• Knowing your strengths is only the first step to success.

Do you know your natural talents and strengths? Countless self-help books have been written on how to turn weaknesses into strengths, but is that really possible?

There are three types of people when it comes to understanding and applying natural talents, and only one of them is successful.

1. Unrealized greatness (or not)

There are those who are simply ignorant of their natural strengths and weaknesses. However, ignorance doesn’t mean someone has a low intelligence level or IQ.

It simply means a lack of knowledge or information. These are people who have maybe never been told they should learn about their personality or never had the opportunity.

It’s not like it’s a part of the basic curriculum at any school I’ve ever seen.

As a society, we’re pretty ignorant about our personalities and what they mean to our lives and dreams. There is no intent behind this ignorance, but without this knowledge, this is the person who tirelessly attempts to apply all of those mindsets and methods, yet continues to wonder why they still aren’t reaching their goals.

These are the people who try to copy someone else’s model and wonder why it didn’t work for them. In all likelihood, the person they learned from, or are trying to copy, has a very different set of natural talents.

What worked wonderfully for them doesn’t always translate to people with drastically different talents and strengths.

2. Too blind to see

Then, there are those who are in denial about their natural strengths and weaknesses. They aren’t ignorant, per se. They just choose to ignore what they’ve learned. They deny who they are and instead attempt to change that which they are.

Here too, there isn’t so much an intentional effort to deny their natural talents. It’s more likely just that no one ever told them that they could change.

These are the people who know they aren’t very detail-oriented, yet continue to let their success depend on them becoming an organizational expert.

Or they know they aren’t super outgoing, but they tell themselves they will eventually become comfortable at large networking events.

They’re not naturally aggressive, but keep trying to push for the hard close. They may not have a great eye for design, but they insist on making all of the staging recommendations themselves.

3. All systems, go

Finally, there are those who are self-aware and authentic. They have achieved a very high level of understanding of their personality, who they are, what they are naturally good at — and what they naturally suck at.

They have cured their ignorance, in other words. Then, though, instead of denying it and trying to change it, they accept it. They put all of their efforts into figuring out how to make the best practices they see around them fit their natural talents, not the other way around.

These are the people who know they suck at organization, so they hire an administrative assistant before they do anything else.

These are the agents who understand they are a bit introverted and choose to use social media and internet marketing as their primary networking tools.

This is the person you must become to reach your full potential.

Recognize where you are on this list, and work to change your habits and recognize your natural abilities. Use them to become a better version of you.

How authentic do you think you are?

Jay Niblick is the co-founder and president of the real estate technology firm WizeHire.com.

Email Jay Niblick

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