love to make a career out of your gift? Is it possible that your gift may pave the way to your dream job or dream life?
  2. Can you make money from your gift? Utilizing your talents and strengths to find meaning or purpose in your life is much easier said than done if you can find a way to make a career out of it. It’s important to think outside of the box. While it might not be easy (though not impossible) to make money from your painting, you might find a career as an art therapist to be rewarding.
  3. Would you still want to do it even if you didn’t get paid for it? This is one of the questions you might ask yourself when trying to determine how passionate you are about your gift. Would you still be willing to do whatever it is that you’re talented at, even if you didn’t get paid a dime? If you’re unable to make a career out of your gift, are there ways you can put your gifts to use to improve your life or the lives of others without making money? This might mean volunteering your time in your community.

Once you recognize your true gifts, you can figure out ways to put them to use to find more meaning and purpose in your life. You owe it to yourself to get in touch with your gifts and abilities. You have so much to offer the world, but it all comes down to finding those gifts within yourself first!