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Developing Your Skills and Talent: Your Questions Answered

Talent is an important attribute for success. For example, to be a successful blogger you should have writing talent, creativity, and analytical skills. Talent is a word that reflects an individual’s innate ability to perform well in a particular domain. Talent is often used to refer to an individual’s potential, as well as their ability.

Some people are natural-born talents but other talents can be built over time by working hard on developing your abilities. Having a goal makes developing your talent a more fruitful journey.

Talent vs. Skill: What is the Difference?

Talent is a differentiator that you have, which is often innate and not something that can be taught or trained. We all have different levels of talent in various fields. Some people are just born with a natural inclination to excel in a specific field and this is what they will do great at.

Skills, on the other hand, are acquired abilities, which can be developed over time. They are like muscles that get stronger with training and exercising more often. Skills can also be developed through education or training, depending on the person’s willingness to learn and practice it.

Talent is the natural ability to do something. Mastery of skill, on the other hand, requires training and practice. A skill is a learned behavior that improves with practice. The fundamental elements of talent are innate, but you can build up on this, too.

Discovering Your Talent

There will be moments when you might realize that you are good at something. These “Aha!” moments could actually bring you one step closer to finding out if you have a talent in that area.

Think about the things you are passionate about, what brings you thrill and joy when you do them? Answer these questions by:

Examining your past. It is likely that you have tried new and different things in the past, Take a look at your history in school, organizations, or communities you joined or continue to belong to. There will be many things that you have done and recall some which you did best at, perhaps better than many people did. What were the things that came easy for you? List down at least 5 of those notable things and rate your success levels for each on a 1-10 scale.

Thinking of what felt natural to you. We are all born with natural abilities, things that we do out of instinct. Perhaps it’s dancing, singing, drawing, impersonation, making money, humor, listening, etc. Maybe you find it easy to come up with novel ideas about a certain field without anybody teaching you. Or if you are taught, what are those that you mastered almost effortlessly? Again, make a list of 5 of these, rate each on a scale of 1-10, but this time, rate according to your level of ability in each item

Getting input from others. You can be helped by listening to other people’s honest opinions of you. Allow others to validate your natural abilities or if they believe you are gifted in some aspect. Glean perspective from at least 3 individuals who have known you for a long time. This time, ask each of them to list down at least 5 things they believe you’re good at. Ask them to rate each item on a 1-10 scale based on your performance level.

Gather the different rated lists and check for common or intersecting points. You are now likely to have a clearer picture of your natural abilities or talents. The next step is to develop them.

Developing Your Talent

You are born with the fundamental elements of a particular ability. You can develop your natural abilities by:

Nurturing your passion and making the most of it. Passion drives you, and the more energy you concentrate on a certain aspect, the better you become at it. Are you passionate about films, books, teaching, listening to others, and giving advice? No matter what it is, feed your passion by doing it more and exerting your abilities in that area. If you need to sign up for paid classes for, say professional counseling or film-making, then do so.

Perhaps you are passionate about singing — you can find a mentor or sign up for private voice lessons that can help you become more skillful at singing to the point that you are confident enough to share your singing talent with a bigger audience. Do not be afraid to invest in yourself.

Challenging yourself by setting goals. Now that you know you have a talent for something, perhaps you can develop it further toward achieving something. If you have a talent for singing, you can challenge yourself by joining a competition and your goal can be to win. Your goal is time-bound, thus will drive you to become more strategic about becoming a better singer.

Some psychologists believe that talent and its improvement are a product of nature and effort. Knowing your talent is a good opportunity to set aspirations. Aspiring for something drives you to reach the new ground with the talent you already have. All these contribute to feelings of fulfillment while improving the self in the process.

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